Hike along the boardwalk at Brooker Creek Preserve in Tarpon Springs.
TARPON SPRINGS – On a trial basis, Brooker Creek Environmental Education Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each Wednesday in March and April, in addition to Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Brooker Creek Preserve protects more than 8,700 acres of natural ecosystems and is located at 3940 Keystone Road in Tarpon Springs. The preserve, the horse trails and the Friends Trail are open daily and holidays. The Environmental Education Center features interactive exhibits and 22 discovery-oriented experiences that are fun for the entire family.
To learn more about Brooker Creek Preserve and its upcoming programs and events, call 453-6800. To register for programs and events visit www.brookercreekpreserve.org.
A variety of special events are planned for March, including the following.
Brooker Creek Preserves offers two opportunities this March to join an Extension specialist who will lead families through the wonders of the natural world with an activity-based learning adventure program specifically designed by 4-H. The first is scheduled on Saturday, March 9, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and the second is on Wednesday, March 27, from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Youngsters can sign up to become a Brooker Creek Explorer and continue with the learning activities throughout the year. Advance registration required; please register each family member as space and supplies are limited.
Starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 9, several live birds of prey will be used to illustrate aspects of predator-prey relationships, adaptations that ensure their success as predators and their role in maintaining healthy, balanced ecosystems. During this one-hour presentation, participants will learn the basic natural history of each species along with the impact of humans on their habitats and populations.
The ever-popular Book-Time at Brooker for tots ages 3 to 5 continues each Thursday. For 45 minutes each Thursday, beginning at 10:30 a.m., children have the opportunity to connect to the wonders of the natural world through stories and crafts, games or other hands-on activities.
Learn how to save rainwater in a recycled plastic barrel and use the water for plant beds, potted plants, vegetable and herb gardens. A 90-minute rain-harvesting workshop is Saturday, March 16, at 9 a.m. Advance registration required. An optional rain barrel may be purchased for $25 at the time of registration.
The Friends of Brooker Creek Preserve hosts a one-hour Brooker Book Club meeting beginning at 9:30 a.m. The selected books include works by Florida authors, past and present, with archaeology, biography, politics and history storylines. As seating is limited, advance registration is suggested.
The Saturday, March 30 topic in the Family Herpetology Series is gophers. Brooker Creek Preserve is home to many of these incredible creatures and here is the opportunity to learn the facts about their diversity, ecology and conservation. Beginning at 10:30 a.m., this 90-minute presentation is recommended for all ages.
Brooker Creek Preserve continues to offer recreational hikers many opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy the spring weather. The popular Saturday hikes continue beginning at 9 a.m. Volunteer guides lead groups to see how the land has changed over time and the ecological footprints left by those changes. Closed-toe shoes, water and hat are recommended on these 90-minute, 0.75-mile walks.
Saturday, March 23, beginning at 8:30 a.m., photographers can learn how to find that perfect photo during a 90-minute presentations/hikes. A hike along the boardwalk and trails looking for photos that reflect the season will follow a brief classroom session with local photographers and master naturalists Karl and Kathleen Nichter.
The Nichters will highlight seasonal features that help participants capture the natural beauty of the preserve. Advance registration required. Recommended for adults and children older than 12.
On Wednesday, March 20, a local natural resources agent will lead a forestry hike along two miles of boardwalks and natural trails at Brooker Creek Preserve. Come prepared with binoculars, cameras and questions. Questions can also be researched in the resource room upon return to the education center. Advance registration required for this 90-minute hike, which begins at 10 a.m.
The ongoing exhibit, Windows to Our Wildest Place, continues every Thursday through Saturday during regular center hours at Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center. These hands-on, educational exhibits help visitors understand how natural Florida has changed over time and the ecological footprints left by those changes.