IPJI will be participating in Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 26, 2009, at Jekyll Island State Park. Volunteers will be removing an invasive plant species (tamarisk) from the pond area at Tidelands Nature Center from 9:00 am until 3:00 PM. If you are interested in participating in this event, contact Babs McDonald at mcdonaldbabs@gmail.com.

Press Release by the National Environmental Education Foundation Program on National Public Lands Day:

Record turnouts expected for nation’s largest annual service day on public lands

President’s call for service has helped spark a new generation of volunteers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Organizers of the largest cleanup and fix up of America’s public lands expect to see a historic turnout of volunteers when National Public Lands Day begins on Sept. 26, 2009.  Click to read full press release.

Jekyll will have cleanup
The Brunswick News


Volunteers with the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island hope to do their part to preserve public lands.

On Sept. 26, National Public Lands Day, they will spend much of the day uprooting tamarisk, an invasive plant species that's growing near the pond area at Tidelands Nature Center on Jekyll Island.

The event will mark the first time the organization will be taking part in National Public Lands Day, the largest cleanup and fix up of America's public lands.

Nearly 2,000 service projects have been registered across the county, including Jekyll Island.

"We'll be spending the day removing the plants at the south end of Jekyll," said Babs McDonald, social scientist and chair of the organization. "We felt it would be a good thing to come down here with a small group and do some of the ground work to improve the island."

The shrub's pink and white flowers may not appear threatening, but tamarisk can replace or displace native woody species and its stems can change the landscape. In addition, it's a poor habitat for birds and a poor food resource for aquatic consumers.

McDonald said Jekyll Island has 22 threatened or endangered species, especially on the south end, which is mostly undeveloped and known for migratory song birds.

"That area is particularly environmentally sensitive so it's important we do our part to restore the native effort," she said.

So far, 14 people have signed up to volunteer, including non-residents. They will meet at the public boat ramp at the south end of Jekyll and will be uprooting the plants from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Anyone who wants to lend a hand is welcomed to join the effort.