County Plans Explore Volusia Programs

By on December 22, 2017 in Community Stories

Volusia County, FL- Learn about Volusia County’s conservation lands and land management practices during free Explore Volusia programs in January. Environmental specialists will lead guided hikes, paddling trips, eco-buggy tours and bike-about.

Reservations are required; call 386-736-5927.

Upcoming events include:

· Bike-about Palm Bluff: 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 3. Take a ride through the Palm Bluff Conservation Area and explore the eight distinct natural plant communities. Visitors may see a variety of bird species including bluebirds, brown-headed nuthatch, turkeys, wading birds, and raptors. Participants must bring a bicycle and helmet. Large-tired bikes are recommended. Meet in Samsula in the parking area east of County Road 415, about 9.5 miles south of State Road 44 and 1.9 miles north of Howland Boulevard.

·Guided hike of Clark Bay: 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9. Join Master Naturalist and author Roger Fulton on a two-mile nature hike in the little known, nearly 5,000-acre Clark Bay Conservation Area at the end of the DeLand Municipal Airport. The area was reforested in 2006. This hike is for adults only; dogs are not allowed. From U.S. 92, turn right onto Kepler Road. Drive four-tenths of a mile and turn right onto Old DeLand Road. Drive one mile and turn left into the Clark Bay parking lot.

· Hickory Bluff Preserve paddle: 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 12. Explore the ecosystems of the St. Johns River during a leisurely paddling trip. Participants will learn about Florida manatees and the area’s biodiversity. Bring a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard along with a life preserver and whistle. Meet at 598 Guise Road, Osteen.

·Beach cleanup: 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 13. Start the new year right by cleaning the beach at Mary McLeod Bethune Beach Park. Bring a bucket and gloves. All ages are welcome. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. Contact Laura Albert at LAlbert@volusia.org for more information. Meet at 6656 S. Atlantic Ave., New Smyrna Beach.

·Eco-buggy tour: 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17. Learn about land management practice while riding through the diverse ecotones of the 1,400-acre Wiregrass Prairie Preserve, which is almost entirely in the St. Johns River valley. Meet at 1751 Lopez Road, Osteen. Do not use a GPS to find the location.

·Guided hike of Lake Ashby Park: 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18. Take a walk through cypress swamp on Lake Ashby’s boardwalk. Participants will learn about the importance of swamp habitats while enjoying the beauty of nature. This area is a great birding location, and participants may see the Florida state reptile. Meet at 4150 Boy
Scout Camp Road, New Smyrna Beach.

·Nature photography: 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 20. Bring your camera and learn from professional photographer Lee Dunkel on how to best photograph nature. Learn more about Dunkel at www.leedunkel.com.
Meet at Lake Ashby Park, 4150 Boy Scout Camp Road, New Smyrna Beach.

·LEC volunteer and learn: 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 20. Learn which plants attract butterflies as you spruce up the butterfly garden and planting beds at Lyonia Environmental Center. Weeding, planting, and mulching will help to rejuvenate this garden. There will also be a live animal presentation featuring the center’s reptiles. This program is open to all ages. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at 2150 Eustace Ave., Deltona.

·Bike-about Edgewater:  9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23. Ride the paved path from Cow Creek Road to Rotary Park and back. During this leisurely ride, participants will learn about different habitats and the organisms that live within them. A helmet and bicycle are required. Meet at the parking lot one-quarter mile east of I-95 and one-quarter mile south on Cow Creek Road.

·Eco-buggy tour: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25. Pack a lunch and ride through Longleaf Pine Preserve while learning about the importance of its lands. Participants can learn about local bird life and see raptors up close during a presentation by Laura Albert. Meet at the west entrance, 3637 E. New York Ave., DeLand. Participants will need to walk one-tenth of a mile to load onto the eco-buggy. If you are not able to make the walk, mention this when you register; staff will make arrangements.

· Blue Spring paddle: 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31. During this leisurely paddling trip near Blue Spring State Park, participants will explore the area while learning about local wildlife, the area’s history, water quality, and the importance of Florida’s springs as manatee refuges. Bring a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard along with
a life preserver and whistle. Meet at the end of West French Avenue, Orange City, about one mile past the Blue Spring State Park entrance.

Volusia County’s Environmental Management Division sponsors Explore Volusia to acquaint residents with the county’s diverse natural habitats and land management practices.

Participants should bring water and insect repellent. They should wear comfortable clothes and hiking or walking shoes.

Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2017

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