The Florida Division of Forestry, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Lake County Extension Office encourage the community to take a tour of Tree-Top Lodge, located off County Road 42 bordering the Ocala National Forest, on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 9 a.m.
The tour invites the community to learn more about the Forest Stewardship Program. Forest Stewardship plans develop strategies for achieving unique landowner objectives and sustaining forest health and vigor. Actively managed forests provide timber, wildlife habitat, watershed protection, recreational opportunities and many other benefits for landowners and society. The USDA Forest Service and a Sustainable Forestry Initiative grant provide funding for Florida’s Forest Stewardship Program.
According to the Florida Division of Forestry, Tree-Top Lodge features one of the largest concentrations of sand pines in the world. Ernie and Jo Ann Palmer began purchasing the 80-acre property in 1971. With the help of the Forest Stewardship Program, strategies that were implemented to sustain the unique property included creation of firebreaks, planted food plots, built brush piles to establish wildlife corridors and managed timber.
The free tour will include a walking tour of trails, firebreaks and wildlife corridors. Participants are encouraged to wear appropriate clothing and shoes. A lunch will be served after the tour. Registration for the tour is required. To register, call Martha Thomas with the Lake County Extension Office at (352) 343-4101 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.