A lot has been happening while we have been in the “stay at home” due to Covid 19. We continue to work on our mission to “Protect the Wildlife, Restore the Habitat, and Engage the Public.”
We recently earned the “Platinum” level of transparency on Guidestar that rates non-profits! That is the highest level a nonprofit can have!
Our HAH Inc. Board met via telephone last Friday, May 8. We continue to meet monthly, but these past 3 months it has been on a conference call. We had 6 Board members, but Megan is moving to Gainesville to continue her studies at UF in animal sciences. She is the young woman who placed Gopher Tortoise signs in Wickham park for her Girl Scout Gold Award. She was instrumental a couple of years ago in asking the county and every municipality in Brevard to have a Gopher Tortoise Day proclamation. There were 17 GT Day proclamations that year! She attended EFSC for two years and served on the HAH Board. We appreciate her participation and will miss her.
We have 4 new people joining our Board, so we have 9 members now. They were invited to listen in on our Board meeting last Friday, and they are eager to help us. Our Board members are from Viera, Tralee Bay in Capron Ridge to the north of HAH, Devon’s Glen to the south of HAH, and the Springs of Suntree to the east of HAH. All of the new people, Carine, Anastasia, Steve, and Tanja, and their children have been active in helping on our work days. Interestingly, our Board members have a diversity of languages: French, German, Chinese, Russian, and Spanish. (Other members speak Air Force and Bird.)
Protect the Wildlife: The wildlife is protected because the gates are locked. In addition to the plants growing naturally in HAH, we planted two native plant gardens that feed the pollinators and tortoises. We have not opened the gates to the public in April or on May 3. We opened on Sunday, May 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. for our “Sunset in the Hollows.” 48 people were there including several new families! Our contractor who lives in Devon’s Glen mowed the trail recently. We will open from 6 to 8 p.m. on June 7 and 21.
Restore the Habitat: We had a contractor, who works for St. John’s Water Management District, in HAH to spray the Cogongrass. We tried to give him water from the reclaimed water faucet, but no water came out. Thankfully, our rain barrels were full, so he could get water for his tank from them. He had sprayed in July 2018, and he was very pleased that the work he did then eradicated most of the Cogongrass. He is coming again in a couple of weeks with more herbicides to spray an area of Cogon grass in the middle of the northwest basin and other invasives like small Brazilian Pepper trees. He will bring another man to help him with that.
Our two native plant gardens are thriving and helping the birds, bees, butterflies, and gopher tortoises! The garden in the south, planted by the Audubon Society in Nov 2018, is getting new mulch. The Rock Springs entrance garden, planted by HAH volunteers in March 2019, will get some new mulch soon. We had a Florida Friendly 2019 matching grant from Keep Brevard Beautiful for that garden.
We have not had any group work days since the shutdown. Individual Board members and Audubon garden workers have come out on their own to water and work in the gardens.
Engage the Public: We have had plans to have a Ranger program for several months, but we cannot meet with a group yet. Rangers will be adults and youth who will help when we are open to the public. We plan to have our first meeting to begin training on Sat June 13 in the morning in HAH. We had to cancel our April spring educational event that would have started the Ranger program. A presentation of the Gopher Tortoise Burrow survey had also been planned. That event will be rescheduled later.
We completed the Gopher Tortoise Burrow Survey in mid-March. We have an FWC permit to measure the burrows. 521 burrows were identified and 407 burrows are active. There are baby tortoises in several areas, indicating a healthy tortoise population. Our student Board member, Yuliang, who is a sophomore at Edgewood JR/Sr High, has done a wonderful map project with GIS. He has an incredible map of the GPS tagged burrows and their sizes. With his analyses, he said elevation, slope of the berm, and healthy plant life were the most significant factors in burrow location. He had planned to submit his map at the international GIS conference in California at the end of June, but the map portion was cancelled this year. Yuliang’s dad, Lixin, works in the Brevard County GIS department. They both have been a huge help. Here is the link to Yuliang’s project. The variable importance spreadsheet is attached to the email.
There are two Boy Scouts who have Eagle Scout projects to make wooden benches. There is a Girl Scout who plans to make signs. They hope to complete those this summer.
We keep the public updated via Facebook, Instagram, and our website. We have 789 Fb followers. One of our new Board members will keep Instagram more active. We are working on Mail Chimp to send out regular emails to interested people who have given us their email addresses.
There are many ways you can support us now. HAH now has a Platinum level on Guidestar which rates nonprofits. You can choose HAH for smile.amazon.com, and HAH will get a percentage of your purchase. We have a wish list on Amazon. You can donate on our website thru PayPal or on our HAH Facebook page. We are always excited when someone mails a check to us! Please support HAH in 2020! Also, there is a beautiful bumblebee design on yellow reusable bags at www.wendybarnesdesign.com . Wendy donates 10% of every sale of the bumblebee design to HAH!
Please join HAH, Inc! Annual Membership suggested donation: Student/Teacher $10, Individual $15, Family $25. You can join online or checks can be sent to: Hundred Acre Hollows, Inc. 1170 Ida Way Melbourne, FL 32940. Our website link goes to PayPal which is a secure site.
Hundred Acre Hollows, Inc is a 501c3 nonprofit formed to be caretakers of 114 acres of Brevard County land in north Suntree. Please visit our website: www.hundredacrehollows.org and our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HundredAcreHollows/ Our email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org HUNDRED ACRE HOLLOWS, INC IS DULY REGISTERED WITH THE STATE OF FLORIDA AS REQUIRED BY ITS SOLICITATION OF CONTRIBUTIONS ACT. OUR REGISTRATION NUMBER IS CH52596. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.