homepage logo

Editorial | Help preserve Cape Coral’s unique attributes

By Staff | Feb 22, 2024

Cape Coral’s expansive canal system is not the only attribute that makes our city unique among the many in Florida.

Cape Coral also is home to the state’s largest population of burrowing owls, a tiny member of the species which nests in burrows underground.

The Cape is home to than 2,500 burrows with an estimated 1,000 nesting pairs, according to the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife, which will hold its largest event and fundraiser dedicated to the protection of the city’s official bird this weekend.

The 22nd Annual Burrowing Owl Festival — Wildlife & Environmental Expo, put on in conjunction with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, will take place this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Rotary Park.

Activities will include educational programs with a variety of speakers, including Ginnie Pritchett McSpadden of the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam; live animal exhibits; food; access to the park’s butterfly house; silent auctions and bus tours to nearby owl burrows.

Parks and Recreation also will host free activities for children, including face painting and kids crafts.

A donation of $5 per person for those older than 12 is requested.

The celebration also includes a pair of related activities with funds raised to be used to support CCFW’s mission to “preserve and enhance the habitats of protected wildlife species and to educate the community about Cape Coral’s wildlife resources.”

The first is a four-hour photography bus tour in the company of birding experts David and Tammy McQuade and Eary and Jennifer Warren. (Advance reservations are required.)

The other is an online auction featuring a plethora of items valued at a collective $55,000.

Online auction items range from gift certificates to popular eateries to jewelry, books, art, clothing, fishing charters, tours, trips and more.

A major focus of the CCFW is the purchase of land for wildlife habitat through its charitable arm, the Cape Coral Wildlife Trust.

The trust has thus far purchased 69 lots — more than 8 acres — where burrowing owls, and another burrow-living native, the gopher tortoise, reside.

We thank those who donated items to the auctions and the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife for its efforts.

We also suggest considering giving them a helping hand.

Participation in fundraising events like this one not only helps raise money for local causes, it constitutes a major contribution to our community overall because it preserves and fosters the things that make us, as a city, extraordinary.

For more information on the festival and its events, or to access the online auction, visit ccfriendsofwildlife.org.

Breeze editorial