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June 3 — In Search of Secret Springs

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June 3- In Search of Secret Springs

 
Join us Sunday, June 3, on a journey to discover the hidden springs of Seminole State Forest. We will explore several small springs that occupy distinctive habitats in the flatwoods and sandhills near Blackwater Creek. We will evaluate the unique attributes of these springs and discuss how their fragility is indicative of the importance of protecting the springshed for all the ground- and surface-waters in the Wekiva basin.

We will meet at the Bear Pond Trailhead at the southern entrance of Seminole State Forest at 9:00 AM. The entrance to the park is less than 1/2 mile west of the Wekiva River and north of State Road 46. We plan to spend three hours exploring these hidden springs and will end the morning with a picnic lunch. If you can stay for the picnic, please bring your own food and drink. If you need to leave at noon, you will be able to go back to your car at the parking lot at Bear Pond.

It is extremely wet at Seminole State Forest and we will be hiking through shallow water at several times during the day. Please be sure to bring shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. Mosquitoes will be relatively abundant at times so dress accordingly. Fee: $25 payable at www.FriendsofWekiva.org. Use the Donate with PayPal button and write Seminole Springs in the notes section. For more information, email FriendsWekivaRiver@gmail.com or call 407-788-2619.

May 29 — What happens after the flush

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May 29 -- What happens after the flush? Septics 101 for springs

What happens to your waste after you flush can impact the quality of our ground and surface water. Join presenters from the University of Florida as they explain the basics of septic system function and maintenance. Learn about new advanced septic system technologies designed for enhanced removal of pollutants. Event runs from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Deltona Regional Library Auditorium, 2150 Eustace Avenue, Deltona. For more info, visit www.greenvolusia.org or call 386-736-5927

April 15 — Guided canoe/kayak trip

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FULL -- May 19 - Guided canoe trip

Join us for a guided canoe/kayak ride that will be the most informative you will ever take! Our expert ecologist will lead a float down Rock Springs Run on April 15. This is an unbeatable voyage into a wild, scenic and biologically distinct river run that offers idyllic vistas and a serene experience through protected natural lands.

We will leave from Kings Landing at 8 a.m. but please be there at 7:30. We'll float the 8.5 mile stretch to Wekiva Island. We have concluded that it will be easiest for most of us to use the shuttle service provided by Kings Landing. The costs for the guided trip is $25 plus the following fees. Fees are paid only in cash at Kings Landing:

  1. If you have your own canoe or kayak and don’t need a shuttle: $10 launching fee,
  2. with your own canoe or kayak and you use the shuttle service: $20,
  3. rent a kayak, with shuttle: $30,
  4. rent a canoe, with shuttle: $40, and
  5. rent a double kayak, with shuttle: $50.

You cannot bring glass or Styrofoam on the river. Bring your own water, snacks, sunscreen, etc.

This stretch of the river boasts unique features, including subtle changes in the canopy vegetation as you move across mixed floodplain swamp, bald cypress swamp, live oak hammock and loblolly pine forest communities adjacent to the river. The Run itself varies from a narrow passage between forested communities with little vegetation in the channel to broader sections with islands of floating vegetation. The changes in habitat on the banks of the river and the correlated shift in aquatic habitat influence dominant plants and  the wildlife that lives there.

For questions and to reserve your spot, email FriendsWekivaRiver@gmail.com or call 407-788-2619.

Secrets of the Woods Walk

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Feb. 18 -- Secrets of the Woods Walk

Do you know what animals live in scrub? Can you distinguish a sandhill from flatwoods? Well come on out & get your Florida on! Join us Feb. 18th, 9 a.m. to noon at Rock Springs Run State Reserve for a walk with our ecology expert who will dazzle you with up-close experiences in Florida habitats. You'll view scrub, sandhill, flatwoods and wetlands habitats and learn about each of these communities' plants, animals, soils, waters and fire needs. Cost is $25 and space is filling first come, first served. You'll walk a mile or two so wear shoes that are comfortable for hiking; bring water, a hat and sunscreen, and wear appropriate clothes for traversing through some potentially dense habitat. Exciting eh? We'll mee...t at the entrance to the Reserve. (For those of you who haven’t been there, this is not where Rock Springs is.) The entrance is south of SR 46, a little less than 2.5 miles west of the Wekiva River and 0.2 mile east of the traffic light at SR 46A. Google maps says: 30601 County Road 433, Sorrento, FL 32776. For questions and to reserve your spot, email FriendsWekivaRiver@gmail.com or call 407-788-2619. You can also visit our website www.FriendsofWekiva.org and pay through our PayPal button, noting that it's for the ecology walk. Hope to see you there!

 

In Search of Bats Walk

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Friday, Feb. 9 -- In Search of Bats Walk

In search of bats -- come with us on Friday, Feb. 9 on an evening walk to spot bats! This is a great follow-up for those who attended our recent bat talk or to catch up on what you might have missed. FREE for everyone. You'll be led by bat expert Shari Blissett-Clark, president of the Florida Bat Conservancy. At 6 p.m., meet at Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park, 8300 W. SR 46 in Sanford 32771. If you need more info, FriendsWekivaRiver@gmail.com or call 407-415-0705.

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Bats in Your Backyard - Feb. 1

Did You Know? Bats do not "carry" rabies; in fact, only about one-half of one percent of bats contract the disease. More people die annually from rabies transmitted by domestic pets than have died from contact with bats in all of recorded history! Learn more about these mysterious animals during Bats in your Backyard, a free program Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Markham Woods Church of Seventh-day Adventists meeting room, 505 Markham Woods Road, Longwood, FL 32779, sponsored by Friends of the Wekiva River. Come and learn about these prolific mosquito eaters from Shari Blissett-Clark, President of the Florida Bat Conservancy. www.floridabats.org A bat hike will follow on Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. Meet at Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park, 8300 W. State Road 46 Sanford, FL 32771. The presence of bats, however, isn’t guaranteed! For more information, contact FriendsWekivaRiver@gmail.com or call 407-415-0705.

Dec. 16 – Christmas Bird Count

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DEC 16 — CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT RSVP by Dec. 11

Want to take part in a Christmas tradition that helps the Wekiva basin? How about joining us Saturday, Dec. 16, for the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count? FOWR experts will help participants spot and identify birds during the count, which helps take important inventory of some of our valuable wildlife. No experience needed. We will fan out in groups in the wilderness, suburban and urban areas. Bring binoculars or let us know if you need them. Join for a half day (7:30 a.m.-noon) or a full day (7:30 a.m. to 5). We’ll determine meeting places when we know how many folks are joining. Please RSVP by DECEMBER 1 to FriendsWekivaRiver@gmail.com. When you RSVP, please let us know if you need binoculars, how many are in your group and if the group must stick together, half day or full day, and if you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle. This is the third part of our Wekiva Wilderness series of six three-hour events including a night hike, canoe ride and multiple day field trips to experience wildlife, see how fire fuels life in the forest, recognize different kinds of frogs, count birds and understand our springs and unique habitats, plus much more. Each event, including the bird count, is $25 per person and you can pay through our PayPal here on the website. Just indicate Christmas Bird Count in the notes along with your info. We look forward to seeing you.

Oct. 20 — Banquet at Alaqua

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Oct. 20 - Banquet at Alaqua

OCT. 20 -- BANQUET AT ALAQUA
Enjoy a lovely reception, dinner and program with Friends of the Wekiva River at the Legacy Club at Alaqua Lakes from 6 to 9 p.m. Keynote speaker Holly Greening, executive director of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, will talk about working together to restore and protect ecosystems. Delicious buffet. Cash bar. Business-style attire. Please reserve in advance. $30 per person. Checks made out to Friends of the Wekiva River. Mailed to FOWR, PO Box 536815, Orlando, FL 32853. Or email FriendsWekivaRiver@gmail.com -- send your name and number in your party and pay through PayPal on our website. For questions, please call 407-788-2619. The Legacy Club at Alaqua Lakes is located at 1700 Alaqua Lakes Blvd, Longwood, Florida 32779

Fire in Wekiva – Oct. 15

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OCT. 15 -- FIRE IN WEKIVA

 
Fire brings life to Wekiva. On Oct. 15, you can see first hand the results on a beautiful tram ride guided by expert ecologists and biologists who use controlled burns to keep Wekiva's more than 40,000 acres healthy.
Meet at the Sand Lake parking lot in Wekiwa Springs State Park at 8:30 a.m. From there, we will take a park-provided tram on a course through flatwoods, hammocks and sandhills. Experts will show you recent and older burn sites and the wonders that result. In the fall, Wekiva's sandhills are usually flush with the showy flowers of native plants that are adapted to frequent fire.
We won’t hike too far on this trip, but wear comfortable clothing and bring water and any snacks or personal items you ...may need while you are in the far reaches of the park for 3 hours. We will be back to the parking lot before noon.
This is part of our Wekiva Wilderness series of six three-hour events including a night hike, canoe ride and multiple day field trips to experience wildlife, see how fire fuels life in the forest, recognize different kinds of frogs, count birds and understand our springs and unique habitats, plus much more. Attend one, some or all of the classes. $25 each. $100 for all. To see the schedule, more info and to register, visit FriendsofWekiva.org or email FriendsWekivaRiver@gmail. Or call 407-788-2619 for general info about the classes. For specific information about the fire class, email Jay.H.Exum@gmail.com

CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER August 1, 2017 – Turtles of the Wekiva Wild and Scenic River System

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August 1, 2017 - Turtles of the Wekiva Wild and Scenic River System

LIVE Turtle Presentation
Wekiwa Springs State Park

Tuesday, August 1, 2017
1:00 p.m.
Nature Pavilion

 

Turtles of the Wekiva Wild and Scenic River Live Turtle Presentation – Tuesday, 1:00 p.m.

Come hear fascinating facts and insights on the behaviors of turtles we commonly see along the Wekiva River in this 1-hour program. You will learn about aquatic turtles and what you can do to help protect turtles here and all over the world. It’s a great opportunity for a selfie with a freshwater turtle too! Presented by, Virginia Oros, Wekiva Wild and Scenic River Ambassador, Jordan Gray, and his team from the North American Freshwater Turtle Research Group and the Turtle Survival Alliance.  

 

Nature Center – Tuesday at 2:00 p.m.

Stay and enjoy the Wekiva Wilderness Trust Nature Pavilion where you will see a live alligator, snakes, turtles, and learn some interesting facts about these and other species. See fossils and artifacts that illustrate the area’s rich history and the abundance of wildlife found within the Wekiva Basin. Learn about the Wekiva’s diversity of flora and fauna, some of which is endangered or threatened.

 

Hosted by:

Wekiva Wild and Scenic River Ambassador, Wekiva River Aquatic Preserve, Friends of the Wekiva River,

Wekiwa Springs State Park, Wekiva Wilderness Trust, and Turtle Survival Alliance