CCA, TDC replant trees at Salinas Park

Over 20 volunteers from the Coastal Community Association of South Gulf County showed up Saturday morning to help the Tourist Development Council plant longleaf pines at Salinas Park.

CCA board members Gene Behage, Rosemary Raganella, and Jan Roycroft worked with county staff at the TDC to organize the planting. TDC Director Kelli Godwin and her staff had roped off the first area to be planted and were there to help. 

Hurricane Michael destroyed all the pines on the east end of Salinas Par, leaving only sand. This area had been densely wooded, and habituated with many birds and animal species. prior to the storm. 

State Rep. Jason Shoaf had secured 500 longleaf pines donated from the Florida Forest Service. FFS staff taught the volunteers how to plant them. The area will be roped off to give the plants time to become established.

TDC and CCA plan to obtain more plants to continue the reforestation of the eastern end of Salinas Park along County Road 30A to the beach dune. Larger pines and other larger trees will be added, as well as natural ground cover and plants. It will take a few years, but these 500 trees certainly give us a great start! 

Thanks to everyone who played a role in recouping the area for our bird and animal species!

Pat Hardman, PhD., is president of the Coastal Community Association of South Gulf County.

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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