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Date of Issue: February 13, 2008

Parks committee readies seminar

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Putting up a playground
A "tiny tot" play lot comes together near the skateboard park near Marina Drive in Holmes Beach. The lot will likely be opened when city and school officials gather to dedicate the skate park to the late HBPD Office Pete Lannon. Islander Photo: Lisa Neff

The Holmes Beach Parks and Beautification Committee finalized last week the timing, the equipment, the duties and the title for the group’s annual seminar.

The program, moderated by committee member Kathy King, will be presented at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, at Holmes Beach City Hall. The title will be “Irrigation and Florida Yards” and was selected with the hope of informing residents about how to incorporate conservation practices into landscaping.

Panelists will include committee members Melissa Snyder, Fred Heger and Maureen Hirthler - all master gardens.

Snyder will deliver a 30-minute presentation on the nine principles of creating Florida-friendly yards - right plant for the right place, water efficiently, fertilize appropriately, mulch, attract wildlife, manage yard pests responsibly, recycle, reduce storm water runoff and protect the waterfront.

Hirthler will deliver a 10-minute presentation on how she improved the irrigation system at her Holmes Beach home.

Snyder and Hirthler will join Heger at the end of the program on a question-and-answer panel.

Jack Tichenor, an extension agent with Manatee County, also will sit on the panel, as well as deliver a 30-minute talk on irrigation.

In other business during the meeting Feb. 7, Commissioner David Zaccagnino, liaison to the committee, informed members that school bus stops cannot be merged with trolley stops under school district rules.

The committee, as it considered where to locate several new trolley shelters this year, had suggested working with the school district to move school bus stops to trolley shelters.

Zaccagnino said school district officials frown on such for safety reasons.

The committee briefly discussed work at the Anna Maria Island Butterfly Park adjacent to city hall and members agreed that the garden, damaged last year by tree roots and tree-trimming, is on the mend.

Committee members also agreed to focus on improving islands at Manatee Avenue and East Bay and on Marina and Gulf drives. For example, for the National Arbor Day celebration April 25, committee members want to plant two palms on an island in the 5500 block of Marina Drive.

The parks and beautification committee’s next meeting will be at 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, at city hall, 5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.