Pinellas indian mound restored

06/27/08 Doris Norrito
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday



Thanks to community action and University of South Florida archaeologists and anthropology students, a state treasure built by some of Pinellas County’s earliest residents, the Tocobaga Indians, is being assured of its legacy.

The Pinellas Mound is an ancient Native American temple mound built over a thousand years ago. This morning community leaders, archaeologists and anthropology students, neighbors and friends took the final step in protecting the site by planting native Florida plants.

Jerry Lembke, treasurer of the Civic Association was shoveling mulch onto the site. In the past, extensive damage was done. Asked what steps are being taken now to ensure prevention of further deterioration, Ray Wonderlich, president of the Third of the Florida Native Plant Society, explained the importance of the plantings.

More than two dozen people pitched in to help. The Pinellas Mound is nestled in a quiet community off Pinellas Point Drive. Last year, the Greater Pinellas Point Civic Association began its drive to save the mound.

Civic Association president Claude Jenet said efforts were long and plagued by bureaucracy but progress to restore both dignity and nature to the site have paid off. It took the combined cooperation of State archaeologists, The Native Information exchange, the local civic association and concerned neighborhood residents to accomplish the task. Photo: Rylee Brooke, 7, finds shell once used as a tool by early mound inhabitants.

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