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The Trailhead is located in Lake County, Florida. map

For more information, please contact info@scrubjaytrail.org
(352) 429-5566

sat - wed : 8:00-5:00

Email photo contributions
of wildlife or plants seen
on the trail to this address: photos@scrubjaytrail.org



February 23, 2008 Trailday Newsletter
Hello Trailblazers,

Florida Scrub-Jay TrailTomorrow, February 23, being the the 4th Saturday of the month, is time for the Scrub-Jay Trail Day. Please plan to attend, and feel free to contribute to the breakfast table. If you would be so kind as to RSVP, even at this late date, we would appreciate knowing how many plan to attend.

Please bring a rake, if possible. We'll be working on the area around the National Wildlife Federation certified habitat section.

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With all good intentions, we planned a 2007 Year-Ender Newsletter, but somehow, 2008 grabbed us and dragged us forward. Taking a brief look back, here is what occurred in the last quarter of 2007 and the beginning of 2008.

Christmas on the Trail

The holidays here were exceptional, as many contributors gave generously:

Private Donation - An anonymous donor delivered 350 sand live oaks for the new extension of the Trail.

Financial Support - The SunTrust/Zamia Family Trust presented the Florida Scrub-Jay Trail with a generous gift of $8,000. This grant provided the Trail with tractor implements to help in the restoration of Phase 2.
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Eagle Scouts

Eagle Scouts Troop 86Eagle Scout Steven Scott, with Scout Troop 86 who did such great work on Phase 1 of the Trail last year, returned with fellow scouts and family for a one-year reunion. They worked on the Trail for several hours, had a great time and accomplished a lot.

      see pictures in the Gallery


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Webelos Pack 998

Webelos Pack 998Webelos Pack 998 spent several hours on the Trail, clearing, planting and installing low volume irrigation.
It's encouraging to see the youngest family members enjoying the outdoors.

            see pictures in the Gallery

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Mark Trail - on the Scrub-Jay Trail

Many of you are familiar with the nationally syndicated comic strip,  Mark Trail.

Mark Trail
(c) 2008 North America Syndicate, Inc. Posted by special permission.

For more than 50 years, soft-spoken comic-strip star and veteran outdoorsman Mark Trail has been teaching people to preserve our natural resources - woods, water and wildlife - for future generations. Created by Ed Dodd in 1946 and drawn by Jack Elrod since 1978, Mark Trail appears in 175 newspapers, reaching nearly 23 million readers worldwide.

We thought it would be appropriate for Mark Trail to speak of the Florida scrub-jay, so we contacted Jack Elrod, Mark Trail's artist and writer, and presented the scrub-jay's story to him. Sure enough, in October, the scrub-jay starred in a Sunday edition, nationwide! Mr. Elrod was kind enough to send us the color version of the strip, complete with autograph, for all to appreciate. This will proudly be on display once it is properly framed and protected from the elements.

Recently, we were invited to visit with Mr. Elrod at his studio and were treated to an impressive tour. During our visit, Mr. Elrod presented the Florida Scrub-Jay Trail with the original paste-up artwork of the scrub-jay strip, and several copies of his work, which will also be displayed at the Trail.

Our thanks and gratitude go out to Jack Elrod for his kind hospitality and concern for the Florida scrub-jay.
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Garden Club

Hibiscus Circle of the Clermont Garden ClubThe Hibiscus Circle of the Clermont Garden Club toured the Trail.

Then, the Trail went to the Garden Club and presented a program in the Florida scrub-jay.

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Special Guests on the Trail

NWF logoFor 8 years, we have had a very special relationship with the
National Wildlife Federation.

The seed money for the Florida Scrub-Jay Trail was made possible by a grant from the NWF Species Recovery Fund.

Sue Sturges, National Wildlife FederationThis relationship continues today,
and we were recently visited by
Sue Sturges, Manager of Regional Education Programs with National Wildlife Federation. Sue presented Habitat Stewards and Trailblazers
an update of NWF's new programs, including the Flyway Cities program, and the No Child Left Inside initiatives.

Walter Sturgeon, Operation MigrationLater that afternoon, we were treated
to a surprise visit by Walter Sturgeon with Operation Migration.
Walter is part of the crew that escorted 17 Whooping Cranes to Florida.
His account of the trials and tribulations of getting these endangered cranes safely migrated for such a long journey, was fascinating.
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Spring Cleanup comes early

greenhouseSpecial thanks go out to Dan Cleary and Rudy Parker for their great carpentry contributions. The successfully restored the greenhouse adjacent to the shade house.

(photo: work while still in progress)

Their next project is the rebuilding the Herb Pavilion that got destroyed by hurricanes past. This will provide a cool spot for people and plants alike. We're looking forward to having this building back in use. What a great luxury it is to have 2 accomplished carpenters looking after the facilities here at the Trail!
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Phase 2 work underway

Much has been accomplished on the new phase of the Trail. Many retired citrus trees have been either removed or pruned, invasive grasses and weeds have been herbicided, and 500 sand live oaks stand ready for planting. When complete, this scrub-jay restoration area will provide over 1400 scrub and sandhill trees, shrubs and groundcovers, that will create a viable habitat for the scrub-jay and its companion species.

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National Wildlife Federation Habitat Stewards Training

On March 8, 9 and 10, we will be hosting the National Wildlife Federation Habitat Steward training. This is a 3 day program designed to activate volunteers to green up and beautify their neighborhoods by creating wildlife habitat in schools, homes, churches and municipal places. This training program is free. There is a $95.00 charge for 7 meals and course materials.

This is a great program, as many of you can attest.
If you have any friends or neighbors who are interested in actively getting involved,
please have them call   352-429-5566   or email   bbbrowns@earthlink.net

                              click here for more details                                   Back to Top of Page