This past weekend, junior friend of the Land Trust, Ben Arnold, hosted a trail maintenance project for the North Florida Land Trust on Pescatello Island. The Island, owned by NFLT since 2005, and named in honor of the late John Pescatello, Director of Protection for the Nature Conservancy, is a pristine coastal hammock upland in the Intracoastal Waterway located near the Pumpkin Hill Preserve.
Ben will be celebrating his Bar Mitzvah in June, and for his Mitzvah project of service he wanted to complete a project for the North Florida Land Trust. Last Sunday, Ben and six of his close friends came out with enthusiasm to clear the trail so visitors can easily hike through the thicket of saw palmetto, oak, red cedar, and pine ecosystem that encompasses the Island. The project also happened to be near Ben’s birthday so a celebration birthday picnic was held after our hard work.
To get to Pescatello Island, Kayak Amelia offered their kayaks and expert guidance to lead us from Bogey Creek boat launch through the winding marsh to our destination. Ben and his friends loved the kayak trip to the Island, during which we saw dolphins swim by in the perfect lake-like high tide amid the marsh. Cris and Buddy, our Kayak Amelia guides, were very helpful and came along the trail to help us clear the way.
The day was a true island adventure and a testament to the natural beauty in Northeast Florida. We saw an Osprey nest along the trail, breathtaking marsh views, and enjoyed the sparkling sun through the leaves on that crisp spring Sunday in May.
We would like to thank Ben for his service to the Land Trust, and for bringing us all out to the Island to explore and appreciate the wild beauty of North Florida.