Clean up to result in Christmas trees, biofuel
By Jessica Tuggle
SEBASTIAN -- Scrub jays, Christmas and clean energy don't normally go together in a conversation, except when you're talking with Jane Schnee of Sebastian.
Ms. Schnee owns a 10-acre parcel on Barber Street in Sebastian, about half a mile west of U.S. 1, across from Park Place. Her property is home to endangered scrub jays.
Volunteers are needed to help improve the scrub jay habitat for the birds by cutting down surplus sand and slash pines.
The pine needles dropped from the pine trees cover the soft, white "sugar" sand scrub jays use to hide food for the winter, Ms. Schnee said.
The trees also have a tendency to grow very tall, more than 8 feet, giving scrub jay predators, such as hawks, a better perch to swoop down and grab them, she said.
There are two options for the trees once they are cut down: they can be used as small Christmas trees or they can be gathered at a central area and given to the Indian River BioEnergy Center in Vero Beach to be used to generate electricity and fuel, Ms. Schnee said.
"We have lots of trees to get rid of and want to work until they're gone," Ms. Schnee said.
Ms. Schnee and others will be on the property working to remove the trees from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 23 through Nov. 25, Nov. 30 through Dec. 2, Dec. 7 through Dec. 9 and Dec. 14 through Dec. 16.
Volunteers with saws would be very helpful.
"The scrub hays and I would really appreciate any help you can give us," Ms. Schnee said.
For more information, contact Ms. Schnee at (772) 589-3201.