April 6, 2022
Volunteers Honored for Contributing
Nearly 12,000 Hours!
With an impressive 17 volunteers earning awards for more than 20 years of service, SCCF honored more than 350 individuals at a Volunteer Appreciation Party at the Bailey Homestead Preserve on April 1. Representing ages 6 to 90, many of the volunteers donated time to more than one department at SCCF. Linda Uhler, Gwenda Hiett-Clements, and Tom Uhler, pictured here, were all honored for an amazing 25 years of service. READ MORE
DePaolis Joins SCCF as Environmental Policy Director
On March 28, Matt DePaolis started as SCCF’s new Environmental Policy Director, taking on the critical role that opened up when James Evans became the non-profit’s CEO in January. With a master’s degree in marine biology and a Juris Doctorate with certificates in both environmental and ocean and coastal law from the University of Oregon, DePaolis discovered SCCF while working as a Coastal Policy Analyst Fellow at University of Florida’s Center for Coastal Solutions.
Brooks Offer Challenge Grant to Support Dump Trailer
A $5,000 challenge grant from Ruth and Bill Brooks is spearheading an effort to raise another $10,000 to purchase a dump trailer to clear the way for the construction of the Ruth Brooks Propagation Facility at the Bailey Homestead’s Native Landscapes & Garden Center. It will be used to haul away vegetation debris for off-site incineration by the SCCF habitat management team.
SanCap Community Bank Sponsors Food Truck Alley
For the first time, the Sanibel Captiva Community Bank is sponsoring Food Truck Alley at SCCF’s Beer in the Bushes on Saturday, April 16. Known as the islands’ unofficial end-of-season celebration, Beer in the Bushes features world-class music, craft breweries, and artisan food trucks, attracting attendees from all over Southwest Florida. Tickets are available and are going fast! Be sure to get yours ASAP.
Sanibel's Endemic Rice Rat Remains Elusive
Hidden in the interior grassy wetlands of Sanibel is a small and cryptic mammal found nowhere else. This elusive, bicolored rat—the Sanibel Island rice rat (Oryzomys palustris sanibeli)—is rarely seen by people and continues to survive in small numbers in a once-widespread habitat that has been dwindling during the last half century due to plant succession and other factors. To learn more about these island natives READ MORE.
Celebrate Earth Day by Cleaning Up the Causeway with Coastal Watch!
Celebrate Earth Day by joining Coastal Watch for a beach cleanup on the causeway islands from 9:30-11am on Saturday, April 23.

Volunteers will check in on Causeway B (the island closest to Sanibel) at the covered pavilion on the east side (facing the lighthouse). Gloves and trash buckets will be provided to volunteers. Don't forget to bring your family and friends to help celebrate your Earth Day pride!

Sign up here for the Earth Day Causeway Cleanup or contact SCCF Community Conservation Coordinator Kealy McNeal at kmcneal@sccf.org or 239-472-8585, ext. 2300.
SCCF's Spring Issue of Magazine Arriving Soon
SCCF is excited to announce that the Spring 2022 issue of Connecting You to Nature will be arriving in mailboxes in mid-April. This issue focuses on some of the important research that SCCF departments undertake, with a spotlight on SCCF’s sea turtle monitoring program—the longest, continually running program. The magazine is distributed to island residents, SCCF members, local government officials, and policy makers. We hope you enjoy learning more about the decades-long efforts of SCCF to understand and protect local ecosystems and shape public policy. Thanks to Bailey's General Store and Uhler & Vertich Financial Planners for returning as the co-sponsors of the upcoming spring issue.
FSW Students Gain Hands-On Marine Science Experience
Students from Florida SouthWestern State College gained experiential knowledge of the ecology of our marine environment through a collaborative environmental education outreach program offered by SCCF's Sanibel Sea School and Captiva Cruises. The cultural and natural history of Pine Island Sound was discussed on the cruise with special emphasis given to its importance as an estuary, the mangrove- and seagrass-based food webs, and SCCF’s efforts to monitor and restore these vital habitats. READ MORE
Weekly Nature and Botanical Walks
Lace up your walking shoes for naturalist-guided immersions in nature. Spring is an ideal time to stroll through nature in Southwest Florida. Please join us during one of our regular walks before they come to a close for the season.
Welcome Walkabout: Island Ecology for New Residents
Are you a new property owner on Sanibel or Captiva? Or would you simply like to learn about what makes our islands special? Join SCCF on a walking tour to learn about unique plants and animals, the island’s steeped conservation history, and current challenges in keeping the islands as a sanctuary. The last one for this season is Wednesday, April 13, at 10am. Register here; a $5 donation is suggested.
Weeds ‘n’ Seeds CREW Marsh Trail Walk
Join the final Weeds ‘n’ Seeds walk of the season on Monday, April 11, 9-11am, at CREW Marsh Trail in Immokalee. The tour lasts for two hours and is guided by a knowledgeable leader with expertise in identifying native plants. Pre-registration is required here.
Lindblad Preserve Trail
Participants get an up-close look at the Sanibel Slough and rare plants at 10 am on Tuesday, April 12, and Thursday, April 7 and April 14. No registration is required; a $5 donation is suggested.
Bailey Homestead Preserve Shipley Trail
Join us for a guided walking tour through the natural history of Sanibel and SCCF’s mission of conserving land and preserving water quality. We discuss pioneer life on Sanibel from the perspective of the Bailey family and interesting aspects of nature that we see along the Shipley Trail, ending with a tour of the oldest rooms of the 1895 Bailey homestead. These walks take place each Thursday at 10am through April 28. No registration is required; a $5 donation is suggested.
Do you have a Sanibel wildlife photo to share? Please send it to
info@sccf.org to be featured here in an upcoming issue.
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