On December 6, The Friends celebrated 2019 achievements and future initiatives at its annual reception and membership meeting. The evening kicked off with members enjoying delicious “delectables”  from Delectables Fine Catering.

Yum. Delectables provides a terrific start to the evening.

Following the reception, the annual meeting introduced a sneak preview of a professionally produced video celebrating Weedon Island’s history and habitat. Currently in production, the video will, as the saying goes, soon be seen on screens everywhere :).

Next committee chairs reviewed 2019 programs and initiatives:

  • 39% increase in membership,
  • Steadily increasing gift shop sales,
  • Full day field trips for nearly 1,000 students from the County’s Title 1 schools,
  • 35 scholarships awarded for Weedon’s summer camps,
  • Alternate monthly paddle and lunch field trips for the Weedon Warriors from Bay Pines Veterans Recreation Therapy program,
  • Center programming for outside speakers,
  • Annual Weedon volunteer breakfast,
  • Production of Gulf Islanders: The Story of Weedon Island, a video to be completed in the first quarter of 2020 to be used as an introduction to the Preserve to Center visitors, on social media, and in community outreach programs.

Hmm, the beverage of choice will be?????

While continuing on-going programs, Friends 2020 new initiatives include the development of a comprehensive update to Preserve signage on the trails, Weedon Drive, and at the Center. Once developed and approved by the County, Friends and the County will share in funding the new and updated signs.

Friends has also expanded its investment in Center programming to include more authors with regional and state recognition and, in January, will be testing interest in Sunday programming at the Center by funding a music quartet from St. Pete’s Classical Revolution. Finally, the Friends will continue and increase its advocacy for the Preserve, with a focus on additional staffing.

Buddies, always.

Do you love Weedon Island and appreciate the many opportunities that the Preserve offers residents and visitors to experience Florida’s natural environment and support its rich