The ecosystem at Tigertail Beach reminds Linda Colombo of the Circle of Life song. A 10-year resident of Marco, she has been a volunteer with Friends of Tigertail since 1997.
“It’s a beautiful place and when you volunteer, you meet a lot of people with the same interests as you,” Colombo said.
After Hurricane Wilma, Colombo helped resurrect the butterfly garden located along the wooden pathway leading south from the park’s kiosk. She is the chairwoman of the garden and spends most of her volunteer hours weeding and cleaning it up. With funding from Friends of Tigertail, she added new mulch and flowers that naturally attract butterflies.
Colombo retired three years ago and said she became more aware of her surroundings and what needs to be protected. The area has had a lot of controversy and she said the group has been trying to emphasize the good points.
Colombo is a past president of the group and now volunteers about four hours a month. She is a board member and also volunteers at the Tigertail Beach Cleanups. She provides refreshments and snacks at the group’s meetings at Mackle Park during season.
“I like being outside and being involved with something that needs attention from the public,” she said.
Colombo said that people look at the lagoon and think it’s not a good thing. But, she said, if they were to look underneath, they would see the ecosystem.
“We’re trying to give all the information about Tigertail to the younger generation so they’ll appreciate it and protect it,” she said.