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County plans Explore Volusia programs

Posted On: November 21, 2019

County plans Explore Volusia programs

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

Reservations are required; call 386-736-5927.

Upcoming events include:

Biomimicry: 9 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 5. Learn how the natural world has solved some of our most difficult problems. Biomimicry shows us how structures and systems are modeled after biological processes and entities. Meet at Indian River Lagoon Preserve Park, 700 Sandpiper St., New Smyrna Beach.

Eco-buggy tour: 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10. Learn about important plant communities during this riding tour of Deep Creek Preserve. Participants may see Volusia County’s endemic paw paw, carnivorous plants and the Sherman’s fox squirrel. Meet at 964 S. State Road 415, New Smyrna Beach.

Indian River Lagoon paddle: 9 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 12. Look for marine mammals during this leisurely paddling trip leaving from Mary McLeod Bethune Park. Bring a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard, along with a life preserver and whistle. Meet at 6656 S. Atlantic Ave., New Smyrna Beach.

Brunch and learn: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. 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 a native animal while enjoying brunch, which will be provided by the Friends of Lyonia Environmental Center. Meet at Lyonia Environmental Center, 2150 Eustace Ave., Deltona.

Eco-buggy tour: 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17. Take a ride through the 1,400-acre Wiregrass Prairie Preserve, which is situated almost entirely in the St. Johns River Valley. Explore upland and wetland natural communities, including 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.

Bike for whales: 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 19. Search for endangered right whales during this five-mile ride from Esther Street Beachfront Park to Ponce De Leon Inlet and back. Participants will learn about the majestic animals’ feeding, migrations and general biology. Wear a helmet and bring a bicycle; large-tired bikes are recommended. Meet at 551 Esther St., New Smyrna Beach. 

Bike-about Palm Bluff: 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21. Take a ride through St. Johns River Water Management District’s Palm Bluff Conservation Area and explore the eight distinct natural plant communities. With its wide variety of habitats, this is a great place to go birding. Visitors may see a variety of species, including bluebirds, brown-headed nuthatch, turkeys, wading birds and raptors. Wear a helmet and bring a bicycle; large-tired bikes are recommended. Meet in Samsula at parking area east of County Road 415, 9.5 miles south of State Road 44, and 1.9 miles north of Howland Boulevard.

Callalisa Creek paddle: 9 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24. 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 canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard, along with a life preserver and whistle. Meet at 598 S. Peninsula Ave., New Smyrna Beach.

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.

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