Russ Johnson is the Indispensable Knight of the Reserve. Besides doing triple duty for Friends of the Carlton as Secretary, Treasurer and main supporter, he has been repeatedly recognized as “Volunteer of the Year” for his dedication to community service. For years he has been a loyal worker for groups like ours--VABI (Venice Area Beautification, Inc.), Lemon Bay Playhouse, and Shamrock Park. He has been seen on many sensitive lands with his infamous gang-- the pepper patrol--removing exotic invasive plants or setting out acres of native plants as part of a restoration project. Russ worked tirelessly on the 12 stall pole barn and WindySawgrass Cow Camp restoration and on virtually every project and event we have ever undertaken. From the beginning Russ has been there for us and the lands.
Thank you, Russ.
Debbie Blanco, Natural Resources Land Manager for the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve
Carolyn Brown, General Manager of Parks and Recreation for Sarasota County
Nancy Edmondson, SC Environmental Specialist, with whom Carlton Friends often volunteer on other sensitive lands, brought attention to the dilemma of least terns whose nestlings were falling from the roof of the water treatment plant. The County, with additional funds from local Audubon groups and the Friends of the Carlton, built fencing around the roof perimeter to protect this rare species.