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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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High Points boat tour

April 21, 2015
Come along on this small boat cruise through back bays and winding creeks to visit one of the most unique areas of 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 live oaks and drought tolerant shrubs and wildflowers that survive in this coastal scrub ecosystem. Access to this sensitive area is restricted to protect it from damage, so this tour allows guests the op ...Read More>> ortunity to experience a place very few visitors ever get to see. This tour lasts approximately 2.5 hours and participants must have the physical ability to get into and out of a boat tied up to the shore. Closed-toe shoes are recommended. Advanced registration is required at rookerybay.org Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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Earth Day

April 22, 2015
In celebration of Earth Day, the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center offers “buy one, get one free admission” and will be showing a selection of Earth Day films. Higher price prevails. Cannot be combined with other offers.
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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Guided Kayak Tours

April 22, 2015 - April 24, 2015
Two-hour guided kayak tours of Rookery Bay and its surroundings provide an up-close and personal experience of this irreplaceable national treasure. Paddle lazily through the shallows and maze-like mangrove tunnels while learning about your surroundings from an experienced guide and naturalist. The cost is $55 ($45 for members) and includes: kayak, all equipment, paddling instruction and admission to the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center on the day of the tour. Paddlers must be 12 years of age or older, and weigh less than 250 pounds. www.rookerybay.org/calendar
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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Treasure Island boat tour

April 22, 2015
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. Although public access to this area is restricted to protect it from damage, as our guest you will travel by boat to the island, disembark, and hike about ½ mile on a primitive trail in a shaded forest dripping with ferns and bromeliads. Your naturalist guide will introduce you to the wide variety plants that make this community of life unique and will share interesting stories of how human history and coastal ecology have intertwined. There is also the opportunity to see how some p ...Read More>> ople 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 step down onto, and up from, the boat at a dock and to walk ½ mile on uneven terrain. Closed-toed shoes are required. Advanced registration is required at rookerybay.org. Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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Essence of the Estuary boat tour

April 23, 2015
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 2.5 hour small boat tour is designed to “get you there”. You will wander through the bays and backwaters of Rookery Bay Reserve, learning about the plants and animals that live here, but more importantly, how and why they fit into the complex tapestry of this special place we call an estuary. Curiosity is rewarded with discovery and discoveries offer insight and understanding. You will explore the effects of time and how human history and natural history have intersected. From mud crabs to manatees, an ...Read More>> from mound builders to mullet millionaires, this tour is designed to give you the experience of perspective. Your guide adapts the tour to changes in weather, tides, and participants’ interests so no two tours are ever 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. Advanced registration is required at rookerybay.org Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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Sunset to Starlight Cruise

April 24, 2015 - April 25, 2015
This naturalist-led small boat adventure 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 ...Read More>> or the night. This tour lasts approximately 3 hours, and participants must have the physical ability to step down onto, and up from, the boat at a dock. Advanced registration is required at rookerybay.org. Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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Life is a Beach boat tour

April 28, 2015
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 native plants, waves, dunes, drift algae, bivalves, crustaceans, corals, sea squirts, snails, sponges, worms, fishes, birds, reptiles, and more. In addition to being a beautiful beach, this island is also 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 ...Read More>> ecosystems on the planet. This tour lasts approximately 3 hours and participants must have the physical ability to step down onto, and up from, the boat at a dock. Advanced registration is required at rookerybay.org. Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

Event
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Guided Kayak Tours

April 28, 2015 - April 30, 2015
Two-hour guided kayak tours of Rookery Bay and its surroundings provide an up-close and personal experience of this irreplaceable national treasure. Paddle lazily through the shallows and maze-like mangrove tunnels while learning about your surroundings from an experienced guide and naturalist. The cost is $55 ($45 for members) and includes: kayak, all equipment, paddling instruction and admission to the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center on the day of the tour. Paddlers must be 12 years of age or older, and weigh less than 250 pounds. www.rookerybay.org/calendar
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

Event
event_image

Essence of an Estuary boat tour

April 29, 2015
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 2.5 hour small boat tour is designed to “get you there”. You will wander through the bays and backwaters of Rookery Bay Reserve, learning about the plants and animals that live here, but more importantly, how and why they fit into the complex tapestry of this special place we call an estuary. Curiosity is rewarded with discovery and discoveries offer insight and understanding. You will explore the effects of time and how human history and natural history have intersected. From mud crabs to manatees, an ...Read More>> from mound builders to mullet millionaires, this tour is designed to give you the experience of perspective. Your guide adapts the tour to changes in weather, tides, and participants’ interests so no two tours are ever 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. Advanced registration is required at rookerybay.org Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

Event
event_image

Sunset to Starlight Cruise

April 30, 2015 - May 01, 2015
This naturalist-led small boat adventure 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 ...Read More>> or the night. This tour lasts approximately 3 hours, and participants must have the physical ability to step down onto, and up from, the boat at a dock. Advanced registration is required at rookerybay.org Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

Event
event_image

Sunset to Starlight Cruise

May 01, 2015 - May 03, 2015
This naturalist-led small boat adventure 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 ...Read More>> or the night. This tour lasts approximately 3 hours, and participants must have the physical ability to step down onto, and up from, the boat at a dock. Advanced registration is required at rookerybay.org Read Less
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.com

Event
event_image

Guided Kayak Tours

May 05, 2015 - May 26, 2015
Two-hour guided kayak tours of Rookery Bay and its surroundings provide an up-close and personal experience of this irreplaceable national treasure. Paddle lazily through the shallows and maze-like mangrove tunnels while learning about your surroundings from an experienced guide and naturalist. The cost is $55 ($45 for members) and includes: kayak, all equipment, paddling instruction and admission to the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center on the day of the tour. Paddlers must be 12 years of age or older, and weigh less than 250 pounds. www.rookerybay.org/calendar
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

Event
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Lunch & Learn Lecture: Dive into stories of ocean science with Ellen Prager

May 05, 2015
Dr. Ellen Prager will return to Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center to share more of her favorite ocean science stories about living underwater, the Galapagos Islands, and wacky sea creatures. She'll also give the audience a sneak peek into Shark Rider, the second book in her new fiction series for young adults, which will be released May 1. She'll discuss how she is integrating real-life adventures, marine life, and science into the upcoming action packed sequel that highlights the British Virgin Islands. Cost is $10 (FREE for members), includes lunch. www.rookerybay.org/calendar
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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Opening Reception for South Florida Birds and Gardens Photography Exhibit

May 27, 2015
South Florida Birds and Gardens is a selection of photographs by Kirsten Hines drawn from her two recent books, Attracting Birds to South Florida Gardens and Birds of Fairchild. The exhibition aims to inspire environmentally sensitive landscaping of conservation value to South Florida’s birdlife.
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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South Florida Birds and Gardens photography exhibit

May 27, 2015 - September 23, 2015
South Florida Birds and Gardens is a selection of photographs by Kirsten Hines drawn from her two recent books, Attracting Birds to South Florida Gardens and Birds of Fairchild. The exhibition aims to inspire environmentally sensitive landscaping of conservation value to South Florida’s birdlife.

info@rookerybay.org

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Art for Mom & Me

June 10, 2015 - August 05, 2015
Local artist Marjorie Pesek will lead this 1-hour workshop for children and adults at all levels of creative talent. She will share her unique art technique of Layered Imagery. Participants will be supplied with a sketch of a variety of subjects such as a pelican, a tree frog, or a sea turtle. Using photos and magazine clippings, each parent and child will team up to create a masterpiece to take home. Registration fee ($25) includes one adult, one child (age 5+), and all supplies. Come early or stay late and enjoy complimentary admission to the Environmental Learning Center with registration. www.rookerybay.org/calendar
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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Kids FREE Fridays

June 12, 2015 - August 07, 2015
Our popular summer program, Kids FREE Fridays, returns to the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center. This summer education program provides FREE admission for children ages 12 and younger who are accompanied by an adult (up to 5 children per adult). Educators will present lessons and activities following a central theme of “Skulls and Bones.” Scheduled activities include: Story Time, Naturalist Presentation, Crafts, Films, and Touch Tank. Lunch will be available for purchase from 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Registration NOT required.
http://www.rookerybay.org

info@rookerybay.org

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