Email sent to Largo Recreation Director - Largo Central Park Nature Preserve: Please Keep Open
I am a 60-year-old woman who discovered Largo Central Park Nature Preserve a year ago last June. Since then I have been walking there for my health. I walk 5 miles a day, and 4-5 days a week or more. Sometimes I also bring my disabled roommate along if her pain is not too bad that day.
I enjoy the park very much because it is a passive park without the major recreation programs. It is peaceful and once you move onto the boardwalk among the trees, quiet. I love the park, because I enjoy nature. Most days I have my binoculars with me.
I love seeing the bald eagles, when they are here, the limpkin families, the osprey's families, the moorhen families, the redwing blackbirds, yellow rumped warblers, prairie warblers, magnolia warbler, northern flickers, downy woodpeckers, red bellied woodpeckers, lesser scaup, American coots, great egrets, black crowned night heron, yellow crowned night herons, the wood duck families, little blue herons, green herons, tricolor herons, great blue herons, great horned owl, cooper's hawks, red tailed hawked, one peregrine falcon, pileated woodpeckers, black skimmers, sandhill cranes, roseate spoonbills, wood storks, cormorants, anhingas, Canada geese, muscovy ducks, mottled ducks, black hooded parakeets, monk parakeets, and last October for a couple days, a male Painted Bunting. I don't know what happened to the turkey hen, but I haven't seen her since last January. Maybe the coyote that I saw last October got her. I really consider it a special day when I see the river otters. One day last September I saw 2 otter families in the wide canal at the south end of the Preserve for a grand total of 7.
Just this last Sunday I saw 3 river otters in the canal west of the entrance. I also love seeing the alligators, turtles, snakes, and frogs. I have seen black king snakes, garter snakes, ring necked snakes, and milk snakes. I watched a turtle finish up laying her eggs along the paved trail. The sliders, soft shell, red bellied turtles, and snapping are all interesting to see. The butterflies and dragonflies are just as enjoyable to see. I have seen giant swallowtail, monarch, viceroy, white peacock, painted ladies, zebra longwing butterflies. As for dragon flies, the scarlet skimmers, and roseate skimmers are beautiful. One day this Spring I heard the bats and looked up and the bat house was full. I see eastern cottontails, gray squirrels, armadillos, opossum and raccoon.
Other people I run into along the preserve trails say how much they love the park too, because they never know what they will see there. I hope the Preserve can be kept open. I have read about the arsenic contamination problem, and know that surveying of the pond was maybe finished up last week. So I am going to keep my fingers crossed and think positive.
- Kathy Duncan
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