News Briefs: Y expansion; prescribed burns

Marco Eagle

Expansion kicks off at Marco YMCA; $750,000 project should be completed by November

Following intensive fundraising, phase one of the Greater Marco Family YMCA’s expansion program is underway.

When completed, this phase will feature larger free-weight and spin areas, extra room for strength-training machines, a larger lobby and additional office and program space.

The area will eventually house a much bigger fitness center and lobby, as well as sections for cardiac rehab and community programs.

Completion is expected to be around November.

Construction on a $750,000 expansion project is underway at the Greater Family Marco YMCA.

Prescribed Burns Planned Near Keewaydin Island

Resource management staff at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve have released plans for a prescribed burn on spoil islands near Keewaydin Island Aug. 12-15.

Prescribed fires will commence each day around 9 a.m., as weather permits. The fire or smoke will likely be visible by boaters along the channel from Gordon Pass and Marco Island and in nearshore waters, but should not impede navigation. Residents in the adjacent areas will see and possibly smell smoke.

Rookery Bay Reserve staff coordinate burns with the Florida Forest Service and work with partnering land managers and local fire departments to get the job done safely and efficiently. Fire personnel will contact visitors in the area to ensure their safety while traveling near activity areas and will carefully monitor the fire throughout the day until it extinguishes.

"The main purpose of these burns is to reduce fuel loads and manage wildlife habitat," said Rookery Bay Reserve Resource Management Coordinator Jeff Carter. "Prescribed burns also help to increase ecosystem diversity while assisting in invasive plant control."

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U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Marco Island supports 9th annual ‘Feds Feed Families’

On Aug. 19, the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCGAux), Flotilla 95, Marco Island, in conjunction with “Our Daily Bread” food pantry will participate in the 9th Annual “Feds Feed Families.” The event will take place from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., in front of West Marine, in the Marco Town Center Mall, 1017 N. Collier Boulevard, Marco Island

Feds Feed Families is a government-wide effort, launched in June 2009, and led by the Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO) Council, and is a voluntary effort supported by federal employees across the country who take time outside of their workday to collect and donate food and help food banks and pantries stay stocked during summer months when they traditionally see a decrease in donations and an increase in need.

Items needed include canned goods, non-perishable food items, paper goods, and baby and personal hygiene items. All items collected will remain within the local community. In addition, “Our Daily Bread” will accept donations at their pantry located at the Family Church, 1450 Winterberry, Drive, Marco Island.