2017-03-16 / Top News

CHEC offering programs in March

COURTESY PHOTO COURTESY PHOTO Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center and the Charlotte County Natural Resource Department will be conducting the following free guided walks and programs this month.

Unless noted, all walks begin at 9 a.m. For directions or further information, call Cedar Point Environmental Park at 475-0769.

Thursday, March 23

¦ Join Bob “Coop” Cooper on a guided walk through the old growth pine flatwoods and mangrove fringe of 125- acre Oyster Creek/Ann Dever Regional Park in Englewood. Meet at the San Casa entrance.

Friday, March 24

¦ Join Laura Soule on a guided walk through the 81-acre Bill Coy/Buck Creek Preserve in Englewood. The scrubby flatwoods and mangrove swamp border Buck Creek, which flows into Lemon Bay. Meet in the parking lot.

Sunday, March 26

¦ Join a CHEC naturalist on a guided walk through Tippecanoe II Mitigation Preserve in Port Charlotte. This 150- acre preserve is home to several families of the threatened Florida scrub jay. Meet in the parking lot.

¦ Enjoy a guided boat cruise and nature walk from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Cayo Costa State Park. The naturalist led 1 ½- hour boat ride (each way) will travel down the Intracoastal Waterway of Lemon Bay into Charlotte Harbor across Boca Grande Pass to Cayo Costa State Park on this day-long excursion.

This 2,420-acre state park is one of Florida’s largest unspoiled barrier islands, accessible only by boat. Beach activities include swimming, fishing, shelling (no taking of live shells) and hiking. Bring beach chairs, lunches, fishing equipment and any other items necessary for a full day at this primitive, unspoiled beach. A free tram transports visitors from bayside docks to the gulf side of the island.

This trip includes a naturalist onboard to point out the pelicans, dolphins and other sights both to and from the Island as well as an optional guided walk while on Cayo Costa State Park. Drinks are available on-board while under way, and restrooms, pavilions, and grills are available on the Island. Call Captiva Cruises at (239) 472-5100 to reserve a space. The $47 fee includes the guided cruise, a guided walk and entrance into the state park — with $5 of each fee being donated to CHEC. ¦

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