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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Community Partners Blog

Wildlife Park Focuses On Native Plants And Orchids In April

homosassa-wildlife-park-logo

Guest article by Susan Strawbridge, Park Services Specialist

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park will focus on native plants and Florida’s orchids during the month of April. The Park is introducing monthly themes featuring natural and cultural resource opportunities in Florida State Parks.

Two programs are planned to interpret the importance of planting with native plants. Park volunteer and orchid enthusiast Jeff Rundell will present a program on orchids. In the early days of Homosassa Springs, the attraction raised exotic orchids in large greenhouses and featured blooming plants for sale in the Children’s Education Center, which was once the Park’s main entrance. With the Park’s current focus as a Florida State Park and our emphasis on native plants, Rundell will concentrate on the Florida’s wild orchids. This program will be held in the Children’s Education Center on Thursday, April 17, 2014, starting at 10:00 a.m.

Jim Bierly of Citrus County’s Native Plant Society will offer a program on the native plants of our area. On Thursday, April 24, 2014 starting at 10:00 a.m. The Native Plant Program will be held in the Park’s recently renovated Children’s Education Center.

Both the Native Plants Program and the Orchids Program are included in your Park admission. In addition to these programs, visitors will find exhibits and displays on native plants and orchids in the Visitor Center and the Children’s Education Center.

On Saturday, April 19, 2014, the Park will celebrate Earth Day with exhibits in the Garden of the Springs and with interpretive carts throughout the Wildlife Walk area. The day will start with a free Easter Egg Hunt in the picnic area adjacent to the Visitor Center on US. 19. Regular admission will apply for entrance into the Wildlife Park.

The Children’s Education Center has reopened after the first phase of restoration was completed on this historic building. The building was the original entrance to Nature’s Giant Fish Bowl and was built in the 1940s. The roof was replaced, and brick work was added to the lower half off the interior walls to protect the building from water damage. The remaining interior walls were repainted.


As you can see, we have a lot planned for April and encourage you to visit Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park to learn about the importance of native plants and orchids.

For more information, please call (352) 628-5343. 

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
4150 S. Suncoast Blvd.
Homosassa, FL 34446

March 22, Bird Walk on Pepper Creek Trail

-Experienced and novice birders are welcome-homosassa-wildlife-park-logo

 The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, in cooperation with Citrus County Audubon Society, will host a bird walk on Pepper Creek Trail on Saturday, March 22, 2014.

An experienced birder from Citrus County Audubon, will lead the walk on this trail--one of 19 birding trails in Citrus County that are part of the West Section of the Great Florida Birding Trail. Participants should meet at 7:45 a.m. at the entrance to the park’s Visitor Center. The bird walk will begin at 8:00 a.m. Binoculars and a field guide are recommended. Participation in the bird walk on Pepper Creek is free.

Pepper Creek Trail is approximately 3/4 mile in length and follows along the park’s tram road, connecting the Visitor Center on U.S. 19 and the West entrance on Fishbowl Drive. Participants can either walk back down the trail or wait and take the first returning boat after the park opens. There is no charge to use the Pepper Creek trail or to take the return boat trip.

Bird walks are planned for October, November, and monthly from January through April. For more information and to register, call (352) 628-5343, ext. 1002.

For more information on activities in Florida’s State Parks visit www.floridastateparks.org.

This event will take place:

 

Saturday, March 22, 2014
8:00 a.m.

 


Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
4150 South Suncoast Boulevard
Homosassa Springs, Florida

March 8, Wildlife Jeopardy: Scorpions

-March’s program to focus on Scorpions -homosassa-wildlife-park-logo

 

HOMOSASSA – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park will host a Wildlife Jeopardy program in the Education Center on Saturday, March 8, 2014 from noon until 12:30 pm. The program will be on Scorpions.

The Wildlife Jeopardy program is an educational program for all ages. Volunteer Barbara Cairns will use a Jeopardy-style format to present interesting information on different Florida species monthly.

This program is included at no additional charge with regular park admission. It is a ten-minute walk from the park’s West entrance on Fishbowl Drive to the Education Center or the Garden Pavilion. The programs are held monthly December through May.

Barbara works as a docent in the Children's Education Center and is a retired school principal in overseas Dept. of Defense Schools in Labrador, Germany and Panama. She is also a published author with articles and stories in books, magazines and newspapers. Her latest books are Cracker Cow: a Narrative of Florida History, and Gatsby’s Adventures.

For more information, visit www.floridastateparks.org.

The event will take place:

12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
In the Children’s Education Center at
Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
4150 South Suncoast Boulevard (U.S. Highway 19)
Homosassa, Florida

March 8, Wildlife Park To Present Homosassa Heritage Day

homosassa-wildlife-park-logo~ Public invited to share history of the early days of the Park and Homosassa area ~

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park will be presenting its annual Homosassa Heritage Day on Saturday, March 8, 2014 from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. Heritage Day is a day-long event focusing on Homosassa’s heritage. The public is invited to learn about the early history of the park and its days as an attraction, and to share their stories and memories.
The event will be held in the Florida Room at the Park’s Visitor Center on U.S. 19. There is no charge to attend Homosassa Heritage Day exhibits and activities. (Regular park admission will be required for entrance into the Wildlife Park.)
Old Photo Album panels will display historical photos. Exhibitors will include the Citrus County Libraries, Citrus County Historical Society, Florida Public Archaeology Network, Homosassa River Garden Club, Homosassa River Alliance, and an exhibit on pioneer woman Dessie Smith Prescott.
Guest speakers will include Park Services Specialist J.D. Mendenhall who will do a presentation on Ivan Tors and his contributions to advances in animal training methods; Retired Rangers Jack Kearns and Patrick Dillard who will share stories of the attraction’s early days; and Candace Boothe, Margaret Harris, and Gus Valderrama will reenact a conversation between pioneer woman Dessie Smith Prescott, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, and Ernest Hemingway.
For more information on Homosassa Heritage Day, please call Susan Strawbridge at (352) 628-5445, ext. 1002. For more information on Florida State Parks, visit www.FloridaStateParks.org

Saturday, March 8, 2014
10:00 am until 4:00 pm
Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
In the Florida Room at the Visitor Center
4150 South Suncoast Boulevard
Homosassa, Florida

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