President's Message By Maya Burke

As is often said in St. Petersburg, the “sun is shining” on our beloved preserve. Over the past year the City has provided considerable resources toward improving the preserve: acquiring adjacent property to serve as a buffer between Boyd Hill and the Lakewood Estates neighborhood, protecting Boyd Hill for future generations by reclassifying the future land use as “preservation,” beginning necessary and exciting work on a management plan and park utilization plan, allocating significant funding to repair the boardwalk on the Swamp Woodland trail, restoring the preserve’s many Paul Eppling sculptures, and stepping up to welcome public school students from throughout the southern portion of Pinellas county (...whew!).

The strength of our partnership with the City and their renewed support of the preserve has given the Friends of Boyd Hill the confidence and flexibility to focus efforts on building the capacity of our organization and evaluating both how to best serve our membership and support Boyd Hill Nature Preserve. In the time since I was elected to serve as the President of the Friends of Boyd Hill, we have welcomed a whopping seven (!) new directors to our board. We are very fortunate to tap into their energy and fresh perspectives for all that we do. While our recent emphasis has been dedicated to making sure the Friend’s bylaws and operating procedures are up to snuff for the 21st century and establishing a functional committee structure that can sustain the work of the Friends for years to come, we’ve got a lot in store for 2016 and 2017. Keep an eye out as we gear up for our signature event, Raptor Fest, roll out a fundraising campaign for improvements to the educational exhibits, and begin working to provide a new look and feel for the organization with relevant and rewarding membership benefits.

There are many opportunities to volunteer with the Friends of Boyd Hill and enjoy this slice of wilderness situated in Florida’s funkiest little city. Please let us know if there are ways we can put your unique talents to work on behalf of the preserve. Thank you for your continued support of the Friends of Boyd Hill and helping to #KeepStPeteWild! 


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