Nature Center Opening

The past several months have been some of the most exciting in NWFLEC’s history! We now have a nature center! NWFLEC also celebrated it’s 7th yr anniversary in late December and we are now moving into our 8th yr of existence. For a small group we have accomplished a great deal in 7 yrs.

First, some news and updates. The NWFLEC annual meeting in Nov. of 2011 was a great success. We did some great service projects and removed 15+ old bat houses and put up a new deluxe bat house at Dogwood Acres. George and Cyndi Marks (authors of Bats of FL & founders of the FL Bat Conservancy) gave a great program that included live bats! Afterwards they demonstrated the use of bat detectors and other interesting bat research equipment. For more information and photos, please visit the link below.

My most exciting news is the upcoming nature center grand-opening! It will be held Saturday, April 28th from 12 noon CST to 2:00pm at Dogwood Acres. More information about the event is found at the link below and a map of the event location is found on the following web page. The event is free and everyone is invited. Volunteers are invited to help with the event please.

The nature center will primarily only be open for reserved educational field trips and events and for use by Dogwood Acres summer camps and event visitors. We plan to open the center to the public one day quarterly and a calendar of these days will be listed on the NWFLEC & nature center websites. However, for NWFLEC members with lifetime memberships and those that keep their annual dues current, free admission is offered to the nature center! As a current member, during your camp visit I can also give you a tour of awesome Steephead ravines, other interesting habitat and show you some of the research and other projects I’m working on. These benefits are only for current NWFLEC members and this is a great incentive to send in your dues today!

It is a small nature center but it has turned out extraordinary! For example, we used real Cypress paneling inside and it looks amazing! Be sure to check out the sneak peek photos at the NC link below. Remaining work will include different outside exhibits.

We also really need volunteers please! A very small amount of work remains to complete Phase I (the building & interior exhibits) and we especially need volunteers to help complete the outside phases. Three upcoming volunteer days are scheduled for Saturday March 3rd, Saturday March 10th & Saturday April 21st. The work will begin at 10:00 am CST and will go to 4:00 pm.

This is an exciting time for NWFLEC and its members. Our hard work and your support is really paying off now in many ways. I urge you to consider joining NWFLEC today and get involved in our exciting future. I have listed yet another link below for paying annual memberships and making donations. I look forward to seeing you at the upcoming volunteer days and especially the nature center grand-opening! On behalf of myself and the many critters – Thanks! Karl

2011 NWFLEC Meeting & Retreat
Nature center Grand-opening
Nature Center phases & projects

NWFLEC memberships & donations:
Karl Studenroth
Founder & Director – Northwest Florida Environmental Conservancy

Cathy Ingram, 3/1/2012

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