THE NORTH PORT NATURAL WILDLIFE CORRIDOR

An environmental initiative by the Friends of Little Salt Spring is gaining momentum. The concept of the Myakkahatchee Creek, Little Salt Spring Greenway Corridor was introduced at the Annual Meeting of the Friends of Little Salt Spring January 17, 2017 during a presentation by Steve Koski titled “The Archaeology of the Uplands at Little Salt Spring and Significance of the Ecology Surrounding the Spring.” He explained the overall concept developed by the Friends of Little Salt Spring to establish a conservation corridor from Myakkkahatchee Creek to Little Salt Spring to maintain an open land access for wildlife from one conservation area to another, a distance of approximately 0.5 miles.

On January 30, 2017 an article appeared in the North Port Sun by the Viewpoint editor, “Little Salt Spring: Preserving, Protecting a Unique Heritage,” stating “Our Position: The Little Salt Spring greenway corridor deserves serious consideration.” The editorial was followed by an article by FLSS President and guest columnist Lawry Reid that appeared in the North Port Sun February 1, 2017, “Preserving Green Corridor Near Little Salt Spring.”

From the FLSS web site: http://www.friendsoflittlesaltspring.com/wildlifecorridor.html
“The goal of the initiative is to preserve the approx .5 mile natural corridor that connects the Myakkahatchee Creek with the Little Salt Spring Archaeological and Ecological Preserve. This last remaining natural corridor is threatened by development that would further fragment the Little Salt Spring Archaeological and Ecological Preserve from Myakkahatchee Creek; effectively isolating this sensitive property and disconnecting it from abutting native habitats that also serve as critical pathways for naturally occurring wildlife species inhabiting the region extending from the creek to the spring.” “This initiative would extend the conservation corridor from Myakkahatchee Creek, just south of Butler Park, north, through approx +/- 6 acres of private vacant land and approximately +/- 60 acres of vacant wooded land owned by the Sarasota County School Board abutting the 112-acre Little Salt Spring Archaeological and Ecological Preserve.” The plan would require the acquisition of private land (35 lots owned by two owners) and a conservation easement of all or a portion of the vacant School Board, Heron Creek Middle School woods property. The road design and pending construction of the Spring Haven Drive extension would also need to take this vital natural corridor into consideration.

Once preserved, this Natural Corridor would:
● Be compatible with and complement the City of North Port Myakkahatchee Creek Greenway Master Plan;
● Preserve the last remaining wildlife corridor connecting the Myakkahatchee Creek environmental preserve to the Little Salt Spring environmental preserve, crossing the proposed Spring Haven Drive road extension;
● Expand passive nature trails from Butler Park into six or more additional acres;
● Provide ecological educational opportunities in the form of a living laboratory for the students of Glenallen Elementary School, North Port High School, and Heron Creek Middle School;
● Prevent further fragmentation of a critical ecosystem (Little Salt Spring) and provide a buffer for a relic ecosystem surrounding the spring, which has survived through natural succession from the late Pleistocene (ending 11,000 BP) through the Holocene era (11,000 BP to present). This is one of the most significant natural and cultural resources in the Southeastern United States.

ANNUAL MEETING TO BE HELD APRIL 11

The Annual Meeting and voting in of new officers and directors will be held at the beginning of our April 11 meeting.

Regarding Officers and Directors, Our ByLaws state; The Society shall be governed by an executive board, herein referred to as the “Board”. The Board shall be comprised of the officers and not less than 6 directors. One of the Board directors shall be a professional archaeologist and not subject to term limitations. The Officers shall be the following: President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Directors shall be elected for a staggered three-year term. President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary shall be elected for a term of two years. If after the term of an officer is completed and the nominating committee cannot find a suitable candidate for the position, the officer may be re-elected for a one-year term.

The 2017 slate of officers and directors are:

Officers:
President, Steve Koski (re-elect one year);
Vice President, Linda Elligott (second year of three-year term);
Secretary, Hilda Boron (re-elect one year);
Kate Cattran (re-elect one year)

Directors:
Rita Bass (second year of two-year term);
Judie Bauer (second year of two-year term);
Jack Bauer (second year of two-year term);
Loraine Hawkins (re-elect one year);
Rik Jimison (new nominee)
Linda Massey, Membership Secretary (re-elect one year);
Carol Myers (re-elect one year);
Betty Nugent (re-elect one year);
Judith Ribarick (second year of two-year term);
Joan San Lwin (new nominee);
and George Haag, Honorary