Native Tree Planting Event at the Caloosahatchee Forestry Center - a Success!

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Local Non-Profit and computer business join in the planting!

Kids Circled Around a Tree Being Planted

Dexter Sowell, Caloosahatchee Forestry Center Biologist, shares the proper steps in planting a tree!

The Friends of Florida State Forests native tree planting event was a success held May 14th at the Caloosahatchee Forestry Center in Fort Myers. Techno Brain Group, a computer consulting company which has their Florida office located in Naples, and their worldwide HQ’s in Kenya, Africa, donated the funds to purchase  the 12 trees planted, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County (with seven of their youth) volunteered and assisted in the planting  The species of native trees planted included live oak, paradise tree, bald cypress, dahoon holly, florida red maple, mahogany and wild tamarind. 

“Reaching out to the community is important as we share our message and mission while striving to make Florida’s state forests better for everyone,” said Doug Ott, Friends of Florida State Forests program coordinator.  Techno Brain Group also donated funds in the planting of 15,000 longleaf pine trees at Goethe and Tate’s Hell State Forest last year.  “Techno Brain Foundation, in association with environmental organizations, has planned to plant 50,000 trees over three years,” said Techno Brain CEO, Manoj Shanker. “We have already planted 37,000 trees last year globally, thanks to organizations like the Florida Forest Service that share the same vision as we do.”

Kids with Foresters Standing Around a Tree

Caloosahatchee Forestry Center staff, along with Friends of Florida State Forests Coordinator, join the youth from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County and Techno Brain, Inc. for their contribution on this planting.

Through community partnerships and support, the Friends of Florida State Forests program helps expand outdoor recreation, education and reforestation on Florida’s 37 state forests. Contributions to the program can be made to a specific state forest for reforestation, forest restoration, recreation projects, exotic plant removal, equipment donations and other forest needs. 

“The Florida Forest Service, under the leadership of Director Jim Karels, would like to thank Techno Brain and the Boys & Girls Club of Lee County for supporting this tree planting project. Community partnerships such as this one help us to further the mission of the Florida Forest Service,” said Heather Ferrand, Forestry Resource Administrator for Caloosahatchee Forestry Center.

Kids Planting a Tree

Special Thanks Were Given to Partners by Forestry Staff

From L to R:  Doug Ott, Friends of FL State Forests, is joined by Mike Weston, Clint Cuny (Techno Brain, Inc.), Gidget Pena (Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County, and Chris Schmiege, at the Caloosahatchee Forestry Center in Ft. Myers.  Special thanks were given to these partners that contributed in this planting.

To learn more or to get involved with the Friends of Florida State Forests non-profit program, please visit, or contact the program coordinator at or (850) 294-0381. Membership dues and contributions go directly toward conservation and improvement projects on Florida’s state forests.

More Tree Planting by Kids Under Guidance of Forestry Staff

The Florida Forest Service manages more than one million acres of public forestland while protecting 26 million acres of homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfires. To learn more about Florida Forest Service programs, visit