Story last updated at 3:26 p.m. Thursday, May 16, 2002

The flora loves you
Dear Editor,

Homer's heart and spirit came through loud and clear Saturday, May 4, at the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and National Estuary Research Reserve's Flora Rescue. After everyone cleaned up tons of accumulated winter debris and litter around Homer, about 100 of you showed up at our new Marine Science Center site to shovel and hack your way through still-frozen ground to rescue hundreds of trees, shrubs and ground cover. With the heavy equipment moving in, many lovely spruce, birch, elderberry, crowberry, trailing raspberry, single delight and mats of lichens found new homes.

I would like to thank the city of Homer Public Works crew for saving a large number of eight to 12-foot spruce to "spruce up" Bishop's Beach Park. Tammy, your guys did great!

I can't say enough about Toby Tyler's expert contribution to the day. Toby was still there when I left at 5 p.m.

How many sore muscles were prevented by the hard, hard work the Triple Nickel Boy Scout Troop did is impossible to calculate. Carrying, digging, bagging and laughing, these boys worked! Scouts, you were awesome!

Thanks also to Harry Day, our traffic cop in the parking lot. Harry is a senior U.S. Environmental Protection Agency employee from Washington, D.C. who comes to Homer as a volunteer for the Shorebird Festival. His knowledge of Alaska birds and his easy way with visitors contributes greatly to our Shorebird Festival's success.

Bob Schulmeister, our head of maintenance at the refuge, rode the bucking Kibota backhoe until the frozen ground defeated the bucket. This is when the Scouts really earned their "atta boys."

What a wonderful feeling we were all left with to see Homer come together to kick off this long-anticipated construction of the new Marine Science Center. Thank you all!

Doug Stuart,

for the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and the National Estuary Research Reserve