A group of Campbell Park Elementary students pose with Mural Artist Damir Tabakovic in front of the mural they helped inspire at the Loews Don CeSar Hotel.
ST. PETE BEACH – The manatee replica, Ms. Maisie and her baby calf Maddie, was one of the popular Sea Life Education Stations for fourth graders from Campbell Park Elementary School on a visit last week to the Loews Don CeSar Hotel.
Some children touched the “sea cow” statue as they listened and learned more about manatees.
The eight education stations, nestled around the resort’s pools, garden and beachfront, focus on beach birds, habitat restoration, stingrays, beach plants, sea turtles, manatees, nutrient-rich waters and sea life.
Eighty-eight students from Campbell Park created drawings of Tampa Bay area sea life in February and March. Artist Damir Tabakovic worked with the children and painted a sea life mural inspired by their drawings. The finished artwork fills a wall in the hotel’s Camp CeSar, which is part of the beach species education program.
The children participated May 29 in a special unveiling of the sea life art, which included a ribbon cutting and a walking tour of the education stations narrated by Tampa Bay Watch guides.
The self-guided experience was created because the hotel’s staff received many questions about local sea life including sea turtle nesting habits and the importance of sea oats.
“Our beaches and the variety of sea life that makes St. Pete Beach, and its waters, home is the primary reason guests come to Loews Don CeSar,” said Stephen Cummings, general manager of the Loews Don CeSar.
The resort reached out to Tampa Bay Watch to help create the sea life stations.
“We are honored to work with Loews Don CeSar to expand environmental education efforts to families and friends who visit our amazing beaches,” said Peter Clark, president of Tampa Bay Watch.
“Visitors can see firsthand the incredible environmental resources that make our region so special and find out how they can help protect the national treasures of Tampa Bay,” Clark said.
The collaborative project also included the Pinellas Education Foundation.