Botanical garden hosts bird events
The Florida Keys Audubon Society and the Wildlife Refuge Center join the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden for the 14th Annual Florida Keys Birding & Wildlife Festival Sept. 28-29.
The botanical garden on Stock Island will host guided birding and garden tours at 10 a.m. Sept. 28 and 29. The garden also will host a butterfly tour given by the Miami chapter of the North American Butterfly Association at 2 p.m. Sept. 29. That evening, there will be a wine and cheese social followed by a presentation about "Capturing Birds and Wildlife Through the Lens" by award-winning nature photographers Dick Fortune and Sara Lopez at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 29.
Volunteers needed for clean-up
Fury Water Adventures is seeking volunteers to help with a beach and mangrove cleanup of Boca Grande Key from 2:30-6:30 p.m. Oct. 7. This and other refuge islands are an important component of the coral reef ecosystem, providing mangrove habitat for juvenile reef fish, as well as native and migratory birds. Refuge island beaches also provide nesting areas for endangered sea turtles.
Staff from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary will be on hand to discuss the roles and importance of the refuge system and help direct cleanup efforts. This is a free event for the public, space is limited. Soda, water and snacks will be provided. For more information, please call 305-294-8899.
Party benefits animals
The Paws in Paradise Masquerade Ball will take place at 6 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Bait Shack in Marathon. Animal lovers are encouraged to attend in costume or formal wear for an evening that includes dinner, music, dancing, raffles and live auctions. Tickets are $75 per person and are available now. Proceeds will benefit Safe Harbor Animal Rescue of the Keys (SHARK). The organization operates a "no-kill" animal shelter in Marathon and provides animal control services for Monroe County from Mile Marker 16.7 to 70. For more information, or to purchase tickets, contact Catherine Dunn at 305-923-9100.
Tickets are also available at D'Asign Source, 11500 Overseas Hwy., Marathon.
Since assuming operations in 2011, SHARK's mission has been to raise awareness in the community of pet overpopulation, to provide solutions to end the killing of homeless and neglected animals, and ultimately, make the animal shelter in Marathon one of the most progressive shelters in the state. The shelter is located at 10550 Aviation Blvd., Marathon.