Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Camp Bayou Spring Open House

Camp Bayou Spring Open House
Join us for a day of FREE fun family activities while enjoying the beauty of Camp Bayou's 160 acres of trails, riverfront and exhibits.

Stop in at the Paleo Preserve Fossil Museum for the unveiling of their huge fossil tortoise (see photo of shell held by Frank Garcia). Camp Bayou's resident gopher tortoises look tiny in comparison!

The Open House runs 8am- 2pm on Saturday, April 16, 2011. This year' theme is Sustainability- Act Locally!
Schedule of Activities:
8am: Great American Cleanup begins– register at Keep Hillsborough County Beautiful 9 am: Nature crafts and activities begin with our teen volunteers!
9:30am: Recycled Rainbarrels– make a barrel from throwaways w/ Frank(30 min)
10 am: Composting the Worm's Way– gardening naturally demo (30 min)
10:30 am: What is in an Egg? w/ Erik Schramm of  Twenty– four Rivers, a pastured poultry farm in Plant City .  (30 min)
11 am: My Wildlife Yard based on the natural Fl habitat at Camp Bayou , by Diane S. Alvarez, Ph.D. (30 min)
Noon: Spring BBQ- $10/couple, $20/family
1 pm: Butterfly Survey Walk (30min)
2 pm: Have a safe trip home!
Registration appreciated but not required at
On-going through the day:
- Fossil Museum open
- Fossil pit dig (for small fee)
- Nature Center open
- Nature activities and games
- River critters touch table with a trip or 2 to the river to net more critters with George
- Nature photo 2010 winners plus 2011 contest info
- Trail walks through varied habitats with Becki, Florida Master Naturalist
- Butterfly Habitat
- Fishing Heritage cabins restoration in progress 
- Canoe launch open
- Native People's Camp
- Geocaching and Letterboxing
- Native plants for sale at the membership table
- Sustainability vendors (space available)
- Cart tours on half hour begin at 9:30 am with Jeri.

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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