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Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center

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Description:

The Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is 110,000 acres of pristine mangrove forests, uplands and protected waters on the western edge of the Everglades. Where rivers and streams meet the sea, a unique habitat is formed. A myriad of wildlife, including 150 species of birds and many threatened and endangered animals, thrive in the estuarine environment and surrounding upland hammocks and scrub found within the Reserve. The reserve operates an Environmental Learning Center for the public that features aquariums, interactive exhibits, children's exhibits, marine touch tank, live animals, nature trails with observation platforms over Henderson Creek, guided kayak trips, art gallery, lunch and evening lecture series, gift shop, picnic areas, special events and more. Learn more at rookerybay.org and facebook.com/friendsofrookerybay.

Amenities:
  • Activities:
  • Birding, Boating, Canoeing
  • Amenities:
  • Baby-changing station, Bus Parking, Concessions
  • Average Visit Time:
  • 2 - 3 hours,

Event
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“Wonders of the Beach and Bay” Watercolor Exhibit by Linda Soderquist

Now - September 29, 2014
A colorful exhibit of island-themed watercolors by artist Linda Soderquist will be on display in the gallery at the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center from June through September. Soderquist’s “Wonders of the Beach and Bay” exhibit features tropical watercolor paintings features landscapes, seascapes, wildlife portraits, coral reef scenes, and mangrove habitats. A resident of Little Gasparilla Island, just south of Sarasota, Soderquist is a primary permit holder with Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission for all sea turtle data collection, education, and strandings on Little Gasparilla Island. She also volunteers year round as a sho ...Read More>> ebird monitor. “Learning about local birds, and their nesting and feeding habits, gives me hours of observation and photo opportunities that directly affect my painting subjects,” says Soderquist, who has also been a part of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s water quality monitoring network in the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserve for more than ten years. Her education includes a B.A. in Fine Art and Elementary Education from Illinois Wesleyan University and a Master’s degree in mathematics from the University of South Florida. She spent many years teaching elementary students, authoring curriculum materials, and leading teacher workshops. Upon retirement in 2010, she began to focus her attention on art and a painting career. More information about Linda and her artwork can be found at www.lindasislandart.com. Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.com

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Kids FREE Fridays - Water Theme

July 11, 2014
Children ages 12 and younger are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Activities will include stories, crafts, a touch tank, face painting, nature film and presentation on topics such as mangroves, birds, oysters, and water. The aquariums, interactive exhibits, walking trails and art gallery will be open. A food vendor will be on-site to sell lunch. The theme varies weekly
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Coral Reef Awareness

July 15, 2014
Florida is the only state in the continental United States to have extensive shallow coral reef formations near its coasts. In celebration of these vibrant habitats, during Coral Reef Awareness Week, the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center offers “buy one, get one free admission.” Cannot be combined with other offers. Must pay at door, no registration necessary.
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EcoTour Provider Training Series - Coastal Fish Identification and Biology

July 15, 2014
Estuaries are often called the nurseries of the sea and for good reason! Marine educators will provide a morning of classroom and hands-on field-based instruction during the “Coastal Fish Identification and Biology” course. Get knee-deep in various coastal habitats while learning the biology of coastal fish and other species. The course will begin with one hour of classroom instruction followed by two hours of in-the-water experimental learning.
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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Kids FREE Fridays - Oysters Theme

July 18, 2014
Children ages 12 and younger are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Activities will include stories, crafts, a touch tank, face painting, nature film and presentation on topics such as mangroves, birds, oysters, and water. The aquariums, interactive exhibits, walking trails and art gallery will be open. A food vendor will be on-site to sell lunch. The theme varies weekly
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Kids FREE Fridays - Mangroves Theme

July 25, 2014
Children ages 12 and younger are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Activities will include stories, crafts, a touch tank, face painting, nature film and presentation on topics such as mangroves, birds, oysters, and water. The aquariums, interactive exhibits, walking trails and art gallery will be open. A food vendor will be on-site to sell lunch. The theme varies weekly.
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Kids FREE Fridays - Birds Theme

August 01, 2014
Children ages 12 and younger are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Activities will include stories, crafts, a touch tank, face painting, nature film and presentation on topics such as mangroves, birds, oysters, and water. The aquariums, interactive exhibits, walking trails and art gallery will be open. A food vendor will be on-site to sell lunch. The theme varies weekly.
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Smokey the Bear's Birthday

August 08, 2014
Smokey Bear reminds us of the danger of forest fires and how we can do our part to prevent them. Take today to learn about Rookery Bay’s prescribed fire program and how this program helps prevent wild forest fires! In celebration of Smokey Bear’s birthday, the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center offers “buy one, get one free admission.” Cannot be combined with other offers. Must pay at door, no registration necessary.
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EcoTour Provider Training Series - Providing Tours in Southwest Florida’s Protec

August 12, 2014
With approximately 97 percent of Southwest Florida’s ocean-based economy coming from tourism and recreation, ecotour professionals serve as ambassadors of local natural areas. These ecotour professionals often rely on their knowledge of natural history to provide clients a memorable experience. In order to meet the growing educational needs of ecotour professionals, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, in partnership with Florida Sea Grant, is offering a series of field and classroom-based programs this summer. Back by popular demand, the Ecotour Provider Series promotes sustainable tourism practices by providing guides, natural ...Read More>> sts and tour operators with information, tips and tools to minimize environmental impacts. It also imparts skills to provide more positive and scientifically accurate tour experiences. The primary course, “Providing Tours in Southwest Florida’s Protected Coastal Areas,” provides a one-hour overview of local protected areas from the perspective of those whose job it is to manage it. Learn why these areas are protected and how they are managed. Hear local history, stories and understand the biology and ecology of these treasured resources. Get to know the individuals who look after these special places. Read Less
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EcoTour Provider Training - Our Local Watershed: History, Changes, and Restorati

August 21, 2014
“Our Local Watershed: History, Changes, and Restoration Efforts,” provides an in-depth look at the watersheds in Southwest Florida, which are defined by subtle differences in elevation, hydrology, soils and even wind direction. Hear stories from a team of local experts on how water moves across this flat landscape, how it has changed over time, and what is currently being done to restore watersheds to historic conditions. Learn the connections between inland areas and the coastal waters on which ecotour providers’ livelihoods depend.
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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National Wildlife Day

September 04, 2014
National Wildlife Day is celebrated each year to bring awareness to the number of endangered animals around the world and to commend those who are educating the public about conservation strategies to protect the world we live in. In celebration of National Wildlife Day, the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center offers “buy one, get one free admission.” Cannot be combined with other offers. Must pay at door, no registration necessary.
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EcoTour Provider Training Series - Providing Tours in Southwest Florida’s Protec

September 09, 2014
-- With approximately 97 percent of Southwest Florida’s ocean-based economy coming from tourism and recreation, ecotour professionals serve as ambassadors of local natural areas. These ecotour professionals often rely on their knowledge of natural history to provide clients a memorable experience. In order to meet the growing educational needs of ecotour professionals, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, in partnership with Florida Sea Grant, is offering a series of field and classroom-based programs this summer. Back by popular demand, the Ecotour Provider Series promotes sustainable tourism practices by providing guides, natu ...Read More>> alists and tour operators with information, tips and tools to minimize environmental impacts. It also imparts skills to provide more positive and scientifically accurate tour experiences. The primary course, “Providing Tours in Southwest Florida’s Protected Coastal Areas,” provides a one-hour overview of local protected areas from the perspective of those whose job it is to manage it. Learn why these areas are protected and how they are managed. Hear local history, stories and understand the biology and ecology of these treasured resources. Get to know the individuals who look after these special places. Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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National Estuaries Day

September 27, 2014
The National Estuaries Day event at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve will include staff-narrated boat tours (bus transportation provided to the boat), kayak trips, marine critter touch tank, live animal presentations, kids games and crafts, behind-the-scenes tours of the science labs, films, food and more. A reduced admission fee for the day includes all activities (reg. $5).
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EcoTour Provider Training Series - Stewardship Best Management Practices: Wildli

September 30, 2014
The final course in the series is “Stewardship Best Management Practices: Wildlife Rules and Ethics.” We interact with wildlife every day. Are we treating the animals we encounter fairly, ethically and legally? Join a group of local experts for case studies, lessons learned, and the information you need to conduct business in harmony with coastal wildlife and in compliance with laws and ethics.
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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World Habitat Day

October 06, 2014
World Habitat Day reminds us of the basic need for adequate shelter. In order to build an adequate shelter, we must nurture a healthy ecosystem. Come in today and learn how Rookery Bay helps keep our ecosystem thriving and enjoy “buy one, get one free admission” to the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center. Cannot be combined with other offers. Must pay at door, no registration necessary.

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