With the growing concern about the high level of excess nutrients in our waterways, START is launching the Neighborhood Nutrient Watch (NNW) Program. The initial effort was inaugurated on Saturday, November 2nd via a partnership with Sarasota County’s Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Team (NEST) and the initiative of the Las Palmas neighborhood. Looking to help restore the aesthetic beauty and water quality of their stormwater ponds, the Las Palmas neighborhood volunteers shown above, under the leadership of Community President Elizabeth Pickett Gray contacted Sarasota County’s NEST Program for guidance. The consultation led to Mollie Holland from NEST contacting START to help fund the cost of the vegetation that would be planted around the ponds to reduce the inflow of unwanted nutrients from grass clippings and fertilizer. Some of the nutrient-reducing vegetation planted by the Las Palmas volunteers included Duck Potato, Three Square Bullrush, Pickerel Weed and Cana. The program was considered an enjoyable and worthwhile project by the participating volunteers and START looks to feature other Neighborhood Nutrient Watch projects in future editions of our monthly E-Newsletters.