SEBASTIAN – They have moved in and taken over – gobbling up the sunlight, nutrients in the soil and doing nothing for wildlife.
That’s why they’ve got to go. And on Saturday, the Melaleuca and Brazilian pepper trees will get their eviction notices via the Sebastian Natural Resources Board.
“We would love to have volunteers comes out and help,” said board liaison Margie Reynolds.
Members of the board and area volunteers will gather behind the former Sebastian Public Works compound on westbound County Road 512 west of Louisiana Avenue beginning at 8 a.m.
“Pepper Busting” – as Reynolds calls it – is expected to last a few hours and be wrapped up by noon, if not earlier than that, especially if they get enough volunteers to make quick work of the invasive trees.
She would like to have enough people to break into teams – cutters, haulers and loaders.
“That’s the ultimate goal,” Reynolds said.
The site is a little smaller than a quarter-acre and is considered a minor, isolated wetland. Reynolds said she hopes to improve the quality of the wetland and attract native species back to the site.
“It looks like garbage,” Reynolds said of the site’s current condition.
The wetland serves as a habitat for amphibians, which are a vital part of the food chain, she added.
Anyone interested in helping out with the cleanup Saturday are encouraged to wear rubber boots, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt – clothes they won’t mind getting dirty.
Reynolds said that high school students who need to earn community service hours for scholarships can wrack up hours on Saturday.
Those interested in busting peppers can call Margie Reynolds at (772) 388-8212 or just show up Saturday.