Saturday, February 18, 2017

Camp Bayou Fun in March

We have a new activity for visitors to Camp Bayou. Our simulated archaeological dig (that's pottery, not fossils), that normally is only open for pre-registered groups, will now be offered any Thursday- Saturday between 9am and 1pm for just $5 per child. Interested participants just stop in at the Visitor's Center to pick up their 'Tool kit' and instructions.

Monthly one hour programs cover a special topic on the first Saturday of each month.
March 4: Citizen Science for All- Dolly will take visitors on the trail to find and report valuable data that may help scientists understand the changes over time.
April 1: The life cycle of butterflies and their pollinating abilities will be explained by Donna during a walking tour through Camp Bayou's Butterfly Habitat, where Florida native plants are grown as adult nectar sources and larval host plants for the native butterfly population.  The Habitat was created and maintained by the Eagle Audubon Society in Sun City Center, and serves as an example of how Florida native plants can easily become valuable additions to your own home landscape.

May 6: Jeri will lead an Ant Lion Safari. Find out what those little circles in the sand contain and get a good look at what's inside.
June 3: Becki will take visitors on a photography themed walk to help celebrate National Trails Day.
All programs begin at 9:30am and are free but donations are always appreciated!

The third Saturday canoe tour for March has been canceled but there will be a special Firefly Paddle on Friday, March 10 starting at 6pm. Canoes are available for rental for just $25 each or bring your own canoe or kayak for a small donation of $5 each. Register by calling the office at 813-641-8545.

Environmental educators, both formal and informal, are encouraged to register for the Spring 2017 LEEF mini-conference to be held at the Suncoast Youth Conservation Center in Apollo Beach on Saturday, March 18, 2017. For more information and to register, visit .

A Project Learning Tree Teacher Workshop is scheduled for Saturday, March 25, 2017 from 9am-3pm at Camp Bayou. Due to a generous sponsor, there is no charge for the workshop. Limited to 15 participants and suitable for formal and non-formal educators. Register online at or email .

For those who are interested in helping with registered groups, Camp Bayou is looking for enthusiastic volunteers who love the outdoors and want to pass along that passion to others through hands-on activities, walks and canoe tours. Contact Jeri at 813-641-8545 or email We are mainly looking for folks to help teach school groups K-6 but there are other opportunities as well.

Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center 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 managing non-profit- B.O.L.D. - offers pre-scheduled programs to schools, youth groups, adult groups and families. Monthly canoe tours are now available by reservation only. Check the online calendar for trip dates. The Center is 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. (B.O.L.D.), 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. Check out the Camp Bayou Facebook page and for more information visit the webpage at or call 813-641-8545.


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