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SWAN FEED DISPENSERS BEING INSTALLED AT TWO LAKE MORTON LOCATIONS


LAKELAND, FL (February 23, 2015) — On Thursday, February 26th those walking around Lake Morton will see a few new additions to the landscape because the City of Lakeland is installing swan feed dispensers to help promote a healthier diet for Lakeland’s swan population.  The swan feed dispensers will be coin operated and the bubblegum type machines will vend veterinarian approved swan feed. One will be installed on the north side of the lake in front of the Chamber of Commerce and the other will be installed on the south side of the lake near Success Avenue.

 

Dr. Patricia Mattson who donates her time as Lakeland’s official swan veterinarian recently shared her report on Lake Morton’s swans after their last annual physical.  Mattson said, “The swans are consuming too much white bread and the heavy gluten diet with very little nutritional value is taking a toll on Lakeland’s swan population.”  She added, “Many of the swans have a calcium deficiency because they feast on bleached white bread.” 

 

Bob Donahay, Director of Parks & Recreation said, “The Lake Morton swans are a community icon and families have been feeding them left-over bread for decades.”  He added, “With the swan feeders, we want to educate visitors so they will know there is a better alternative than white bread.  We hope families will use the swan feed because it is specially formulated to include much needed nutrients that will help the swans stay healthy.”

 

Members from the Parks & Recreation Department who take care of the swans recently visited Lowry Park Zoo to see what type of dispensers they use to distribute animal food and similar types of vending machines were purchased for Lake Morton. The newly installed swan feeders are coin operated and the proceeds from the feeders will be used to offset the annual cost for swan food, healthcare and upkeep.  

 

It costs about $10,000 a year to feed Lakeland’s domestic swans.  Lakeland’s flock was started when Queen Elizabeth of England donated a pair swans and on February 9, 1957 the two white mutes were released on Lake Morton.


LAKELAND SWAN ROUND UP – OCTOBER 22ND

 

LAKELAND, FL (October 21, 2013) -- The City of Lakeland Parks Division will be on Lake Morton at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow, October 22nd h for the 33rd Annual Swan Roundup.  Crews will be catching and herding the swans as the initial part of their annual veterinary check-up.

 

The swans will be confined in large holding pens on the south side of the lake for inoculations and wellness examinations that will start Wednesday morning, October 23rd at 7:30 a.m. with Patricia Mattson, DVM.

 

The Annual Swan Round-Up allows Lakeland's Parks and Recreation Department to closely monitor the health and vitality of Lakeland’s swan population. On Wednesday morning, each swan will be given a wellness examination by veterinarian Patricia Mattson.  They will also be weighed, vaccinated, and given a microchip if necessary so their health can be easily tracked.

 

The original swans on Lake Morton were donated by Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom in 1957.  The swans were first cared for by veterinarian (emeritus) and original "Swanvet" W.G. Gardner.  As Lakeland’s swan flock grew, it became paramount to give the regal birds an annual health check so the Swan Roundup began.  This practice started in 1980 and has continued every year since then.

 

Dr. Mattson has almost 20 years of experience in veterinary medicine.  She the owner of Companion Animal Hospital a full service facility that provides general medical care, preventive medical care, vaccinations, health certificates, caesarean section, diagnostic services, on-site kennel, on-site laboratory testing, flea control, dietary counseling, spay/neuter, declawing, radiology, general surgery, dentistry, emergency services, microchipping, pharmacy services and boarding.

 


The public is invited to attend the unveiling of the eight foot bronze sculpture titled Mute Swan Protecting Her Cygnets that will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 16th at Main Street Overlook Park (Main Street & Massachusetts Avenue overlooking Lake Mirror).  There will be live music from the Brian Sutherland Trio and refreshments.  There will also be a fireworks show at dusk.  Sandra Trattner and Steve Wolfson generously donated the bronze sculpture in honor of their parents Elaine and Wil Wolfson.

 

Steve Wolfson said, “This piece of art tells our family story with the mother swan protecting her young and where it will stand is near the place where my grandfather stood when he first came to Lakeland in 1909.”  He added, “My sister and I are grateful to dedicate the sculpture in honor of our mom and dad.  Although we don’t live in Lakeland, the City has been such a huge part of our lives.”

 

The Wolfson family has a rich history that starts in Europe with Cy Wolfson emigrating from Russia to Ellis Island, NY and eventually settling in Lakeland as an early pioneer.  He became one of the very first retail shop owners in downtown. In the 1920’s Cy and Frances Wolfson owned and operated the Famous Department Store on the south side of Munn Park. Wil is one of the four Wolfson children who grew up in Lakeland.  He attended the University of Florida Pharmacy School and served his country during WWII.  Wil married Elaine in 1946 and they had two children Sandra and Steve Wolfson.  Wil opened his first Lakeland pharmacy in 1953.

 

As a way of honoring their parents, the Steve and Sandra dedicated the bronze swan sculpture by artist Ian G. Brennan.  Brennan has been a contemporary sculptor and woodcarver to the British Royal Household since 1989.  In the early 1950’s The Queen of England gifted a pair of Mute Swans from the Royal Flock to the City of Lakeland.  The descendent swan population remains a treasure to the community today.

 

Join the Wolfson family at Main Street Overlook Park as they unveil the larger than life Mute Swan Protecting Her Cygnets on Tuesday, October 16th at 6 p.m.