Monday, February 25, 2013

Spring Open House at Camp Bayou

Join the fun on Saturday, March 16, 2013; 9am-1pm. Admission is FREE! Register here.

9:00 am: NEW!! Canoe rentals available 9-11am
9:00 am: Nature Photography Tour w/ Becki
9:30 am: Cockroach Race round 1
10:00 am: Tomato Breeding w/ Dr. Sam Hutton UF/IFAS- GCREC
           (Free tomato plants will be given out after the presentation)
10:30 am: Rainbarrels w/ Hillsborough County Cooperative Extension
10:30 am: Aquatic Critter Hunt w/ Dr. George
           (for kids and young-at-heart)
11:00 am: Frog Talk w/ Avalon of Conserve it Forward, Inc.
11:30 am: Lowry Park Zoo presents "Native Animals"
Noon: Green Lunch $5/person
12:30 pm: Cockroach Race round 2
(Visitors may bring their own cockroach to race but must follow rules of the game. Visit the blog for details.)

Visit other guest exhibitors including Quest Ecology discussing birds; Conserve it Forward with frogs; Florida Aquarium; Little Manatee River State Park; League of Environmental Educators in Florida; and Eagle Audubon Society in the butterfly habitat. Plus, there will be several nature activity and/or craft stations for kids led by teen volunteers from The Solid Rock Church. Special thanks to Sweet Bay Supermarket in Ruskin for helping with supplies for lunch .

These events are part of Sun-Earth Day,  Be Out There!, Get Outdoors Florida, "Let's GO"- Children and Nature, No Child Left Inside, and Let's Move Outside inspired initiatives.

During the Spring Open House, visitors will have a number of options to help support the programs and continuing operation of Camp Bayou:
- Keep food and supplies available for Xerxes, the albino corn snake that is on view in the nature center. Just $20 will provide mice and bedding for a month!
- Help support Camp Bayou with a minimum ten dollar donation and receive a native plant and 2013 magnet to remind you of a great place to enjoy nature.
- Like to more involved? During lunch, the BOLD board will be introduced with a brief summary of the past year's activities. Those interested in applying to become a future board member are encouraged to attend.

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. General admission is still FREE.

The Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center is a public- private partnership between Bayou Outdoor Learning and Discovery, Inc. (BOLD), 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.
Photo: Visitors enjoy activities at a past Open House event.
Photo credit: Becki Stafford

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