The following is a press release from South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). The CREW Land & Water Trust encourages all people who enjoy using the CREW Project trails for recreational purposes to attend this meeting.
Oct. 17, 2018
Public Invited to WRAC Forum to Provide Input
on Recreation Program at CREW Management Area
The quarterly Recreational Issues Forum will be on the road in Fort Myers next week
Several miles of trails provide a variety of recreational opportunities for all ages at the CREW Management Area. Click on the image for a larger version.
Fort Myers, FL – Outdoor enthusiasts will have an opportunity next week to provide input and support for the South Florida Water Management District’s (SFWMD) current recreation program at one of Southwest Florida’s premier public lands.
The Water Resources Analysis Coalition’s (WRAC) quarterly Recreational Issues Forum will focus on the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW) Management Area. The CREW area offers several recreational activities, including hiking, bird watching, camping and hunting. The forum will be held:
Monday, October 22, 2018
SFWMD Fort Myers Service Center
2301 McGregor Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33901
SFWMD and its partners – representing environmental groups and governmental agencies – manage CREW for its numerous benefits to water storage and wildlife preservation.
In April, SFWMD completed restoration of 1,000 acres of Southern CREW in Lee County, allowing the area to return to its natural hydrological conditions of periodic inundation. The restoration project benefits the entire Southwest Florida ecosystem and its residents by restoring wetlands and historic sheetflow of water, improving regional flood protection, drainage and increasing water storage and aquifer recharge capability.
If you’ve ever walked the CREW hiking trails, you know that sometimes you get to see animals like armadillos and bobcats and black racers – and sometimes you don’t. Yet, you know they are out there – wandering, feeding, sleeping, living their lives. If you’re observant, you can see signs of them everywhere in the form of tracks, scat, nests, and trails.
So, what really walks those hiking trails when we’re not there? Remote cameras are a great way to capture animal activity. One of our CREW volunteers deploys and monitors a remote camera out in CREW. The camera location changes with the seasons, and we often get some great shots of animals rarely seen by people. If you ever wondered what walks the trails when you’re not there, take a look at these shots captured recently…and then make plans to come visit a CREW trail soon.
In these hot, humid days of summer most of us humans try to stay indoors or in the shade to stay cool. But if you happen to step outside and gaze to the sky – especially at CREW – you may just witness one of the most spectacular sightings in all of southwest Florida. Swallow-tailed kites (Elanoides forficatus) migrate to Florida from Brazil each spring to build nests and raise their young throughout our summer rainy season.
As August arrives, these graceful kites can be seen more often in groups flying overhead, often feeding their young, and staging or gathering in large communal groups as they prepare for their 3000-mile journey back to Brazil. The adults and their young offspring (just 2 months old) will head south again in mid-August and we won’t see them again until late February to mid-March. We’ve been seeing them in groups of 20 – 25 regularly at Bird Rookery Swamp and in smaller groups of 12 – 15 around the CREW Marsh Trails and field office. Those groups will get larger as the month goes on, until one day soon when they all head south again.
So, if you want to get a last look at these magnificent birds, head on out to one of the CREW Trails early one morning soon. Listen for their piercing whistles and watch their pre-migration antics. It’s worth every minute of your time!
To learn more about swallow-tailed kites, go here.