Hernando County news briefs for March 1

News and notes from Hernando County
Published February 25
Updated February 27


Audubon offering scholarship

The Hernando Audubon Society is offering the Stephen B. Fickett Memorial Society Scholarship for 2019. The scholarship is for $1,500 and is open to qualified Hernando County high school seniors and students at Pasco-Hernando State College who are interested in pursuing a career in the environmental sciences. Students who have previously participated in science/conservation/environmental clubs or other related activities are encouraged to apply.

The scholarship will be presented to the selected candidate at the Audubon's April 25 meeting.

Applications must include transcripts showing a minimum 3.0 GPA, college or university the student plans to attend, intended field of study, a resume indicating academic achievements and extracurricular activities, and a 500-word essay describing: "My Personal Goals and Ambitions to Help Protect Florida's Natural Environment."

Applications must be postmarked no later than April 12 and should be submitted to: Hernando Audubon Scholarship Committee, Attn: Tom St. Clair, 4217 Lordings Lane, Weeki Wachee, FL 34607; or email to gtstclair@louisberger.com. Questions should be directed to Tom St. Clair via email or by calling (904) 303-0919.

Landscaping workshops offered

The Hernando County Florida-Friendly Landscaping program will offer the following classes and workshops:

• Saving Water and Money in Your Landscape, 10:30 a.m. March 7, at the West Hernando/Staffordene T. Foggia Branch Library, 6335 Blackbird Ave., Spring Hill. Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator Lily Browning will discuss how to reduce the amount of water a yard demands, as well as how to save money by utilizing plants and practices that are budget and water-friendly. The class is free. No registration required.

• Pollinator Gardens, 10:30 a.m. March 13, at the Spring Hill/Harold G. Zopp Memorial Library, 9220 Spring Hill Drive. Learn how to protect pollinators by learning which plants attract pollinators to the yard, and how to create a pollinator oasis. The class is free. No registration required.

• Rain Barrel Workshop, 10:30 a.m. March 27, at Hernando County Utilities, 15365 Cortez Blvd., west of Brooksville. The cost for a completed rain barrel is $50. Purchasing a rain barrel is optional. However, workshop attendance is required to purchase a rain barrel. Pre-registration is required. Checks are the only form of payment accepted and must be received by March 26. Checks must be made payable to HCUD and mailed to Hernando County Utilities, 15365 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, FL 34613. Write Rain Barrel Workshop March 27 on the envelope. Utilities customers who attend and install a rain barrel at their home will receive a one-time $25 credit on their water bill. Participants purchasing a rain barrel should bring a vehicle that can accommodate the 55 gallon barrel.

For information on any of the programs, call (352) 540-6230.

People Helping People needs food donations

People Helping People of Hernando County is experiencing great demands for nonperishable food for the homeless and for children participating in the Weekend Blessings backpack program. Clubs, churches and other organizations are asked to help by having food drives for the backpack program, which provides weekend food for school children from low-income families. Backpacks are provided throughout the school year.

People Helping People is a nonprofit organization. For further information, contact Ron Van Matre at (352) 597-6454 or ronvanmatre@aol.com.


Celebrate wildlife at Chinsegut

Chinsegut Conservation Center will host a Wildlife Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 9 on the center grounds, 23212 Lake Lindsey Road, north of Brooksville.

Visitors will meet a variety of wildlife, join special hikes, programs and other activities. Kids can explore animal activities and crafts. Presentations will be given on gopher tortoises, bird banding, pollinators and more. For adults, there will be a birding hike and swamp walk, as well as other programs.

The event is free. For information, call (352) 754-6722.

Meeting to discuss archaeology project

A public meeting on the Chocochatti archaeological project will be at 6:30 p.m. March 6 at Brooksville City Hall, 201 Howell Ave.

Archaeologists from the Gulf Archaeological Research Institute will be available to provide information, stories, artifacts and history to further the understanding of Chocochatti, a Florida historical landmark site.

A two-year archaeological study of this Creek-Seminole village in Brooksville is planned. The project is a collaboration between the Historic Hernando Preservation Society, Gulf Archaeology Research Institute and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

For information, visit hernandopast.org or call (352) 2322-3547.

Blueberry fest set for April 27-28

The annual Brooksville Blueberry Festival will be April 27 and 28 in historic downtown Brooksville.

The two-day event will include more than 125 arts and craft vendors, as well as a variety of food vendors. There will be musical entertainment, a free butterfly encounter, a kids zone, and everything blueberry — pie, beer, soaps, shortcake, wine, honey, cheesecake, breads, fresh blueberries and even blueberry plants. Among the entertainment will be Nuthin' Fancy Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute headlining on April 28 and the Heather Gillis Band on April 28.

The event will have free admission and free parking. For further details or to get involved in this year's event, contact John Lee at (727) 410-0072 or email to johnlee@activefoodservice.com.

Chinsegut Manor to host Easter brunch

Chinsegut Hill Manor Museum and Retreat Center will host an Easter Brunch from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 21 on the grounds at 22495 Chinsegut Hill Road, north of Brooksville.

The event will include a carving station, pasta bar, omelet bar and assorted cheese and fruits at four stations under a grand tent. There will be live music, family games and activities for all ages. An Easter egg roll will be held on the lawn at 1 p.m.

Docents will be on hand to provide guided tours of the historical property. Guests are welcome to bring a chair and relax on the lawn.

The cost is $25 per person. Children younger than 12 may eat free with a paying adult. Desserts and beverages are included in the price. Tickets are limited to 150 guests. Call (352) 799-5400.

Shady Hills

Wine benefit to help Boys and Girls Club

A "Toast to their Future" fundraiser will be from 7 to 9 p.m. March 9 at Strong Tower Vineyard, 17810 Forge Drive.

The event is to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Hernando County. It will include wine and beer tasting, food and live music. Wine will be available to purchase by the glass or bottle. There will be an auction and a 50/50 raffle.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the Westside Unit Boys and Girls Club, 5404 Applegate Drive, Spring Hill. For information, call (352) 666-0068 or visit bgchernando.org.

Spring Hill

Flea market benefits basketball team

Vendor spaces are available for the Springstead High School boys basketball team's flea market that will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 9 in the Springstead Theatre parking lot, 3300 Mariner Blvd. The cost is $10, and includes two parking spaces. Vendors must provide their own tables and chairs.

Additional flea markets will be held March 23, March 30, April 20 and May 4. To sign up or for information, call Greg at (352) 683-3528.

Event celebrates American Legion's 100 years

The American Legion celebrates 100 years on March 15. To celebrate, the Charles E. Murray American Legion Post 186 will host a celebration at 4 p.m. March 16 at the post, 12091 Cortez Blvd. (next to High Point).

There will be a ceremony and presentations, followed by refreshments and entertainment by Marti Carroll.

The community is invited to this free event. To RSVP or for details, contact Commander Steve Tyler at flpost186@hotmail.com.

Coin, currency show set for March 23

The West Hernando Coin Club will host a Coin and Currency Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 23 at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, in the parish hall, 13485 Spring Hill Drive.

The event will include more than 40 tables and more than 20 dealers who will be selling and buying, as well as appraising gold, silver and foreign coins, as well as stamps and collectibles.

Admission and parking is free. Hourly door prizes will be awarded, and food and beverages will be available. For information, call (352) 587-3344 or email to bbandino@tampabay.rr.com.

Crests concert to benefit children's hospital

Two concerts with Tommy Mara and the Crests will be from 3 to 5 p.m. and again from 7 to 9 p.m. March 22 at the Wellington at Seven Hills Clubhouse, 400 Wexford Blvd., off Mariner Boulevard.

Tickets are $25 per person, with all proceeds to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks will be available for purchase. Tables of 10 can be reserved. For information or to purchase tickets, call Chuck Kirst at (352) 688-9146.

AARP chapter hosts events

AARP Chapter 5445 will host the following events in March:

• A Discussion on New Tax Laws will be at noon March 5 at Kally K's, 3383 Commercial Way. Presented by Brian Karahait and Charisse Oiknine with BBVA Compass Bank.

• "What's going on at Bayfront Hospital" presentation, March 13, at Golden Corral, 5300 Commercial Way. The speaker is Bayfront Health Spring Hill CEO Michael Ervin.

For details or to RSVP, call or text to (727) 919-2210.

Contact Phyllis Day at pday@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1408. Follow @pdaytimes.