Improving Duette Preserve
By: Kyle Grammatica
Duette Preserve in Manatee County is a wild Florida paradise. Home to the headwaters of the Myakka River, it hosts weekend hunts and boasts a magnificent population of deer, turkey, quail, and an increasing number of Florida scrub-jays. But the 21,000-acre preserve also required rejuvenation, namely seeding to build up the native groundcover wildlife forages on and a new archery range.
Thanks to a $28,000 grant from our Foundation, Manatee County has been able to undertake these renovation plans. With our funding, they purchased a new Grasslander seeder alongside native seeds. This allowed the county to plant over 700 lbs. of seed in the restoration area, providing food and cover for deer, turkey, and quail. Seed was also collected onsite and used to start a nursery, ensuring that the preserve is ready to plant more in the future. The new seeder and nursery will restore 10 acres of groundcover each year. The archery range was completed in September 2020 and new equipment was purchased for the other ranges. With the additions, the preserve’s archery hunts were completely sold out for the first time!
Preserving wildlife habitats and promoting outdoor recreation are two of our greatest passions. If you share our love of the outdoors, show it off by purchasing our deer license plate. Each plate purchase helps us fund projects like this one. Get yours online now!
Photo by George Quittner