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Prescribed burns scheduled in Hernando preserves

News and notes from Hernando County
Hernando County community news
Hernando County community news [ Tara McCarty ]
Published Feb. 18, 2020


Prescribed burns scheduled

The Southwest Florida Water Management District is conducting prescribed burns throughout February and March at Annuteliga Hammock and Weekiwachee Preserve.

The Annuteliga Hammock is east of U.S. 19, north of Centralia Road and south of the county line. Approximately 300 acres will be burned in small, manageable units. Another 400 acres will be burned in the Weekiwachee Preserve, west of U.S. 19 between Spring Hill and Hernando Beach. Some trails may be temporarily closed during the burn events.

The benefits of prescribed fires include reducing overgrown plants, which decreases the risk of catastrophic wildfires; promoting the growth of new, diverse plants; maintaining the character and condition of wildlife habitat and maintaining access for public recreation.

Jazz Society, Audubon scholarships available

The following organizations are accepting applications for scholarships:

• The Hernando Jazz Society’s annual scholarship program will award a top prize of up to $1,000 to students in the ninth through 12th grades. These scholarships are available for private study of instruments or voice lessons. Applications must be submitted by March 15. Applicants must perform a solo with accompaniment. The solo does not have to be in jazz style, and accompaniment can be live or recorded.

Auditions will be held at 1 p.m. March 29 at Temple Beth David, 13158 Antelope St., Spring Hill. Winners will be asked to perform at the May 3 session of the Hernando Jazz Society. For further information and an application, contact Jean Spaulding at (352) 650-9101 or

• The Hernando Audubon will offer the Stephen B. Fickett Memorial Society Scholarship for 2020. The scholarship is for $1,000 and is open to qualified Hernando County high school seniors and students at Pasco-Hernando State College (must be residents of Hernando, east Pasco or south Sumter counties) who are interested in pursuing a career in the environmental sciences. Students who have previously participated in science/conservation/environmental clubs are encouraged to apply. The scholarship will be awarded at the Audubon’s April 23 meeting.

Applicants must submit a transcript documenting a minimum 3.0 grade point average; college or university the student plans to attend or is currently attending; intended field of study; a resume indicating academic achievements and listing of extracurricular activities; and a 250-word essay describing “My Personal Goals and Ambitions to Help Protect Florida’s Natural Environment.”

Applications must be postmarked no later than April 15 and mailed to Hernando Audubon Scholarship Committee, Attention: Tom St. Clair, 4217 Lordings Lane, Weeki Wachee, FL 34607; or emailed to For information, contact St. Clair by email or call (904) 303-0919.

Vote-by-Mail ballot request deadline nears

Vote-by-Mail ballots were sent to more than 29,000 registered Hernando County voters on Feb. 11 for the March 17 Presidential Preference Primary. Additional requests can still be sent to the Hernando County Supervisor of Elections’ website at or by calling (352) 754-4125. The deadline to request a mail ballot is 5 p.m. March 7.

Ballots must be returned through the U.S. Postal Service, or hand-delivered to one of the Supervisor of Elections offices by 7 p.m. on Election Day. Voters are reminded to allow at least five days for ballots to be mailed to ensure on-time delivery. Offices are at 7443 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill; and at 20 N Main St., Room 165, Brooksville.

Education grants available for art teachers

The Hernando County Fine Arts Council is accepting applications for its spring semester Arts in Education grants. Applications must be received no later than Feb. 28. Selected grants will be announced March 6, and projects must be finalized by June 2. The online application is at

The purpose of the grant is to support art educators in delivering and promoting arts experiences for Hernando County students. The maximum grant request is $500, and any certified visual or performing arts teacher in a public or private school in Hernando County may apply. For further information about the grants, contact Barbara Blavatt at (352) 345-8315 or


Church plans annual homecoming

Lake Lindsey United Methodist Church, 22400 Lake Lindsey Road, is planning its annual Homecoming Service at 11 a.m. March 8. This will be a music workshop service to honor the congregation’s past and look forward to the future.

The Gulf Ridge Quartet will perform. The group includes Kelly and Kelvin Looper, who grew up in the church. A covered dish lunch will follow. For further information, call the church at (352) 777-4319.


Swamp Fest now has kids monster contest

Weeki Wachee Swamp Festival organizers have announced the addition of a Kiddie Swamp Monster Contest to its lineup. The contest will be open to children ages 2 to 6, and will be on March 8 during the Swamp Fest at Linda Pedersen Park, 6300 Shoal Line Blvd. The Swamp Fest will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 6 and 7, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 8.

Children in the Kiddie Swamp Monster Contest will be vying for cash prizes of $25 for first place, $15 for second and $10 for third-place winners. All children entering the contest will be given a coloring book made from entries to the Swamp Fest T-shirt design contest. Additional copies will be available for $2 per book. Sign ups for the contest will end at noon March 8, with the contest at 1 p.m.

All contestants will be judged for the creativity of their homemade costumes, amount of effort and having a swamp theme.

The traditional Swamp Monster Contest for all ages will be at noon March 7. Registration will end at 10:30 a.m., and cash prizes will be awarded ($100 for first place, $50 for second and $25 for third).

The Swamp Fest will include arts and craft vendors, a food court, and continuous live entertainment. There will be a kiddie section with free games for children.

For further details, contest rules and to preregister, visit the website at Call (352) 263-3450 or (352) 597-4424.


Methodist men seek flea market vendors

The Methodist Men of SpringLife Church will hold a flea market from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 14 inside the fellowship hall and Lighthouse buildings, as well as on the church grounds, 9344 Spring Hill Drive.

Vendor spaces are available: $25 for indoor slots with one 6-foot table; outdoor handicap parking spots are $25, with no table included; regular parking spots are $15, and also with no table.

This will be a rain-or-shine event. Along with vendors, food will be available for purchase. For details or to reserve a vendor spot, call Herb at (239) 271-9073.

Art group invites new members

The Nature Coast Art League invites all artistic types to join one of the weekly “Create-A-Long” meetings, held from 9 a.m. to noon Mondays at the Lake House, 1202 Kenlake Ave. To learn more, call Carole Babicz at (352) 596-1015.