Over the past year, Sarasota County has been working hard to restore the native landscape at Red Bug Slough Preserve. If you’ve been out there recently, you’ve probably noticed some changes happening on the island in the middle of the slough. Last summer, the team began a large scale mulching effort to remove about 6 acres of non-native Brazilian Pepper trees. These were replaced with native trees and shrubs throughout the island, including plantings of white string lilies, purple prairie irises, pickerelweed, and golden cannas along the shoreline. Just six months after being planted, these new shoreline additions have already started attracting butterflies and wading birds and will help filter stormwater before it reaches Phillippi Creek. 

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This past Sunday and Monday (June 23 and 24th), Sarasota County staff and volunteers went out to begin the last phase of the restoration, planting native shrubs, wildflowers, grasses, and ferns plants on the upland area of the island that was once covered in invasive Brazilian Pepper trees.  

New plantings at Red Bug Slough Preserve marked with white flags.