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County plans Explore Volusia programs

Posted On: September 10, 2018

Learn about Volusia County’s conservation lands and land management practices during free Explore Volusia programs in October. Environmental specialists will lead guided hikes, paddling trips, eco-buggy tours and bike-abouts.

Reservations are required; call 386-736-5927.

Upcoming events include:

Callalisa Creek paddle: 9 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2. Enjoy a backwater paddle through a maze of mangroves. Participants will navigate oyster beds, learn about mosquito canals, and see a variety of birds during this paddle. Bring a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard along with a life preserver and whistle. Meet at 598 S. Peninsula Ave., New Smyrna Beach.

Bike-about Spruce Creek: 9 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10. Ride a segment of the Martin Dairy Trail in Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve while learning about the local ecosystem. Moderate skill is preferred due to rough terrain, soft sand, and up-and-down hills. Bicycles and helmets are required. Meet in the dirt parking lot on Martin Dairy Road, New Smyrna Beach. (Turn north off Turnbull Bay Road, just off of Pioneer Trail.)

Eco-buggy tour: 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16. Take a ride through the 1,400-acre Wiregrass Prairie Preserve, which is almost entirely in the St. Johns River Valley. Explore upland and wetland natural communities that include wet flatwoods, cypress domes and wet prairies. Learn about land management practices while riding through the diverse ecotones of the land. Meet at 1751 Lopez Road, Osteen. Do not use a GPS to get to the location.

Hontoon paddle: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18. Not for the beginner paddler, this 10-mile paddle leaves from Hontoon Island State Park and loops down Snake Creek and back up the St. Johns River channel. The trip will take five to six hours, and participants are encouraged to bring lunch to stop for a picnic. Bring a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard along with a life preserver and whistle. Meet at 2309 River Ridge Road, DeLand.

Brunch and learn: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20. Learn about the importance of scrub habitat and keep an eye out for scrub jays, gopher tortoises and other wildlife during a stroll through Lyonia Preserve. Afterward, meet and learn about an animal while enjoying brunch. Meet at Lyonia Environmental Center, 2150 Eustace Ave., Deltona.

Thistle dismissal: 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24. Learn about sea turtles, wrack lines and invasive species during this beach walk. Participants will be asked to help remove the invasive Russian thistle from the beach. Bring gloves and meet at Frank Rendon Park, 2705 S. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach.

Eco-buggy tour: 7:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25. Take a night ride through Longleaf Pine Preserve’s flatwoods, cypress domes and swamps. Participants will view the land nocturnally as they look for a variety of species. Meet at the preserve’s east entrance, 4551 Pioneer Trail, New Smyrna Beach.

Guided hike: 9 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30. Learn about the importance of scrub habitat, water recharge zones, and keystone species while hiking through the beautiful scenery. Participants will hike approximately 1 mile of trails and get an up close look at the land management practices of the conservation area. Meet at Scrub Oak Preserve, 1495 McGregor Road, DeLand. 

Bike-about Lake Woodruff: 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31. Ride a dirt path around a small segment of the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge. Receive information on cypress and mixed hardwood swamps, and ride to areas of water impoundments where a variety of wildlife can be seen. Participants must have a bicycle and helmet. Large-tire bikes are recommended. Meet at the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge Trail on Mud Lake Road, DeLeon Springs.

Volusia County’s Environmental Management Division sponsors Explore Volusia to acquaint residents with the county’s diverse natural habitats and land management practices.

Participants should bring water and insect repellent. They should wear comfortable clothes and hiking or walking shoes.