Saturday, July 19, 2014

7th Annual Back to School- Back to Nature- Sat., Aug 2

Learn something at a Nature Station and earn a free school supply item!
Camp Bayou's 7th Annual Back to School- Back to Nature event will be held on Saturday, August 2 from 9am- noon. The event is Free. Registered families will visit several nature stations where they will learn something about frogs, fossils, forests or other natural topics. Registration is requested but FREE online at www.campbayou.org .
 
Enjoy the Florida outdoors while learning about the wonderful types of nature around us everyday! Before leaving each station, children will be given a free school supply item! For a possible extra bonus, children will be given a free raffle ticket after their family signs in at the registration table. Tickets will be drawn every 30 minutes for other items, including backpacks, journals, lunch bags, and more. 
 
There will be a LEEF Teacher Resource Exchange- an area for educators to leave materials they no longer need or pick up something new. Teachers can also learn about field trips to the Nature Center or Fossil Museum, upcoming teacher professional workshops, Florida Master Naturalist Program, League of Environmental Educators in Florida (LEEF) regional information and annual conference. Teachers who sign up for the e-newsletter will receive a goody bag of items to help in the classroom.
 
Organizations that will be participating in this year's event include:
 
A drink cooler will be on hand to help keep participants hydrated with free cups of water, compliments of Bayou Outdoor Learning and Discovery, Inc. (BOLD) plus information about Center programs, activities and events.

Camp Bayou is still accepting donations of school supplies or cash to purchase them. Your donation allows the Center to continue to provide these types of events for free. Expected attendance is approximately 200 children. Please contact 813-641-8545 or email campbayou@gmail.com to arrange a drop off or pick up.

Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center is neither a campground nor a summer camp. It was an RV park before the County's ELAP program purchased the land but it is now open for day use only, open to the general public. Through volunteers, donations, supporters and grants, the managing non-profit- B.O.L.D. - offers pre-scheduled programs to schools, youth groups, adult groups and families. Monthly canoe tours are now available by reservation only. Check the online calendar for trip dates. The Center is open from Thursday- Saturday from 9am-2pm for passive recreational pursuits such as wildlife watching, nature photography and trail walks.  General admission is still FREE.

The Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center is a public- private partnership between Bayou Outdoor Learning and Discovery, Inc. (B.O.L.D.)., and Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation. Camp Bayou is located 3 miles south of SR674 at the end of 24th St SE in Ruskin. More information is on the web at http://www.campbayou.org/ or call 813-641-8545. 
 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Paddle Trips at Camp Bayou

The summer schedule for Saturday guided paddle trips at Camp Bayou is set!

July 19, Aug 23, Sept 20 are morning trips that start at 9am. On Sept 6, there will be a moonlight paddle for International Observe the Moon Night, starting at 7:30 pm. Canoe rental is $25 (seats 3). If you have your own canoe, join us- $5 donation requested. Call to reserve your space- 813-641-8545.

Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center is neither a campground nor a summer camp. It was an RV park before the County's ELAP program purchased the land but it is now open for day use only, open to the general public. Through volunteers, donations, supporters and grants, the managing non-profit- B.O.L.D. - offers pre-scheduled programs to schools, youth groups, adult groups and families. Monthly canoe tours are available by reservation only. Check the online calendar for trip dates.

The Center is open from Thursday- Saturday from 9am-2pm for passive recreational pursuits such as wildlife watching, nature photography and trail walks. General admission is still FREE. The Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center is a public- private partnership between Bayou Outdoor Learning and Discovery, Inc. (BOLD) and Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation. Camp Bayou is located 3 miles south of SR674 at the end of 24th St SE in Ruskin. More information is on the web at http://www.campbayou.org , Facebook or call 813-641-8545.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Gardening in Florida

I am talking to some folks at the Ruskin Library on Saturday, June 28 at 10am, for those interested in gardening books for Florida. Here's the handout for anyone who wants an easy way to go to the links mentioned or for those who can't make it out to the talk that morning.

Gardening in Florida- resources and other food for thought…

By Dolly Cummings, Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center

http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

There is an abundance of gardening books available. Here are a few clues to help find the very best information in print:

-       Is it written specifically for Florida? Beware of generic gardening books that just slap ‘Florida’ in the title but offer few specifics regarding Florida’s unique conditions, from soils to weather.

-       Has it been published recently? If reprinted from editions pre-2000, beware of lack of updated information- particularly regarding non-native plants.

-       If there is a USDA Hardiness Map, does it show that Tampa Bay is in Zone 9b : average minimum temperature 25 to 30 (F)?

-       Do they suggest planting Florida Holly, Brazilian Pepper, Mexican Petunia or other plants currently on the FLEPPC’s list of category 1 invasive plants- REJECT!

Online resources have the ability to be more up-to-date but you still need to make careful website selections. Here are a few to get you started :

EDIS and UF/IFAS general- http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu

Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide- http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VH021

Tropical and Subtropical Fruit Crops- http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg373

Florida Native Plant Society- http://fnps.org

USF Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants-  http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu


Invasive Plants list- http://www.fleppc.org/list/list.htm


Florida Gardening Magazine- http://www.floridagardening.com

Camp Bayou Blog- http://campbayou.blogspot.com  where this list is available


​Nearby nurseries and gardens to view and/or buy plants for Florida:

Sweetbay Nursery, Parrish, Fl​- http://sweetbaynursery.com 

USF Botanical Gardens, Tampa, Fl- http://gardens.usf.edu   


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer Solstice Paddle trip

Canoe trips are always great fun at Camp Bayou.


Celebrate the summer solstice with a paddle trip around the island south of Camp Bayou on Saturday, June 21, starting at 9am. Three seater canoes are available for rent for just $25 which includes the guided tour with our volunteer naturalists. Have your own canoe or kayak? You are welcome to join the tour for a donation of $5. Registration required, please call 813-641-8545.

Camp Bayou is located 3 miles south of SR 674 at the south end of 24th St SE in Ruskin.


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Monday, May 19, 2014

Bayou, Boats and BBQ at Camp Bayou, June 7

Make a Splash at Bayou, Boats and BBQ!

Camp Bayou will host a National Trails Day event- Bayou, Boats and BBQ- on Saturday, June 7, 2014 from 9am-noon.

This FREE event will be water-themed with fish casting, water games, splash ball and critter netting in the river to name just a few. Organizations participating include SWFWMD, Florida Aquarium, Little Manatee River State Park, AmeriCorps, League of Environmental Educators in Florida, Florida Master Naturalists, and Camp Bayou volunteers. Take a 'Water's Journey" while visiting each of the display tables to be entered into a raffle to win a 'Summer Fun' bag, winner to be announced at noon.

Canoe rentals will be available for a special event price of just $10 that will allow you paddle around the oxbow island for up to 1 hour. First come, first served. If you have your own canoe or kayak, feel free to bring them to join the paddle around the oxbow at no charge. If bringing your own boat, please launch at the end of 24th St or bring a caddy since cars will not be allowed near the dock for this event due to safety concerns.

It's also Butterfly Education and Awareness Day (BEAD) and we are celebrating in the butterfly habitat with kid- friendly butterfly activities. http://afbeducation.org/butterfly-conservation/butterfly-education-and-awareness-day/.

Heather Nikole Photography, a local business that specializes in themed, natural light photography, will be set up at the fishing cabins for some 'Old Florida' photos. The fishing cabins will be open with exhibits that highlight the historical uses of the river.

A lunch time fundraiser, made possible by the Plant City Lion's Club and Walden Lake Car Wash and Service Center, will start at 11am. Choose from cheeseburgers, hot dogs or chili cheese dogs for just $5/person, includes a beverage. Cash, check or credit card will be accepted.

Another fundraiser, to help fund our classroom renovation, will be on display as well. Choose a beautiful nature-themed tile painted by a local artist for just $30. See Camp Bayou's Art Coordinator, Bruce Fallender for information and purchase. You can view or purchase tiles online by visiting our Square Market 'store': https://squareup.com/market/camp-bayou/unique-nature-tiles .

These activities are part of National Trails Day, Get Outdoors Florida, Children and Nature, No Child Left Inside, Be Out There!-NWF, Let's Move Outside, inspired initiatives.

Camp Bayou is neither a campground nor a summer camp. It was an RV park before the County's ELAP program purchased the land but it is now open for day use only, open to the general public. Through volunteers, donations, supporters and grants, the Center offers pre-scheduled programs to schools, youth groups, adult groups and families plus it's open from Thursday- Saturday from 9am-2pm for passive recreational pursuits such as wildlife watching, nature photography and trail walks.

The Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center is managed by the non-profit Bayou Outdoor Learning & Discovery, Inc. (BOLD), in a public- private partnership with the non-profit Ruskin Community Development Foundation, Inc. (RCDF) and Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation. Camp Bayou is located 3 miles south of SR674 at the end of 24th St SE in Ruskin. More information is on the web at http://www.campbayou.org/ or call 813-641-8545.

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Picture: Canoeing is just one of the fun activities at the Bayou, Boats and BBQ event!