Photography by Alice Mary Herden
Theresa Weglarz is an avid hiker and has lived in Hernando County for over 30 years. On Jan. 26,, 2018 she created a social media group called Friends of Weeki Wachee (Weekiwachee) Preserve.
“I heard about the preserve and wanted to hike there,” Weglarz said. With frequent visits she realized how beautiful this preserve is as well as a pristine location in Hernando County. “This place is incredible,” she remarked.
The social media group is open to anyone that would like to join and for those who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, walking and even fishing at the preserve. This group also shares stories about their visits and photographs taken of the scenic landscapes and the amazing wildlife.
After noticing members posting comments about the trash that was being left behind from previous visitors, Weglarz organized a group cleanup on July 3, 2018.
“I didn’t know there was such a need until they posted and I am really glad they did,” Raelene Souza-Wentz said. “It’s the (right) thing to do.”
Paola Vinje, secretary for the Spring Hill Nature Coast Lions Club, brought along her children, Hunter (3) Kymmie (12), to help with the clean-up.
“We have thought of trying to do some environmental community activities, and this (post) showed up to be a big opportunity,” Vinje said. Vinje hopes to coordinate future cleanups with Weglarz and the Spring Hill Nature Coast Lions Club.
The Weekiwachee Preserve offers over 11000 acres for many local residents to enjoy and is also a continual battle to keep “hot spots” clear of litter.
“We can be better at this; if you lead by example then people get the hint,” Weglarz said.
Friends of Weeki Wachee (Weekiwachee) Preserve : https://www.facebook.com/groups/friendsofweekiwachee/
Weekiwachee Preserve: https://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/weekiwachee-preserve