Site Announced for Tourism Cares Project in March
October 17, 2011
Tourism Cares is proud to announce Pensacola, Fla., as the site of the 2012 Tourism Cares for America volunteer project on March 29 and 30, 2012. Pensacola, America’s first settlement and home to the Blue Angels, is a city rich with history and heritage. Tourism Cares volunteers will help in two different and equally important projects.
The historic Pensacola Lighthouse, located at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, has towered over Pensacola Bay since 1858 and is still in use today. The Pensacola Lighthouse Association is solely responsible for the maintenance and public tour operations of the property. Proper conservation and repair of this 1859 structure is vital, and that’s where our volunteers come in!
As with any historic structure, but especially in a coastal environment, the elements play havoc with the facilities. We’ll take on extensive painting projects of the building’s exterior and interior. We’ll also tackle several landscaping and parking lot upgrades that are needed to accommodate the flow of visitors. There is a mile-long nature trail we will blaze and mulch so that guests can experience the full effect of old Florida in its natural pristine state. It’s hoped that the amazing lighthouse and grounds will create an exceptional guest experience-and an appreciation for the site’s history.
Volunteers will also have the opportunity to participate in the conservation of Pensacola Bay. We will install native, wetland vegetation and nearshore oyster reefs along 1,500 feet of shoreline on Bayou Texar. Restored vegetation and oyster reefs will provide habitat for marine and terrestrial organisms, serve as a buffer between land and water to stabilize the shoreline, and serve as a natural filtration system for runoff and potential pollutants.
Volunteers are critical in aiding in the completion of this restoration. Primary volunteer duties will include removal of invasive species, planting of native wetland vegetation, bagging recycled oyster shells and construction of oyster reefs.