Saturday morning, September 24, a group of Amelia Island Earthkeepers got together with Rec Center employee Griffin Bowen and Greenway Manager Kathy Russell to prune back overgrowth in a 2-mile stretch of the Greenway Preserve. This was the second time an Earthkeepers group helped Russell in her efforts to keep trails clear without the aid of heavy machinery. The first time was the previous Wednesday on the North Trail.
After Earthkeepers brought concerns to Russell regarding damage done to trees and wildlife, showing her a pictures of a sliced snake in in the brush and some ravaged trees, she talked about the hazards of using heavy city equipment to maintain trails in the environmentally sensitive preserve. “Unfortunately,” she stated, “the Preserve doesn’t have a dedicated grounds keeper.” She then asked about the possibility of getting in volunteers who would be willing to perform the maintenance by hand.
AI Earthkeepers, having presented a plan for a nature center in the recently vacated Rec Center space, jumped into action to make this one of the first steps of what the organization is calling The Greenway Initiative. The vision of the Initiative is to convert space in the Rec Center building into a Nature Center where visitors can get out of the heat and watch a video about the history of the Preserve and it’s wildlife. There will also be exhibits and trail maps. The group is working with an individual to build an app to use when out on the trails. The group also hopes to get a dedicated groundskeeper for the sensitive area.
Earthkeepers will be holding another open meeting toward the end of October to present the plan and get ideas from all its members. Watch for a save-the-date email.
In the meantime, happy Greenway trails!