Saturday, May 7, 2011

Get into Nature and make your own Discoveries!

That is what Dr. Scott Sampson, the Paleontologist, says at the end of each Dinosaur Train, a great and educational show for kids aired on PBS.

We are very fortunate to have in our community so many ways to get into nature, explore and learn.

Brevard Zoo is a great example. Besides the wonderful area full of plants and animals for all to appreciate, they offer various classes, night walks, and camps that are great for the little ones. They also have many conservation programs going on that ordinary citizens like you and me can volunteer in. Check them out at http://www.brevardzoo.org/conservation/local

The Environmentally Endangered Lands Program also has a lot going on. As defined on their website, an EEL Sanctuary is...
  • A place of wonder, contemplation and discovery
  • A resource for environmental education
  • A preserve to protect biodiversity and natural resources
  • An opportunity to experience Florida as the early inhabitants did
  • A place to learn about Brevard County's unique natural communities
  • A source of community identity for Space Coast residents and visitors
From hiking to Oyster Mat Making, from workshops to nature activities for children, they have something for everyone! Check their calendar at http://www.eelbrevard.com/

Now, being on the coast, we could not leave our lovely beaches out of this nature exploration list! As stated at http://www.spacecoastsbestbeaches.com/, "our coastline has always had a special allure for fishermen, surfers, sailors and those just looking to spend a few hours in peaceful bliss."

Our beaches are a lot of fun for families, surfers, tourists, and local residents alike. You can see a list of them and get a taste of what to do there at http://www.spacecoastsbestbeaches.com/florida-beaches.aspx

Those are our gems and it is important to protect them. The Brevard County Natural Resources Management Office is responsible for taking care of our beaches and preserve our gems. You can find out what they are doing to protect our beaches at http://www.brevardcounty.us/natres/beaches/index.cfm

And, of course, we could not leave our parks out of this list. In Brevard County we have plenty of beach parks, as the ones in Satellite Beach, and the Brevard County Parks and Recreation has wonderful parks and activities for families. You can check their calendar to see all that is happening at your favorite parks. They even have local campgrounds that may offer just the adventure you need.

One little adventure that all families should have at least once is visiting Samsons Island. Only accessible by boat, the city of Satellite Beach offers free boat transportation to the ones who would like to visit the island. The boat leaves every Sunday at 1pm from the Satellite Beach Fire Department. The trip is short (around 15min) and the island is worth a visit.

Another adventure families should participate in is the Community Campout that is organized every spring by Susan Boorse, Environmental Program Supervisor from the Brevard County Parks and Recreation. This spring campout will be from Friday, May 13th through Saturday, May 14th. There will be hot dog roast, hayride, crafts, nature programs, Astronomy 101, complete campfire with stories, songs and s'mores! In the morning, a light breakfast served to get your day started. For more information and registration, call (321) 455-1385.

Susan is also in charge of the Nature Nuggets program for preschoolers offered on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at Rotary Park Nature Center, 1899 S. Courtenay Parkway, Merritt Island. The Nature Center is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to the center, there is a ¼-mile raised boardwalk trail through several different ecosystems. Rotary Park also boasts a large pavilion, a playground with picnic areas and a pedway. For more information, contact the Rotary Park Nature Center at 321-455-1385.


Exploring nature brings families together in a fun way, and it can be very educational and informative. By learning about nature, we also learn to respect, preserve and conserve our natural resources.

Recycle Brevard!