Volusia County, FL- Learn about Volusia County’s conservation lands and land management practices during free Explore Volusia programs in May. Environmental specialists will lead guided hikes, paddling trips, eco-buggy tours and bike-abouts.
Reservations are required; call 386-736-5927.
Upcoming events include:
-Rethink reptiles: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 3. Stop by Lyonia Environmental Center, 2150 Eustace Ave., Deltona, to get a close
encounter with the center’s resident reptiles. The program will include a short hike followed by a presentation on the life history of
reptiles, problems with invasive species, and the role of snakes in their natural surroundings.
-Indian River Lagoon paddle: 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, May 10. Paddlers may encounter manatees and dolphins during this leisurely paddling trip on the Indian River Lagoon, the most biodiverse lagoon ecosystem in the Northern Hemisphere. Bring a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard along with a life preserver and whistle. Meet at Mary McLeod Bethune Beach Park, 6656 S. Atlantic Ave., New Smyrna Beach.
-Bike-about Gemini Springs: 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 15. Take a six-mile bike ride around segments of Lake Monroe and Gemini Springs Park. All ages and abilities are welcome. Bicycle and helmet are required. Meet at Gemini Springs Park, 37 Dirksen Drive, DeBary.
-Eco-buggy tour: 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, May 18. Learn about plants and animals of the wetlands during this leisurely ride through Longleaf Pine Preserve’s flatwoods, cypress domes, and swamps. Meet at the preserve’s east entrance, 4551 Pioneer Trail, New Smyrna Beach.
-Bike-about Deep Creek: 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, May 19. Learn about the forestry, agricultural history and plant communities of the 8,000-acre Deep Creek Preserve. Participants may see the endemic Rugel’s pawpaw in bloom. Bicycle and helmet are required. This is an unpaved road, and larger-tired bikes are recommended. Meet at 964 S. State Road 415, Samsula.
-Blue Spring paddle: 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 23. Learn about local wildlife and history during this leisurely paddling trip to Blue Spring State Park. Participants will also learn about 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 in Orange City, about one mile past the entrance to Blue Spring State Park.
-Guided hike of Scrub Oak Preserve: 9 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 25. Learn about the importance of scrub habitat, water recharge zones and keystone species while hiking through this conservation area. Participants will hike one mile of trails and get an up-close look at land management practices. Meet at 1495 McGregor Road, DeLand.
-Snorkel and swim adventure: 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, May 31. Discover the wonders of the underwater ecosystem while snorkeling the high slack tide at Lighthouse Point Park, 500 S. Atlantic Ave., Ponce Inlet. Participants must bring their own snorkeling gear and be able to swim. Those under age 18 must wear a personal flotation device and be accompanied by an adult guardian at all times.
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.
Photo courtesy of shutterstock.com and Alohaflamingoo
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