Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hightower Beach Park Grand Opening (and a skimmer chick update)

Our friend and colleague, Jim Angy, has always been generous in donating his photos to organizations that need them for educational purposes. You'll see Jim's work on everything from Caribbean Conservation Corporation Do Not Disturb door hangers to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge visitor guides. Recently, he donated over 50 photos to the City of Satellite Beach to use in signage for their new Hightower Beach Park. The Park opened on August 1, and Jim and Matt were there. Of course, some of the signage is related to sea turtles, and this photo shows Jim next to a sign featuring his sea turtle photos. These are the photos we use on our sea turtle reference cards distributed by hotels and sea turtle rescue organizations in Brevard County, and Jim and Matt had a stack of the cards to give away at the Park opening, too. Matt got lots of good photos, and I'll develop a slideshow soon, but meanwhile, this will give you an idea of what a great addition to Brevard's beach parks this is. (Click on photo to enlarge)

Matt and Jim were very impressed with the Park - there's 560 feet of boardwalk with educational signage, so the dunes are protected and visitors can learn something on their way to the sand.

Everything reflects the care and thought that went into the design of this Park. There's parking, restrooms, a picnic pavilion, security cameras, and an emergency call box sponsored by the Satellite Beach Women's Club - lots of people and organizations did their part in bringing this idea to fruition. The landscaping is native and beautiful.

Hightower Beach Park is a testament to a public-private partnership and Satellite Beach's commitment to conservation. In 1980, C. E. Hightower, a real estate broker from Ft. Lauderdale, donated the park parcel to the county. A grant from the Florida Communities Trust, an agreement between Satellite Beach and the County, a contribution from the Montecito Community Development District, and a grant from the Federal Land and Water Conservation fund all helped make the Park a reality. Many other companies and organizations and people (like Jim and friend Ed Perry, who contributed his sea-bean photos) helped. Congratulations to everybody involved!

A quick skimmer update from last Thursday (where does the time go). Margie reports: The three original chicks are still there, growing exponentially by the day and running all around. They should be flying in a week or so. A new chick appeared this morning, confirming our belief that there are more nests incubating. Still don't know how many, but it will be fun to see what happens next. I'm back to having to put circles around the tiny chick so you can see it in the photo, but at the rate they grow, I won't have to do that for long. (Click to enlarge Margie's photo)

1 comment:

Caroline said...

I love the boardwalks that parks use to take you through fragile areas. We have been fascinated with ones from the Fakahatchee Strand and Corkscrew Swamp to Red Rock Canyon in Nevada. This looks like a nice one to have close by.