Birding at Cedar Point
Birder Ken Blackshaw invites you to join him and others to find local resident and migratory birds on Saturdays, 8am at Cedar Point Environmental Park, 2300 Placida Road. Meet in the front parking lot. Birding excursions may carpool to other local sites. Wear walking shoes, bring water and binoculars are recommended.
Big Sugar VS Environment
Wonder what’s going on with big sugar and the Florida Environment? Patrick Ferguson knows and he will tell you all about it at the next meeting of the Greater Charlotte Harbor Sierra Club. Ferguson is an attorney hired by the Sierra Club to head the Club’s “Stop Sugar Field Burning Campaign”. Ferguson will discuss the toxic and outdated practice of pre-harvest sugar field burning and also share what he learned on his trip to Brazil where he witnessed 100% burn-free, green-harvested sugar cane and its environmental effect. The Sierra Club meets Tuesday, February 18, 7pm, at the Unitarian/Universalist Church,1535 Forest Nelson Blvd. in Pt. Charlotte. The public is invited to this free event. Learn more at www.gchgroup.org.
Nature Walks at Stump Pass
Join a knowledgeable park volunteer for a walk along the beach and on the nature trail at Stump Pass Beach Park at the southern end of Manasota Key on Thursday, Feb 20, 9am to 11:30am. Learn about native barrier island plants and animals on this 3-mile walk. Bring water, sunscreen and insect repellent. No RSVP needed. Free with park entry ($3 per vehicle.) Meet at picnic pavilion near the ranger’s station. Another walk is scheduled for 9am on February 27. For more information, email Mary.Mazyck@FloridaDEP.gov.
Myakka State Forest
Join Dr. Bill Dunson, area biologist, on a short two-hour loop walk along the Gordon Smith Trail at Myakka State Forest on Friday, February 21. The walk will reveal many interesting aspects of natural hydric pine flatwoods. The variation in animals and plants depends in large part on previous fire history and the hydroperiod. He will identify all animals and plants seen and discuss how bird life is affected by community ecology. Myakka State Forest is located at 2000 S. River Road (this is NOT Myakka State Park but the state forest.) There is a $2 entry fee. Meet at 9am at the parking lot adjacent to the office and approximately one mile from the highway.
Discover Insect Beauty
Both youth and adults will want to attend “What Am I? Beautiful Insects in a Beautiful World” on Wednesday, February 26, 10am, at Bayshore Live Oak Park, 23157 Bayshore Rd., Pt. Charlotte. Ralph Mitchell, Charlotte County Director and Horticulture Agent, will display exotic, gigantic, beautiful and venomous insects and non-insect specimens both local and from around the world and discuss them. The result will be a greater appreciation of the design & beauty of nature. RSVP recommended: call 475•0769.
Plants for Butterflies & Bees
The topic for UF/IFAS Extension’s Brown-Bag Gardening Series will be “Plants for Butterflies & Bees” on Thursday, February 27, noon, at the Garden of the Five Senses, 4299 Pan American Blvd., North Port. This free “walk & talk” class will discuss native and Florida-friendly plants that attract butterflies & bees. Register at ufsarasotaext.eventbrite.com. For questions, call 861•5000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plant Walk at Amberjack
The February walk with the Mangrove Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society takes place on Saturday, February 29, 9am, at Amberjack Environmental Park, 4650 Gasparilla Pines Blvd. The public is welcome at this free guided walk through the preserve of unique scrub and pine flatwood habitats, including plants such as Florida rosemary, sky blue lupine and Dahoon holly. The wetlands & Lemon Lake attract many species of birds. Learn more at mangrove.fnpschapters.org. For questions, call 769•3633.
Burrowing Owl Festival
The 18th annual Burrowing Owl Festival, a wildlife & environmental exposition, will be Saturday, February 29, 10am to 4pm, at Rotary Park Environmental Center, 5505 Rose Garden Rd., Cape Coral. Thirty wildlife & environmental exhibitors are scheduled, butterfly house tours, wildlife presentations, flora & fauna park tours, kids’ crafts, guided owl bus tours (fee) & photographer bus tours (fee,) and environmental speakers. $5 gate donation, children 12 & under free. For more info, visit ccfriendsofwildlife.org.
Bird Stewards Needed
The Friends of Stump Pass (FOSP) in collaboration with Audubon Florida is continuing a Bird Steward Program for Stump Pass Beach State Park this summer and you are invited to participate. The training session will be held Saturday, March 7, 1 to 3pm, at the Pelican Landing Clubhouse, 2700 N. Beach Road, on the bay side of the street. Volunteers will help educate beach goers about the threatened birds who nest at Stump Pass such as Least Terns and Wilson Plovers. A Snowy Plover nested last year but the nest was abandoned probably because of a dog on the beach. These birds need space and quiet so they can nest successfully. Holly Short from Suncoast Shorebird Partnership/Audubon lead the training session along with Carol McCoy and Mary Lundeberg. If you would like to learn more or sign up, visit FOSP Facebook page or call Mary at 651•331•1839 with questions.
Pass Nature Walk
Join Bill Dunson on a nature walk on Tuesday, March 10, 9-11am, at Blind Pass/Middle Beach, 6725 Manasota Beach Rd. The walk reveals very nice examples of diverse coastal habitats (mangroves, upland hammocks and beaches) in this study of the ecology of a barrier island ecosystem and the part birds play. Meet on the northern side of the parking lot.
Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center (CHEC) and the Charlotte County Natural Resource Department will be conducting the following upcoming free programs. Unless noted, all walks begin at 9am. All programs can be found at www.ChecFlorida.org. To sign up or further information, call Cedar Point Environmental Park, 2300 Placida Road at 475•0769.
Bill Coy/Buck Creek Preserve
Join Denise Hart on a guided walk at Bill Coy/Buck Creek Preserve on Monday, February 17 at 9am. The scrubby flatwoods & mangrove swamp border Buck Creek which flows into Lemon Bay. Meet in parking lot.
Join a Seagrass Adventure Wading Trip at Cedar Point Environmental Park, 2300 Placida Rd., at 9am on Monday, February 17. After a short program on aquatic environments, you will walk to Lemon Bay where, using dip nets and hand viewers, you will wade into the bay shallows in search of the plants and animals that reside there. Children must be accompanied by adult. Pre-registration is necessary – call 475•0769. Also offered Tuesday, March 10 and Monday, March 23.
Visit the waters of Lemon Bay via guided kayak trip on this free kayak excursion leaving from Cedar Point Environmental Park, 2300 Placida Rd., on Tuesday, February 18, 9am to noon. After an intro program on safety, participants will walk to Lemon Bay where kayaks await them. Search for marine life during the paddle. All kayak equipment provided. Ages 16 and above. Must register in advance by calling 475•0769. Also offered on Saturday, March 7 & Saturday, March 21, 9am to noon.
Amberjack Guided Walk
Explore Amberjack Environmental Park with a Florida Naturalist on Thursday, February 20 at 9am. Meet in the parking lot at the end of Gasparilla Pines Blvd.
Tippecanoe II Preserve Walk
Join Al Squires on a guided walk through Tippecanoe II Mitigation Preserve in Port Charlotte on Thursday, February 20 at 9am. The preserve is home to several families of Florida scrub jay. Meet in parking lot.
Join Mike Weisensee on a birding walk on Tuesday, March 3 at 9am through the scrub and pine flatwoods of Amberjack Environmental Park, 6450 Gasparilla Pines Blvd. For more information, call 475•0769.
Walk at Tippecanoe
On Wednesday, March 4, a Florida Naturalist will lead a guided walk through Tippecanoe Environmental Park to explore scrub, pine flatwoods, marsh and wetlands habitat. Meet behind the Charlotte County Sports Park at 9am.
SIERRA CLUB OUTINGS
The Greater Charlotte Harbor Sierra Club is offering the following outings. All outings are open to the public and free of charge. Voluntary donations to the Sierra Club are gratefully accepted. PFD stands for Personal Floatation Device. Please contact the Outings leader by calling the phone number listed in the outing description. For more info, contact the Charlotte Sierra Club at 423•2713 or email email@example.com.
Saturday, February 15 – Morning nature walk at Prairie Creek Preserve from 9 to 11am. Pam & Chris Henry lead through a mixture of upland habitats, scrub, scrubby flatwoods, palmetto prairies and pine flatwoods. For more info, call Pam at 888•0468 or email MyNewt22@yahoo.com.
Sunday, March 1 – Paddle Myrtle Slough in Charlotte County, 9am to 1-2pm. Jim Story will lead through a freshwater jungle near Charlotte Harbor, then on to Shell Creek waterfall and dam. Must provide own watercraft, PFD and be able to swim. Free. RSVP to Jim Story – 505•8904.
Tuesday, March 3 – Paddle Lettuce Lake or Liverpool into Boggess Creek and then through side channels or the river to the Nav-A-Gator for lunch. Return by a different route. Must provide own watercraft, PFD and be able to swim. Reserve with Rick Fried at 637•8805.