Here is ‘my idea’ about turtles and Hillsborough County Parks.
They are 3 ideas, somewhat linked together:
Become a “Turtle Rescue Facility” at all staffed Parks, invite City Parks to join in too… Basics are a sign on the door of all staffed facilities, and some larger plastic containers at every facility, with numbers to call or text. (public brings in turtle, place in bin, text photo to one of our experts, they determine what ELAPP site to take to) - Use this for PR & fundraising I am working on graphics and costing on these signs, but this is near zero of a cost, but will be awesome PR. I also think the large vet firm, Blue Pearl, would sponsor some of this. We would create laminated instruction sheets for staff, with procedures and phone numbers, so no training needed, other than avoid the mouth of a snapping turtle.
Turtle exhibits at parks, starting with Terrapins at Upper Tampa Bay, but perhaps other species and parks in the future – turtles are low-maintenance, high crowd appeal exhibits.
Work with the Friends of Parks for fund-raising to pay for these exhibits (on me)
Hardest to do, and what we need to do now is, the terrapin pond at Upper Tampa Bay as it is a budget issue, because there is some thousands of dollars in cost here. Pond liner, pump, filter & fence/screen probably somewhere under $6,000, then we have a work day with a Pond company (Backyard Ponds volunteered) and install all.
We will need permits from the state, and I can get experts to help us as well. I think we could get a lot of press and attention, and once setup, the cost is minimal.