Saturday, June 21, 2008

media release 6/20/08- Camp Bayou, Ruskin

Media contact: Dolly Cummings

phone: 813-363-5438


FREE Watershed Celebration with the Family Naturalists Program


Summer is here. Are you looking for a fun morning activity to do with the family?


On Saturday, June 28, starting at 9am, there will be a 3-hour Watershed Celebration based on the previous 11 weeks of Family Naturalist Workshops. Missed the workshops? No worries, activity stations will be set up so you can discover the answers to some of the questions explored during this past Spring.


- A 'river' tank will provide an opportunity to learn about 'biodiversity' and 'water quality' while finding fish and bugs swimming in a pan.

- An 'upland' tank will hold soil living critters like ant lions and millipedes plus gopher tortoise 'burrow-mates' that you can see close up under microscopes.

- At  the 'conservation' table, folks can make their own terrarium- a simulation of the water cycle- plus make a water cycle bracelet, then find out how to make their own Florida Friendly Yard using native plants and removing non-native invasives.

- A 'citizen science' table will offer a variety of suggestions to help you help the scientists that are trying to learn about birds, butterflies, frogs, and other puzzling questions from the wild.


Journal pages and identification pages will be available for those who would like to create their own Family Naturalist Field Guide.


At 10am, a Family Naturalist contest with be held to see who knows the most about the world outside our doors. Prizes, plus awards based on attendance from the previous weeks of the Family Naturalist Program, will be presented. To see a sampling of the types of awards and prizes offered, plus downloadable journal and field guide pages, visit the Family Naturalist Network at While you're there, consider joining to connect with like-minded families. 


Admission to the Watershed Celebration is FREE to pre-registered families. There is a requested donation of $5 per family for those who have not pre-registered to help cover unexpected costs. To register, send an email to or call 813-641-8545 by Friday June 27. Leave the following information to ensure that your registration is complete:

Name, number of adults and number of children planning to attend, plus your zipcode.


If you have any questions, please contact Dolly at 813-363-5438 or email at


Don't forget our regular activities are still available:

- The Fossil Museum is open on Saturdays, as well as the simulated shell pit where kids can dig for fossils for a small fee.

- The fourth Saturday each month is your opportunity to be an archaeologist in our 'midden' dig. Learn about the Native people who lived in this area before European contact and discover your own 'artifact' (small fee charged for dig). 

- The Butterfly Habitat attracts a variety of 'winged flowers'. Field guides are available in the Nature Center to help identify all the critters you see.

- Several trails wind through a variety of habitats. You might spot one of our resident gopher tortoises in the uplands, a manatee in the oxbow or an alligator in the river.


Funding for the Family Naturalist Program workshops was provided by the Alafia River Basin Board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District.


Camp Bayou is a partnership between the Ruskin Community Development Foundation, Inc. and Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation. Camp Bayou is located 3 miles south of SR 674 at the end of 24th St SE in Ruskin, on the Little Manatee River.



Pictured: Kaitlyn and Daniel Allen of Gibsonton, look for critters in the river during a recent Family Naturalist session

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please keep comments on subject- Thanks!