Sunday, November 21, 2010

Camp Bayou Holiday Open House

George points out some critters netted in the Little Manatee River

Camp Bayou will hold its Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 4, from 9am- 2pm.   The day's activities reflect programs held throughout the year at Camp Bayou.
Schedule of Family-friendly Activities:
9am: Guided walking Tour begins at Visitor’s Center
9am– 1:30pm: Highlight Cart Tours– 20 min tours on 7 passenger cart every half hour
10am: Compost workshop led by Hillsborough County Cooperative Extension
10:30 am: Aquatic Explorations – Join our naturalist to net critters in the river.
11 am: Rainbarrel Workshop led by Hillsborough County Cooperative Extension
Noon: Holiday BBQ– ‘Members Only’ BBQ. The main dish will be provided by Camp Bayou with side dishes supplied by members. (Members are folks who have made a recorded donation, or volunteered at least 5 hours, in the last 6 months. Not a member yet? New members may sign up on the morning of the event for a nominal fee. Please RSVP to Dolly at, and include if you will be bringing a side dish.)
1pm: Guided walking Tour begins at Visitor’s Center.

Throughout the day:
            - Paleo Preserve Fossil Museum open
            - Leisey-Casey Discovery Center open
            - Fossil pit dig (for small fee)
            - Fossil Show and Sale
            - Nature Center open
            - Art Show and Sale
            - Photography contest display/awards
            - Nature activity/crafts stations
            - White Elephant sale (buy used is the ultimate recycling)
            - Geocache/Letterbox Treasure Hunt
            - 3 trails through varied habitats
            - Native plants for sale
            - Native Peoples Camp
            - Fishing Cabins showcased
            - Storytelling on the Bayou
            - ‘Green’ Information
            - Eagle Audubon Butterfly Habitat

Visit to download a flyer with the schedule of events. Click here for some pre-Open House information about our photo contest, art show and craft bazaar.

This event is also a Be Out There!, Get Outdoors Florida, a Children and Nature and No Child Left Inside inspired initiative.

Camp Bayou is nether 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, membership and grants, the RCDF 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. General admission is still FREE.

The Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center is a public- private partnership between 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 or call 813-641-8545.


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