Non Profit Spotlight: The featured organization for September is the St. Petersburg Audubon Society whose mission is to promote and provide environmental education and, through responsible activism, protect, restore and preserve natural ecosystems for both people and wildlife.
Protecting waterbird populations has been part of Audubon’s mission even before the official establishment of the National Audubon Society. Outrage over the slaughter of millions of waterbirds, particularly egrets and other waders, for the millenary trade led to the foundation of the Massachusetts Audubon Society in 1896. By 1898, state-level Audubon Societies had been established in Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, Illinois, Maine, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Minnesota, Texas, and California. In 1900 the Florida Audubon Society (FAS) was formed in Maitland, Florida. And in 1909 Ms. Katherine Bell Tippets founded the Florida Audubon Society for the Protection of Birds, later renamed the St. Petersburg Audubon Society.
The National Audubon’s momentum continued to build in the first years of the 20th century. Its members successfully pushed for the passing of the Lacey Act (in 1900), an important piece of bird conservation legislation that effectively stalled the millinery trade and brought many species of waterbirds under protection. In 1901, state-level Audubon groups joined together in a loose national organization, which helped to establish the first National Wildlife Refuge in the U.S. – Pelican Island, in Florida, in 1903 and facilitated the hiring of wardens to protect waterbird breeding areas in several states. In 1905, the National Audubon Society was founded, with the protection of gulls, terns, egrets, herons, and other waterbirds high on its conservation priority list. In 1918, President Wilson signed the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), which remains to this day one of the strongest laws protecting wild North American birds. Shortly after the passage of the MBTA, Audubon established its first system of waterbird sanctuaries in seven states along the eastern coast of the U.S., and thus initiated the implementation of large-scale, scientifically-based waterbird conservation efforts. Audubon has continued to persevere in efforts to conserve and restore waterbirds and their habitats, through science-based goals and on-the-ground practices
Meeting Dates and Location: Commencing this month the St. Petersburg Audubon meetings will be at the Sunshine Multi-Service Center, located at 330 – 5th Street N., St. Petersburg, 33701. The new meeting day will be the fourth Tuesday of the month. Hospitality starts at 6:30 p.m. and program start time at 7:00 p.m.
Upcoming Field Trips:
- September 14th & 21st: Tour & Bird Pinellas County Solid Waste Operations Area – Highest Point in Pinellas County
- September 28th: Fort DeSoto County Park in Tierra Verde
For information on Membership, Meetings, Tours and Programs visit: stpeteaudubon.org
Featured Neighborhood: Venetian Isles…… A Deed Restricted Community
Venetian Isles is an upscale waterfront community consisting of 533 home sites. With its deep water canals, the area is great for power or sail boats of any size. It consists of a group of man-made islands located in Tampa Bay and reached by bridges, via Overlook Drive, Grand Canal Boulevard and Mermaid Point. The neighborhood with both young and old, contains professional people, executives, business owners, military personnel and retirees. The location is a favorite of those working in both St. Petersburg and Tampa because of the stress free drive to most business locations. Bus service is available to all public schools, with three private schools within one mile and a nursery/pre-school within a few blocks. Excellent public bus service is also available to all locations in the greater Tampa Bay area.
History and Architecture: Since Venetian Isles is a deed restricted community, the homes were all built to comply with the following: minimum size living areas, concrete block construction with tile roofs, on minimum lot sizes, no fences except chain link and all homes had to have sodded lawn yards. Sibley Homes, Tessier Homes and Rutenberg Homes were the builders of all the homes. The first homes were sold in 1967 for $28,000 to $40,000, including lot, dock and fully landscaped yard. Most lots were sold by 1975, when, by that time, the homes were built for $50,000 to $60,000, including lot and dock, landscaping, etc. Because of the rapidly increasing value of waterfront property during the 1970s and 1980s, most of the homes have or are undergoing remodeling, or extensive rebuilding, with Mediterranean style architecture. Home values now range from $170,000 to $1.5 million with many homes in the $225,000 to $250,000 price range.
Organizations & Programs: Venetian Island Homeowners Association is chartered to enhance and preserve the beauty of Venetian Isles and its property values by enforcing deed restrictions while providing a pleasant, social life for the residents. As such, it has a committee to manage and maintain the deed restrictions, publishes a monthly newsletter and a yearly directory of all residents. Dues are currently $30 per year. The Association provides many amenities for its residents such as:
- Hospitality committee
- Beautification committee to preserve and enhance the entrance and flower bed area,
- Dredging and seawall committee to protect the waterways and insure they are navigable by even the largest of boats
- Crime watch program
- Garden club
- Card” club
- Yearly Oktoberfest
- Dolphin Cruising/Sailing Club.
If you are interested in buying or selling a home in this affordable community, you can reach me at 727-686-2859 or visit my website at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ll be waiting!