ECO EVENTS _ February 2014

by Erin Thursby
Feb 5 Join other nature lovers on a guided walk by GTM Research Reserve volunteers. Observe signs of wildlife including the resident ospreys. Learn how Native Americans made use of various plants for food and medicine. The Preserve is located at the south end of the town of Marineland across from the ocean. Turn west at the River to Sea Preserve entrance. You will see a temporary directional event sign posted at the drive. Follow the lane to the parking lot where you will meet your guide at 9 am. Please reserve by calling 823-4500 or RSVP online at https://gtmnerrmarinelandtrail.eventbrite.com/?ref=ecal.
Feb 8 The GTM Research Reserve will host a trail walk every second Saturday from 8:30 to 10:30 am. Join staff and/or volunteers for a 1.5 mile walk that the entire family will enjoy. Meet at the GTM Research Reserve’s Trailhead Pavilion located west of the Guana Dam. Wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes. $3 per vehicle parking fee. RSVP at http://gtmnerr2ndtrailhike.eventbrite.com or by calling 823-4500.
Feb 10 Sierra Club, Northeast Group will host Melissa Beaudry of the North Florida Land Trust. NFLT is partnering with other groups to restore McCoys Creek and the surrounding “Emerald Necklace” of parks designed by Henry Klutho. Come hear the plan for restoration of these city core green and blueways. Social time 6:30-7 pm. Program at 7 pm. Lakewood Presbyterian Church, 2001 University Blvd W., rear of education bldg., 247-1876.
Feb 14-17 From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, bird watchers from more than 100 countries are expected to participate in the 17th annual Great Backyard Bird Count. Anyone anywhere in the world can count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count and enter their sightings at www.birdcount.org. The info gathered by tens of thousands of volunteers helps track the health of bird populations at a scale that would not otherwise be possible. It’s a great way for people of all ages and backgrounds to connect with nature and make a difference for birds. It’s free and easy. To learn more about how to join the count visit www.birdcount.org and view the winning photos from the 2013 GBBC photo contest.
Feb 15 On the third Saturday of the month from 8:30 to 10 am, join GTM Research Reserve Docents for a beach walk at the Guana South beach location. This is a “Beaches 101” experience that the entire family will enjoy. Park at the GTM Research Reserve South Beach Access Lot, 1798 Ponte Vedra Blvd (A1A), Ponte Vedra Beach. There is a $3 per vehicle parking fee. After the walk, visit the GTM Research Reserve Environmental Education Center (EEC) or enjoy our many miles of trails. The EEC is located at 505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082. Admission fee into the EEC is $2 for adults, $1 for children ages 10-17, and children under ten are free. Space is limited so please RSVP. You can make reservations at http://gtmnerrbeachexploration.eventbrite.com/ or call 823-4500. Please provide your email and phone number, in case it is cancelled due to inclement weather.
Feb 15 Come along for bird watching in the Okefenokee Swamp. The great Okefenokee Swamp is the largest intact, unfragmented freshwater and blackwater wilderness swamp in North America. Meet at the main Fish and Wildlife Service entrance, located 11 miles southwest of Folkston off US 1. See the website for more details. 8 am-5 pm, www.duvalaudubon.org
Feb 15 Join North Florida Land Trust (NFLT) in partnership with Kayak Amelia for a guided eco-tour around Big Talbot and surrounding islands from 11 am-1:30 pm. Instruction and a two-hour guided paddle. No kayak experience necessary. $55, Kayak Amelia, 13030 Heckscher Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32226, 251-0016.
Feb 18 A free lecture series is held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month from 10-11 am at the GTM Research Reserve Marineland Field Office, 9741 N Oceanshore Blvd in the town of Marineland. The series is designed to help inform the public about their coastal, natural world. Reserve online at https://gtmnerrmarinelandlecture.eventbrite.com/ or by calling 823-4500.
February 21 A GTM Research Reserve volunteer guide will give a free interpretive beach walk at the River to Sea Preserve Oceanside in the town of Marineland. Learn how beach vines and sea oats help anchor dunes and why the dunes need protecting. See a variety of shorebirds and learn about seashells and mollusks. Meet your guide at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve Marineland field office on the west side of A1A, at 9741 Ocean Shore Blvd., Marineland. 9 am. Reserve at 823-4500 or at http://gtmnerrmarinelandbeach.eventbrite.com.
Feb 22 Join GTM Research Reserve Docents the 4th Saturday of every month from 8:30-10:30 am for a family seining activity. Visitors will get the chance to pull a seine net through Guana Lake, collecting species of fish, crabs and more, and then learn about the animals and their roles in the habitat. All necessary gear including waders and boots will be provided. The program is free with paid entrance and will take place at the Guana Dam Recreational Area. Meet first at the Environmental Education Center, 505 Guana River Rd, Ponte Vedra 32082. RSVP online at https://gtmnerrfamilyseine.eventbrite.com/ or call 823-4500.
Feb 22 The Duval County Extension Office is offering a fun day for gardening enthusiasts to listen to exciting speakers. You can shop for plants and garden items with the vendors and have lunch. The cost is $15 per person. Pre-payment and registration are required by the 18th. No walk-ins. 8:30 am-2:30 pm, 1010 N McDuff Ave, 255-7450.
Feb 22 Bird watching at Reddie Point Meet in the parking lot at Reddie Point Preserve, 4499 Yachtsman Way and check the shoreline, ponds and trails. 8 am-noon. Contact Judy Jeffas at 612-7036. www.duvalaudubon.org
Thursday & Friday Spanish Seafood Paella & Spanish Tapas. Paella includes Safron Rice with squid, scallop, shrimp, mussels, grouper & chicken / garlic crostinis with lemon & limes. Tapas include lamb & chorizo meatballs, sizzlin shrimp & garlic, serrano & manchego, spinach gumbo w chick peas, house bread w/ fresh aioli sauce, marinated olives and more.Sangria, Beer and Wine offered. 5:30-9:30 pm, Tres Leches Eatery 869 Stockton St, 551-4375, www.treslechesdesserts.com
Saturday & Sunday Brunch Saturday Brunch – 9 am until 2 pm, Sunday Brunch – 10:30 am until 3 pm Mimosas offered Tres Leches Eatery 869 Stockton St, 551-4375, www.treslechesdesserts.com

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