TRI-COUNTY WORKING GROUP Next meeting at Inverness Rexall Meeting Room on May 19 at 11:30 a.m.
The group met early in the day this month to have a nice lunch at the Blue Gator in Dunnellon on the Withlachoochee River on April 21. After a filling seafood lunch, we adjourned for the meeting at the Dunnellon Public Library Meeting Room. We were so pleased to have SSJ Sierra Presiding Chair Maryvonne Devensky as our special guest.
Conservation Chair Whitey Markle led a discussion of our work with SWFWMD officials over their surplus lands. He felt that Audubon Society’s Sandra Marrafino’s detailed messages to them as well as the Working Group’s visit to their Open House in Brooksville contributed to their taking Halpata’s 47 surplus land off that list of land for sale. Nancy Kost explained how a huge turnout of citizens to a government meeting in Inverness led to the county commission voting against allowing a hotel in sensitive environmental area in beautiful Homosassa Springs. However, on other environmental topics such as how the legislature was dealing with Amendment One expectations and funding, it was difficult to be optimistic for many of us.
We discussed various issues and gave Whitey input on how to spend education funds that he received for the club from a Maine trust fund. No clear decision was made but many ideas were shared.
Some of us then joined Ben Berauer for a paddle on the Withlacoochee River and went upstream to the Rainbow. Although we were not able to make it to the headsprings that afternoon, we enjoyed the warm afternoon and the opportunity to see how the rivers were doing. Ben, Lisa and I even followed up with a short visit to the Rainbow Springs State Park to observe the beautiful springs and man-made waterfalls there.
For our next meeting we chose to meet in the Inverness Rexall Meeting Room on May 19 at 11:30 a.m. We hope that many Citrus, Marion and Levy members will be able to join us for a discussion of issues and how to move forward during the summer months.