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MacDill to celebrate Earth Day restoring Pond Island

by Jeff Sprinkmann
6th Civil Engineer Squadron

MacDill will celebrate Earth Day on Tuesday along with the rest of the world by having volunteers put the finishing touches on the U.S. Central Command Pond Island Habitat Restoration project.

Over the last eight Fridays, a team of 6th Civil Engineer Squadron members have volunteered their time and resources and transformed the island from a tangled mass of invasive plants called Brazilian Pepper, into a perfect location for a relaxing park, featuring native plants.

Tuesday, the MacDill Cub Scout Pack 56 - Wolves, will join 6th CES and other volunteers to replant more than 300 native plants like live oaks, bald cypress, saw palmettos and spartina grasses.

These plants are native to Florida and have evolved in concert with Florida's yearly cycles of distinct wet and dry seasons.

The plants reflect the natural diversity of Florida's ecology that will benefit native wildlife, especially the many birds that use the pond for feeding.

The species that will be planted to replace the peppers also have been chosen to showcase 'xeriscaping,' a type of landscaping that employs native plants that require little or no maintenance.

Finally, so everyone can enjoy this Earth Day dedication, the island will feature three plastic lumber picnic tables that are made from recycled plastic that is environmentally friendly and non-toxic.

Volunteers should meet between 8:30 and 9 a.m., Tuesday at the CENTCOM Pond Island.

To volunteer for this Earth Day event, call 828-0460 or email jeff.sprinkmann@macdill.af.mil.




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