Tuesday, July 12, 2011

media release: Back to School- Back to Nature

It's that time of year again- to think about books and bags and ... bayous?!

Camp Bayou's Annual Back to School- Back to Nature event will be held on Saturday, August 6 from 9am- noon. Registered families will visit several nature stations where they will learn something about frogs, fossils, forests or one of several nature topics. Before leaving each station, the children will be given a free school supply item! For a possible extra bonus, children will be given a raffle ticket when they arrive after their family signs in at the registration table. A ticket will be drawn every 30 minutes for other items, including backpacks, journals, lunch bags, and more. As in past years, registration is required, but FREE, online at www.campbayou.org .

This year we will again hold a Teacher Exchange- an area for educators to leave materials they no longer need or pick up something new. Current items available for the Teacher Exchange include a fish tank with some accessories, posters, colorful nature magazines, water quality test kits and more! Teachers can also learn about field trips to the Nature Center or Fossil Museum, SWFWMD's SPLASH! grants, upcoming teacher professional workshops, League of Environmental Educators in Florida regional information and Florida Master Naturalist Program updates.

Organizations that will be participating in this year's event include:
Hillsborough County Solid Waste Recycling Program
Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful
Florida Division of Forestry
West Central Girl Scouts

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 http://www.campbayou.org or call 813-641-8545. 

Photo credit: Dolly Cummings
Pictured: Benjamin Weibley of Riverview shows off his NASCAR backpack, thanks to a winning raffle ticket at last year's Back to School- Back to Nature event at Camp Bayou.

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