Open Space Restoration combines nature with fiction, so to get the most out of each writing here is a brief trackline: this is non-fiction
Last January a protest was staged at the entrance of Barley Barber Swamp in Martin County Florida. Barley Barber is currently under the stewardship of Florida Power and Light. The Protest was held to ask FPL to re-open the swamp for public use and for FPL to provide adequate and unbiased proof as to the condition of the swamp. According to some environmentalist groups several of the bald cypress trees in Barley Barber are over a thousand years old. They are among the oldest in Florida and the entire southeast region. The swamp was open to the public until 9/11 and homeland security concerns. The swamp is scheduled to re-open sometime in 2010, however at the time of this post there is no scheduled opening date. The photos used below are not of Barley Barber Swamp and were taken in Palm Beach Gardens Florida. The photo of the sign was from Flickr and uploaded to Flickr by Everglades Earth First.
One thing for sure, if you need to pay your FPL power bill there are many ways you can accomplish the task, via phone, computer, or payment center.
However, finding anyone to give any information at FPL on Barley Barber Swamp Re-opening is close to impossible.
Finally, one phone call to the State of Florida Public Service Commission, (PSC Inquiry #909892c a.k.a. when will FPL open Barley Barber in 2010?) helped to pierce the FPL information matrix and resulted in a call from FPL. FPL stated no date yet, check back next month. Budget constraints and weak economy were cited as reasons for the delay.
So again, an appeal to our friends at FPL on behalf of the swamp.
Just show us pictures or open it up for a weekend open house. At the very least let a news station go through with a camera and an independent scientist to report back the condition of the swamp.
Interestingly the below article appeared in TCpalm in the fall of 2009.
Eco photo tours’ offered in October, Martin parks officials say
September 11th, 2009 by TCPalm.com
MARTIN COUNTY — The Martin County Parks and Recreation Department is launching a new environmentally focused outdoor recreation program for all ages.
Veteran photographer, Kevin Boldenow is leading the newest eco-style adventure throughout Martin County’s most beautiful landscapes. The “eco photo tours” will be a serious of photography instruction at different locations throughout Martin County for both novice and experienced photographers, county officials said in a news release.
Boldenow and the parks department are launching the first series of tours in October. They plan to continue a schedule throughout the year.
“We are continually searching for eco-friendly and environmentally focused activities. Martin County has several unique, naturally pristine landscapes that are perfect venues for active citizens to discover rural, untouched areas. Many citizens don’t realize what is here in their back yards,” said Richard Blankenship, director of the Parks and Recreation Department, in the news release.
“There are rural parks and trails right around the corner like Halpatiokee Regional Park, Barley Barber Swamp, Allapattah Flats and Phipps Park that create perfect opportunities to experience and photograph nature and Florida wildlife,” he said.
Release your inner Tarzan or Trapper Nelson; join the Martin County Parks and Recreation Department for Eco Photo Tours across rustic Martin County. Tours begin at 8 a.m. and end at 10 a.m. The cost is $25 per person per tour.
SCHEDULE, MORE INFORMATION
The October schedule is as follows:
Oct. 3 at Jonathon Dickinson State Park
Oct. 10 at Hobe Sound Nature Center
Oct. 17 at Halpatiokee Regional Park
For more information or to register for the Eco Photo Tours, call 772-221-1418.
Although Barley Barber was listed in the above article, the swamp is not available for showing at this time according to Eco Photo Tours.
Final Note: If FPL cannot afford to open Barley Barber Swamp, then FPL should allow the public the opportunity to volunteer time in restoration, rebuilding, or fund raising.