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Brooker Creek Preserve’s adventures shine in November | Environment

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Brooker Creek Preserve’s adventures shine in November
Brooker Creek Preserve’s adventures shine in November

Tarpon Springs, Florida -- November continues with the exciting ways to discover the wonderful preserve at Brooker Creek.  The Preserve’s popular Saturday hikes continue throughout the month. 

Participants on the Saturday, Nov. 10, hike will assist in identifying the common birds of Brooker Creek Preserve. Meander along the one-mile trail from 8 to 10:30 a.m. while gathering information on the birds seen and heard. Binoculars will be helpful. Water is highly recommended.

On Nov. 17, participants will see how the land has changed over time and the ecological footprints left by those changes. These 90-minute hikes, beginning at 9 a.m., and are best for ages 6 and older. Closed-toe shoes, water and hat are recommended.

Local extension specialists will present a free introduction to plant identification. On Saturday, Nov. 17, the class will begin with the basics of plant identification, from using simple keys to identifying critical characteristics that will help any budding botanist in the field.  An emphasis will be placed on flowering plants, but ferns will be included as well. Although starting at 10:30 a.m. in a workshop setting, the group will adjourn to the outdoors, so wearing comfortable shoes is recommend. Materials will be provided for this 90-minute program. Advance registration is requested.

Saturday, Nov. 24, rounds out the month with a trained volunteer guide who will conduct an extended hike in a 9 to 11:30 a.m. 2.8- to 4-mile walk. This is very much like the hikes earlier in the month, simply more in depth. Insect repellent may be helpful. Water, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen, along with sturdy closed-toe shoes, are recommended. All ages are welcome, however children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult and those younger than 10 may find this hike challenging.

The popular Book Time at Brooker continues Thursdays in November, except for the Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday, Nov. 22, when all county offices are closed. For the rest of the month, this 45-minute program begins at 10:30 a.m., designed for children ages 3 to 5, will connect the wonders of the natural world through a story and a craft, game or other hands-on activity.

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.

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 in the preserve features interactive exhibits and 22 discovery-oriented experiences that are fun for the entire family. It is operated by the Pinellas County Parks and Conservation Resources Department and is open Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed Sunday through Wednesday and all Pinellas County holidays.

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