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Bay Guardians Plant 1,000 Plants at Neal Preserve

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SARASOTA, FL - A group of 101 volunteers with the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program Bay Guardians planted 1,000 native plants at Neal Preserve Saturday, October 15. Students from L.R. Johnson Middle School of International Studies, King Middle School, and Cub Scouts Pack 22 participated. The morning outing was supported by site managers with Manatee County Natural Resources Department and guides with Around the Bend Nature Tours. A prior Bay Guardian volunteer event in late March removed invasive plants. Neal Preserve is the newest preserve maintained by Manatee County's Natural Resources. The preserve was purchased in 2005; the site is notable for its natural beauty and archaeological significance related to early Native American tribes. Neal Preserve is expected to open in 2012. SBEP provided funding to support design plans. The Sarasota Bay Guardians is a family-friendly volunteer program that SBEP manages in partnership with Around the Bend Nature Tours. The program was established to attract volunteers interested in helping restore Sarasota Bay's habitat. The program is a fun way to volunteer while learning more about the Bay. New volunteers receive a t-shirt featuring the Bay Guardians logo. Groups can learn more at