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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,

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Guided Kayak Tours

Now - April 28, 2017
Two-hour guided kayak tours let you explore backwater bays and mangrove forests while you paddle lazily through the shallows and mazelike mangrove tunnels while learning about your surroundings from an experienced guide and naturalist. Tours provide opportunities to see wildlife such as wading birds, osprey, fish and dolphins. Pre-registration is required. Cost is $69, includes same day admission to the Environmental Learning Center. Offered every Tuesday through Friday until May.
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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Art Class: Portraits in Acrylics

December 05, 2016
Create beautiful portraits in acrylic with Lee Hammond. Based on her painting books by North Light, Lee will show you how to achieve beautiful skin tones, hair and clothing. Lee Hammond is a police composite artist, holds licenses to paint pictures of NASCAR drivers, and has published more than 30 art instruction books that have sold more than one million copies. Now, she brings her passion to the Rookery Bay Reserve, where she teaches art classes each season. Pre-registration is required. Cost is $395, supplies are not included.
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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Life is a Beach boat tour

December 09, 2016
This tour provides an opportunity to explore Keewaydin Island, a natural, living barrier island with an incredible diversity of life and some of the best shelling in Florida. Stroll the beach with your naturalist guide and learn about all the things you are seeing: specially adapted native plants, gastropods, bivalves, crustaceans, corals, sea squirts, snails, sponges, worms, fishes, birds, reptiles, and more. This island is a wonderful example of the life and death reality of plants and animals "living on the edge". Also included is a leisurely cruise through the Rookery Bay mangrove estuary, one of the richest and most productive ecosystems ...Read More>> on the planet. Participants must have the physical ability to step down into, and up from, the boat at a dock. Closed-toed shoes are recommended for the walk across the island (and can be removed on the beach). Pre-registration is required. Cost is $109, includes same day admission to the Environmental Learning Center. Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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Sunset to Starlight Cruise

December 11, 2016 - December 13, 2016
This one-of-a-kind tour takes place in the evening and is often (but not always) around the time of the full moon. Guests will visit a remote section of Keewaydin Island, renowned for its shell-strewn beaches and pastel sunsets. Stroll along and enjoy beachcombing until the magical moment when the sun sinks into the Gulf. As darkness gradually enfolds you, begin the leisurely return cruise through the back bays of the reserve, becoming immersed in the sights, sounds and sensations of night in a mangrove-forested estuary. If the tide permits, you will ease by the rookery island where hundreds of herons, egrets and ibis gather for the night. Pa ...Read More>> ticipants must have the physical ability to step down into, and up from, the boat at a dock. Pre-registration is required. Cost is $109, includes same day admission to the Environmental Learning Center. Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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Essentials of Digital Photography Workshop

December 12, 2016
This workshop helps photographers get the most out of their digital camera. Learn how to use the camera's shutter, aperture, ISO control and the drive modes to create images with impact and creativity. No previous camera or photography experience is necessary, just a desire to learn. Sonny Saunders has over 35 years of experience in photography and instruction and is renowned for his ability to communicate to a wide variety of students. Cost is $55, registration is required.
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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High Points Boat Tour

December 15, 2016
Come along on this small boat cruise through back bays and winding creeks to visit a particularly unusual place in Rookery Bay Reserve. After disembarking, take a short hike to one of the highest points in Collier County, an ancient sand dune relic from the Pleistocene Era. Your naturalist guide will help you see and appreciate the geologic history of Sand Hill as you enjoy the remarkable view. You will also learn about the specially adapted trees, shrubs and wildflowers that survive in this coastal scrub ecosystem. This tour allows guests the opportunity to experience a place few visitors get to see. Participants must have the physical abili ...Read More>> y to get into and out of a boat tied to shore. Pre-registration is required. Cost is $109, includes same day admission to the Environmental Learning Center Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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Treasure Island boat tour

December 16, 2016
The treasure on this interesting island isn't gold, silver or pirates' booty. It is the amazing ecological treasure of a rare tropical hardwood hammock. You will enjoy a leisurely boat trip through the estuary to the island, disembark, and hike about 1/2 mile on a primitive trail in a shaded forest dripping with ferns and bromeliads. Your naturalist guide will introduce you to the fascinating plants that make this community of life unique and will share interesting stories of how human history and coastal ecology intertwine. This tour requires the physical ability to step down into, and up from, the boat at a dock and walk 1/2 mile on uneven ...Read More>> errain. Pre-registration is required. Cost is $109, includes same day admission to the Environmental Learning Center. Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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Birds of the Beach

December 17, 2016
Southwest Florida is a critical stopover site for thousands of migrating and wintering shorebirds. In this class, Adam DiNuovo of Audubon Florida will discuss the life history of these birds and the amazing journeys many of them make annually. Winter shorebirds are notoriously difficult to ID, so practicing the skills learned in this class is essential. You will learn how to use plumage, size, and behavior to help with identification. The classroom session will be followed by a trip to Tigertail Beach, one of the most important winter shorebird sites in Florida, where we will see many of the birds discussed. Pre-registration is required, ...Read More>> ost is $40. Read Less

info@rookerybay.org

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Holiday Crafts for Kids

December 19, 2016 - December 23, 2016
Make wildlife crafts such as marine mammal puppets, fish prints and cabbage palm reindeers. Activities are geared to children ages 6 to 12. Free with Environmental Learning Center admission ($5 adults, $3 kids 6-12, FREE kids under 6).
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

Event
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Life is a Beach boat tour

December 20, 2016
This tour provides an opportunity to explore Keewaydin Island, a natural, living barrier island with an incredible diversity of life and some of the best shelling in Florida. Stroll the beach with your naturalist guide and learn about all the things you are seeing: specially adapted native plants, gastropods, bivalves, crustaceans, corals, sea squirts, snails, sponges, worms, fishes, birds, reptiles, and more. This island is a wonderful example of the life and death reality of plants and animals "living on the edge". Also included is a leisurely cruise through the Rookery Bay mangrove estuary, one of the richest and most productive ecosystems ...Read More>> on the planet. Participants must have the physical ability to step down into, and up from, the boat at a dock. Closed-toed shoes are recommended for the walk across the island (and can be removed on the beach). Pre-registration is required. Cost is $109, includes same day admission to the Environmental Learning Center. Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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Winter Solstice

December 21, 2016
In celebration of Winter Solstice, the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center offers “buy one, get one free admission.” Higher price prevails. Cannot be combined with other offers.
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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Essence of an Estuary boat tour

December 21, 2016
Have you ever visited a place with the hope you might come away with a profound understanding of its essence rather than just a snapshot? This tour is designed to “get you there.” You will drift through the bays and backwaters of Rookery Bay Reserve, learning about plants and animals, but more importantly, how they fit into the complex tapestry of this special place we call an estuary. Bring your curiosity and be rewarded with discovery and insight. You will journey back in time and learn how human history and natural history intersect. Your guide adapts the tour to changes in weather, tides, and participants’ interests so no two tours are ev ...Read More>> r the same. Participants will be on the boat the entire time and must have the physical ability to step on and off of the boat at our dock. Pre-registration is required. Cost is $109, includes same day admission to the Environmental Learning Center. Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

Event
event_image

Life is a Beach boat tour

December 22, 2016
This tour provides an opportunity to explore Keewaydin Island, a natural, living barrier island with an incredible diversity of life and some of the best shelling in Florida. Stroll the beach with your naturalist guide and learn about all the things you are seeing: specially adapted native plants, gastropods, bivalves, crustaceans, corals, sea squirts, snails, sponges, worms, fishes, birds, reptiles, and more. This island is a wonderful example of the life and death reality of plants and animals "living on the edge". Also included is a leisurely cruise through the Rookery Bay mangrove estuary, one of the richest and most productive ecosystems ...Read More>> on the planet. Participants must have the physical ability to step down into, and up from, the boat at a dock. Closed-toed shoes are recommended for the walk across the island (and can be removed on the beach). Pre-registration is required. Cost is $109, includes same day admission to the Environmental Learning Center. Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

Event
event_image

Treasure Island boat tour

December 23, 2016
The treasure on this interesting island isn't gold, silver or pirates' booty. It is the amazing ecological treasure of a rare tropical hardwood hammock. You will enjoy a leisurely boat trip through the estuary to the island, disembark, and hike about 1/2 mile on a primitive trail in a shaded forest dripping with ferns and bromeliads. Your naturalist guide will introduce you to the fascinating plants that make this community of life unique and will share interesting stories of how human history and coastal ecology intertwine. This tour requires the physical ability to step down into, and up from, the boat at a dock and walk 1/2 mile on uneven ...Read More>> errain. Pre-registration is required. Cost is $109, includes same day admission to the Environmental Learning Center Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

Event
event_image

Essence of the Estuary boat tour

December 26, 2016
Have you ever visited a place with the hope you might come away with a profound understanding of its essence rather than just a snapshot? This tour is designed to “get you there.” You will drift through the bays and backwaters of Rookery Bay Reserve, learning about plants and animals, but more importantly, how they fit into the complex tapestry of this special place we call an estuary. Bring your curiosity and be rewarded with discovery and insight. You will journey back in time and learn how human history and natural history intersect. Your guide adapts the tour to changes in weather, tides, and participants’ interests so no two tours are ev ...Read More>> r the same. Participants will be on the boat the entire time and must have the physical ability to step on and off of the boat at our dock. Pre-registration is required. Cost is $109, includes same day admission to the Environmental Learning Center. Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

Event
event_image

Treasure Island boat tour

December 28, 2016
The treasure on this interesting island isn't gold, silver or pirates' booty. It is the amazing ecological treasure of a rare tropical hardwood hammock. You will enjoy a leisurely boat trip through the estuary to the island, disembark, and hike about 1/2 mile on a primitive trail in a shaded forest dripping with ferns and bromeliads. Your naturalist guide will introduce you to the fascinating plants that make this community of life unique and will share interesting stories of how human history and coastal ecology intertwine. This tour requires the physical ability to step down into, and up from, the boat at a dock and walk 1/2 mile on uneven ...Read More>> errain. Pre-registration is required. Cost is $109, includes same day admission to the Environmental Learning Center Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

Event
event_image

High Points boat tour

December 30, 2016
Come along on this small boat cruise through back bays and winding creeks to visit a particularly unusual place in Rookery Bay Reserve. After disembarking, take a short hike to one of the highest points in Collier County, an ancient sand dune relic from the Pleistocene Era. Your naturalist guide will help you see and appreciate the geologic history of Sand Hill as you enjoy the remarkable view. You will also learn about the specially adapted trees, shrubs and wildflowers that survive in this coastal scrub ecosystem. This tour allows guests the opportunity to experience a place few visitors get to see. Participants must have the physical abili ...Read More>> y to get into and out of a boat tied to shore. Pre-registration is required. Cost is $109, includes same day admission to the Environmental Learning Center Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

Event
event_image

Art Class: Portraits in Graphic

January 09, 2017 - January 13, 2017
Join our Artist in Residence, Lee Hammond, and learn how to realistically draw portraits in graphite. In 5 days, you will learn everything you need to draw anything proficiently in pencil. Hammond has been a professional artist and art instructor for more than 30 years. She has published more than 35 art instruction books. Cost is $395 (supplies are not included).
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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Birding Basics

January 13, 2017
Enjoy this fun and informative class designed to help you identify birds around you. Oriented toward the beginning birder, the classroom session explores how to use birds’ plumage, shape, behavior and habitat to recognize various species. It also covers the effective use of binoculars and field guides. During the second part of the class you will learn more tricks of the trade during a field trip to a nearby park where you can enjoy practicing new skills. Cost is $40.

info@rookerybay.org

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Southwest Florida Nature Festival

January 13, 2017 - January 15, 2017
Explore the local environment through guided field trips to wildlife hot spots around Southwest Florida and lectures at the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center. Field trips, including birding walks, buggy rides and kayak tours, are offered in conjunction with partners such as Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Big Cypress National Preserve and Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Field trip prices range from $15 - $135.
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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Southwest Florida Nature Festival keynote presentation

January 14, 2017
Nature Festival Keynote Presentation: “My Big Year Birding Adventure” South Florida author Sandy Komito is the only birder in North America who's ever done two record-setting "Big Years," each of which exceeded 700 bird species observed. His experience helped inspire the book and movie "The Big Year." Admission to the evening keynote presentation is $15.
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

Event
event_image

Birds of the Beach

January 21, 2017
Southwest Florida is a critical stopover site for thousands of migrating and wintering shorebirds. In this class, Adam DiNuovo of Audubon Florida will discuss the life history of these birds and the amazing journeys many of them make annually. Learn how to use plumage, size, and behavior to help with identification. The classroom session will be followed by a trip to Tigertail Beach, one of the most important winter shorebird sites in Florida, where we will see many of the birds discussed. Cost is $40.
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

Event
event_image

Portraits in Colored Pencil

January 23, 2017 - January 27, 2017
In 5 days you will learn everything you need to know to draw proficiently in colored pencil with no experience required. This class will make you a master at various colored pencil techniques, and capturing things realistically. Hammond has been a professional artist and art instructor for more than 30 years. She has published more than 35 art instruction books. Cost is $395 (supplies are not included).
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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