Sebastian nature group needs more members or face nonexistence

SEBASTIAN – The Sebastian Natural Resources Board is taking the next two months off for summer in an effort to help recruit more members.

The group of five is two members short of a full board and doesn’t have any alternates to fill in when not enough members show up.

Chair Robin Graves brought up the issue under the “Member Matters” portion of the agenda.

“We need to get more members or we’re not going to matter,” she said. “We need some new blood.”

“New ideas,” fellow member Albert Alvarez said.

The board was formed in July 2007 with the plan to have seven board members and two alternates. For some time now, the board has had just five members and no alternates.

There have been times when not enough board members were present, so while discussion was held – no action could be taken.

“It’s an issue,” said Donna Cyr, the clerk for the board, of getting new people interested in the board.

She told the group that the city advertises openings on the board, posts the openings at City Hall and lists the openings on the city’s website – yet no one new steps forward.

The only requirement to be a member of the Natural Resources Board is to be a resident within Sebastian’s city limits.

“Environmentally proactive” would be a good trait to have, Graves said.

“There’s very few and far between,” member Tara Howe said of such people.

Jane Schnee, a board member, recommended they individually meet with other nature-minded groups and put a call-out for members. The challenge, she said, would be that many of such groups take the summers off.

“If we don’t have the membership, we might not be a board,” Graves said.

The Natural Resources Board coordinates clean-ups of the spoil islands, participates in other such clean-ups throughout the year, organizes the Earth/Arbor Day events and manages the Champion Tree program, among other activities.

Anyone interested in joining the Natural Resources Board is encouraged to contact Sebastian City Clerk Sally Maio for an application. Call (772) 388-8214 or click HERE.

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