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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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Rookery Bay Art Show: Where River Meets the Sea

Now - April 30, 2014
Elementary, middle school and high school art students from Lely will showcase their work in this estuary-themed art show. Student art featuring mangroves, birds, rookeries, beaches, fish, crabs, oysters, and seagrasses are on display in the art gallery at the Environmental Learning Center during the month of April.
http://http:/www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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Treasure Island boat tour

April 24, 2014
The treasure on this remarkable island isn’t gold, silver or pirates’ booty. It is the amazing ecological treasure of a very rare tropical hardwood hammock. Having been diminished due to past human activity, this rich biological community should be elevated from rare to priceless! Accordingly, the Reserve restricts public access to this area to protect it from damage. However, as our guest you will travel by boat to the island, disembark, and hike about ½ mile on primitive trails in a shaded forest dripping with ferns and bromeliads. As you meander along your guide will interpret the unique sights, smells and sounds of the hammock. By slowing ...Read More>> down and absorbing the experience with your senses, you will come to know why this island really is a treasure. Guests will also learn how some people currently manage to live on these islands completely off the grid, without any access to public utilities. This tour lasts approximately 3 hours and requires the physical ability to get into and out of a boat tied up to the shore and to walk ½ mile on uneven terrain. Closed-toed shoes are required. Cost is $75 for non-members, $70 for Friends of Rookery Bay members and includes admission to the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center. Register at rookerybay.org. Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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Treasure Island boat tour

April 29, 2014
The treasure on this remarkable island isn’t gold, silver or pirates’ booty. It is the amazing ecological treasure of a very rare tropical hardwood hammock. Having been diminished due to past human activity, this rich biological community should be elevated from rare to priceless! Accordingly, the Reserve restricts public access to this area to protect it from damage. However, as our guest you will travel by boat to the island, disembark, and hike about ½ mile on primitive trails in a shaded forest dripping with ferns and bromeliads. As you meander along your guide will interpret the unique sights, smells and sounds of the hammock. By slowing ...Read More>> down and absorbing the experience with your senses, you will come to know why this island really is a treasure. Guests will also learn how some people currently manage to live on these islands completely off the grid, without any access to public utilities. This tour lasts approximately 3 hours and requires the physical ability to get into and out of a boat tied up to the shore and to walk ½ mile on uneven terrain. Closed-toed shoes are required. Cost is $75 for non-members, $70 for Friends of Rookery Bay members and includes admission to the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center. Register at rookerybay.org. Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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High Points boat tour

April 30, 2014
Take a three-hour, naturalist-led small boat tour through the back bays and winding creeks of the Rookery Bay Reserve to visit one of the most unique areas of Southwest Florida. After disembarking, take a short hike to one of the highest points in Collier County, an ancient sand dune relic from the Pleistocene Era that is 25 feet above sea level. The view from the top of Sand Hill is remarkable in this predominantly flat landscape, where visitors can see and appreciate this rare and fragile coastal scrub ecosystem marked by sand live oaks, rusty lyonia and Florida rosemary. In Southwest Florida, the diversity of species encountered in a few i ...Read More>> ches of elevation change is equivalent to thousands of feet of elevation change in other places. Access to this sensitive area is restricted to protect it from damage, so this tour allows guests the opportunity to experience this unusual place that very few visitors ever get to see. Participants must have the physical ability to get into and out of a boat tied up to the shore. Cost is $75 for non-members, $70 for Friends of Rookery Bay members and includes admission to the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center. Register at rookerybay.org. Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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International Migratory Bird Day

May 12, 2014
This international event celebrates the migration patterns of nearly 350 species of migratory birds between nesting habitats in North America and non-breeding grounds in Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. In celebration of International Migratory Bird Day, the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center offers “buy one, get one free admission” and will be showing a selection of bird films. Higher price prevails. Cannot be combined with other offers.
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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World Biodiversity Day

May 22, 2014
World Biodiversity Day was created to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. Come learn about the incredible variety of life found in our ecosystem while enjoying “buy one, get one free admission” to the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center. Higher Price Prevails. Cannot be combined with other offers. Programs include Slithering Snakes (11-12pm) and Birds of the Beach (2-3pm).
http://www.rookerybay.org

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

May 29, 2014 - 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

June 06, 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.
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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World Oceans Day

June 09, 2014
Officially recognized by the United Nations, World Oceans Day is held worldwide to encourage individuals to think about what the ocean means to them and what it has to offer all of us with hopes of conserving it for present and the future generations. In celebration of World Oceans 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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Kids FREE Fridays - Oysters Theme

June 13, 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

June 20, 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

June 27, 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 - 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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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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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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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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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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