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Discover Paradise in Pinellas: December 2012 through February 2013 | Environment

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Discover Paradise in Pinellas: December 2012 through February 2013
Environment, Events
Discover Paradise in Pinellas: December 2012 through February 2013

Pinellas County, Florida -- Looking for something to do during the winter months? These should keep you busy!

EXHIBITS

Windows to Our Wildest Place: These permanent, hands-on educational exhibits help visitors understand how natural Florida has changed over time and the ecological footprints left by those changes. Brooker Creek Environmental Education Center, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; closed Sunday through Wednesday and holidays. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Connecting People and Place: This art-inspired, permanent hands-on educational exhibit reveals the area’s history, ecology and people. Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; closed Sunday through Wednesday and holidays. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org

ONGOING

Nov. 23 to Jan. 1

Holiday Lights in the Gardens: The Florida Botanical Gardens hosts their annual event, Holiday Lights in the Gardens, nightly from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., from Friday, Nov. 23, through Tuesday, Jan. 1. With more than 500,000 lights adorning the thousands of plants and trees, visitors will once again get in that holiday spirit. Guests will enjoy a new laser light show as well as lights decorating the new vinery garden and fountains at McKay Creek. A donation of $2 is requested for adults and children 12 years and older; free admission for children younger than 12. Refreshments will be available for purchase. An updated schedule of events will be posted at www.flbg.org.

Nov. 24 to Dec. 30

Holiday Traditions at Heritage Village: The Pinellas County Historical Society’s Holiday Traditions begins on Saturday, Nov. 24, and continues through Sunday, Dec. 30. Visitors to this 21-acre living history museum will find the enchanting historical houses decorated true to their time period, locality and lifestyle, from an elaborately decorated Victorian home to a simply adorned 1852 log cabin. Heritage Village is located at 11909 125 St. N. in Largo and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. It is closed Monday, Tuesday and all Pinellas County holidays For more information call (727) 582-2123 or visit www.pinellascounty.org/heritage

Nature Walks Along the Trails at Fort De Soto Park: Free one-hour guided nature walks are offered along six different trails each Saturday and Sunday, except holidays. Visitors on the hike will be absorbed in the abundance of history, natural beauty and the complexity of the ecology not immediately apparent to the casual beachgoer. Emerging from the wealth of bird life, sea life, wild life and plant life is the majestic tapestry called Fort De Soto Park. 10 to 11 a.m. Fort De Soto Park, 3500 Pinellas Bayway S., Tierra Verde. (727) 552-1862; www.pinellascounty.org/park.

DECEMBER

Dec. 1

Dog Training: Learn the basics of dog training in a seminar for all who have adopted dogs from Pinellas County Animal Services or other shelters in the county. Learn about housetraining, loose-leash walking and dealing with challenging dog behaviors. No dogs at the class please. 10 a.m. Free; Pinellas County Animal Services, 12450 Ulmerton Road, Largo. (727) 582-2600; www.pinellascounty.org/animalservices

Dec. 1

Brooker Creek Guided Hike: Volunteer guides will lead groups on hikes to see how the land has changed over time and the ecological footprints left by those changes. Closed-toe shoes, water and hat recommended on this 0.75 mile walk. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult; those younger than 6 may find this hike challenging.  9 to 10:30 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Dec. 1

Weedon Island Guided Hike: Learn about the ecosystems and the early residents of Weedon Island Preserve while hiking the coastal uplands and the boardwalks through mangrove forests. Best for ages 6 and older. 9 to 11 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org

Dec. 1

Trees and Traditions:  Heritage Village offers this special day of holiday-related activities. The Pinellas County Historical Society sponsors an open house with refreshments, children’s activities and crafts, holiday music, tours and a special visit from Santa Claus. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free to children younger than 12; suggested minimum donation of $2 for adults. Heritage Village, 11909 125th St. N., Largo. (727) 582-2123; www.pinellascounty.org/heritage

Dec. 1

Brooker Creek Book Club: Hosted by the Friends of Brooker Creek Preserve, the Brooker Book Club meets the first Saturday each month. Geared toward adults, the book list includes novels by Florida authors, past and present, with archeology, biography, politics and history storylines. December’s book selected for discussion is Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston. 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Free; advance registration is required as seating is limited.  Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Center, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs.  (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Dec. 1

Living in Paradise – Looking for the Ancient People of Florida’s Central Gulf Coast: The people native to the Americas were forever changed at the moment of contact with the European invaders more than 500 years ago. Who were the people living on the Central Gulf Coast of Florida and how did they see this new world? Artists and storytellers, Hermann Trappman and Elizabeth Neily will explore these people, their environmental history and the archaeological evidence left by these first people of Florida. 10:30 a.m. to noon. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Dec. 1

Everyday Adventures – A Florida Outdoors Guide: Tampa Bay Times outdoors editor Terry Tomalin will describe his favorite adventures for lovers of the Florida outdoors at this presentation and book signing. For whatever nature excursion appeals to you, Tomalin is full of advice for beginners to seasoned enthusiasts, and has many fun-filled adventures in his guide. 2 to 3 p.m. Free; advance registration requested. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Dec. 6

Book Time at Brooker: Children ages 3 to 5 connect to the wonders of the natural world through a story and a craft, game or other hands-on activity. Today’s featured book is The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Dec. 8

Birds of Brooker Hike: Join this special hike identifying common birds of Brooker Creek Preserve. Meander along the one-mile trail to gather information on the birds seen and heard. Binoculars will be helpful. Bring water. 8 to 10:30 a.m. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Dec. 8

Weedon Island Guided Hike: Learn about the ecosystems and the early residents of Weedon Island Preserve while hiking the coastal uplands and the boardwalks through mangrove forests. Best for ages 6 and older. 9 to 11 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org

Dec. 8

Wild Wetlands – Florida Aquarium: The Florida wetlands are home to many diverse animals. Participants will explore the wonders of Florida’s wetlands through biofact investigation and encounters with live animal ambassadors from the Florida Aquarium. 10 to 11 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org

Dec. 8

Pinellas Paws Cause Holiday Celebration: Share the holiday spirit with the whole family at Animal Services with a variety of good fun, music by Radio Disney, food trucks, K-9 demonstrations, obedience dog training, free drawings, animal rescue groups and photos with Santa Paws. Dogs and cats will be ready and waiting to go home to new adopted families all day. Vendors will be on hand with crafts and specialty pet-themed items, pet services and animal-related products. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free. Pinellas County Animal Services, 12450 Ulmerton Road in Largo. (727) 582-2600; www.pinellascounty.org/animalservices.

Dec. 8 

Birds in Florida Gardens: Interested in how to attract birds to your garden using Florida native plants? What birds can you expect in your Florida garden? How do you identify them? Lynn Sumerson will explain why birds are attracted to gardens. 10:30 a.m. to noon. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Dec. 9

The Florida Botanical Gardens Foundation’s Gift and Plant Sale: The Florida Botanical Gardens Foundation invites you to an admission-free special Gift and Plant Sale on Sunday, Dec. 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. held at the Florida Botanical Gardens. Complete your holiday shopping in a lovely botanical setting, choosing from over 45 quality vendors offering unique gifts and live plants. After shopping, come back to see the magic of the Holiday Lights in the Gardens. The Florida Botanical Gardens, 12520 Ulmerton Road in Largo with an entrance at 12211 Walsingham Road. (727) 582-2100; www.flbg.org.

Dec. 13

Book Time at Brooker: Children ages 3 to 5 connect to the wonders of the natural world through a story and a craft, game or other hands-on activity. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Today’s featured book is The Very Best Spider by Eric Carle. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Dec. 13

Wee Time at Weedon: Children ages 3 to 5 are treated to a variety of stories, crafts, games and hands-on activities that connect them to their environment. This week’s story, Where Would I Be in an Evergreen Tree? by Jennifer Blomgren, celebrates the ecosystem of a magnificent evergreen tree.  10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg.  (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Dec. 14

Great Weedon Bird Quest: Learn the identifying marks and behaviors of our feathered year-round residents and seasonal visitors while helping to compile an annual checklist of the preserve’s birds. These hikes are designed to take advantage of all levels of birding experience.  Binoculars and bird guides are available. 8 to 10 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg.  (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Dec. 15

Photography Hike: This hike is a perfect opportunity for adult photographers to hone their skills. After a classroom session highlighting specific wildlife behaviors and focus tips, guides will assist participants in capturing the natural beauty outdoors. 8 to 10 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Dec. 15

Brooker Creek Guided Hike: Volunteer guides will lead groups on hikes to see how the land has changed over time and the ecological footprints left by those changes. Closed-toe shoes, water and hat recommended on this 0.75 mile walk. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult; children younger than 6 may find this hike challenging.  9 to 10:30 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Dec. 15

Weedon Island Guided Hike: Learn about the ecosystems and the early residents of Weedon Island Preserve while hiking the coastal uplands and the boardwalks through mangrove forests. Best for ages 6 and older. 9 to 11 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Dec. 15

Birds of Prey – Adaptations for Success and Roles in the Ecosystem: This presentation will include several live birds of prey which will be used to illustrate aspects of predator-prey relationships, adaptations that ensure their success as predators and their role in maintaining healthy, balanced ecosystems. The basic natural history of each species will also be discussed, along with the impact of humans on their habitats and populations. 1 to 2 p.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Dec. 20

Book Time at Brooker: Children ages 3 to 5 connect to the wonders of the natural world through a story and a craft, game or other hands-on activity. Today’s featured book is Forest Bright/Forest Night by Jennifer Ward. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Dec. 20

Archaeology Lecture – Life and Death at Windover: Excavations of a 7,000-Year-Old Pond Cemetery: Dr. Rachel Wentz’ latest book examines the discovery, excavations and analyses of one of the most important archaeological sites in the world – Windover.  This fascinating site at Titusville, Florida, produced the well-preserved remains of 168 individuals along with hand-woven textiles, a beautiful assemblage of artifacts and ancient soft tissue. 7 to 8 p.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Dec. 22

Weedon Island Guided Hike: Learn about the ecosystems and the early residents of Weedon Island Preserve while hiking the coastal uplands and the boardwalks through mangrove forests. Best for ages 6 and older. 9 to 11 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org

Dec. 22 

Extended Brooker Creek Guided Hike: Trained volunteer guides will conduct a 2.8- to 4-mile walk to look at how the land has changed over time and discuss the ecological footprints left by those changes.  Insect repellent may be helpful. Water, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen along with sturdy closed-toe shoes are recommended. All ages are welcome; children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult; those younger than 10 may find this hike challenging. 9 to 11:30 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Dec. 27

Wee Time at Weedon: Children ages 3 to 5 are treated to a variety of stories, crafts, games and hands-on activities that connect them to their environment. This week’s story is Mary Manatee, A Tale of Sea Cows. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg.  (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Dec. 27

Book Time at Brooker: Children ages 3 to 5 connect to the wonders of the natural world through a story and a craft, game or other hands-on activity. Today’s featured book is River Otters by Hope Irvin Marston. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Dec. 29

Weedon Island Guided Hike: Learn about the ecosystems and the early residents of Weedon Island Preserve while hiking the coastal uplands and the boardwalks through mangrove forests. Best for ages 6 and older. 9 to 11 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org

Dec. 29

Brooker Creek Guided Hike: Volunteer guides will lead groups on hikes to see how the land has changed over time and the ecological footprints left by those changes. Closed-toe shoes, water and hat recommended on this 0.75 mile walk. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult; those younger than 6 may find this hike challenging.  9 to 10:30 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

JANUARY

Jan. 3

Book Time at Brooker: Children ages 3 to 5 connect to the wonders of the natural world through a story and a craft, game or other hands-on activity. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Jan. 5

Dog Training: Learn the basics of dog training in a seminar for all who have adopted dogs from Pinellas County Animal Services or other shelters in the county. Learn about housetraining, loose-leash walking and dealing with challenging dog behaviors. No dogs at the class please. 10 a.m. Free. Pinellas County Animal Services, 12450 Ulmerton Road, Largo. (727) 582-2600; www.pinellascounty.org/animalservices.

Jan. 5

Brooker Creek Guided Hike: See how the land has changed over time and the ecological footprints left by those changes. Closed-toe shoes, water and hat recommended. Best for ages 6 and older. 9 to 10:30 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Jan. 5

Orchids and Epiphytes of Brooker Creek Preserve: Join Brooker Creek Preserve naturalist James Stevenson to explore the fascinating world of orchids and “air plants” found on the Preserve.  This class will introduce participants to identification skills and will include a walk to discover these plants in their natural habitat. 10:30 am to noon. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org

Jan. 5

Weedon Island Guided Hike: Learn about the ecosystems and the early residents of Weedon Island Preserve while hiking the coastal uplands and the boardwalks through mangrove forests. Best for ages 6 and older. 9 to 11 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Jan. 5

Brooker Creek Book Club: Hosted by the Friends of Brooker Creek Preserve, the Brooker Book Club meets the first Saturday each month. Geared toward adults, the book list includes novels by Florida authors, past and present, with archeology, biography, politics and history storylines. January’s book selected for discussion is Vanishing Florida: A Personal Guide to Sights Rarely Seen by David T. Warner. 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Free; advance registration is required as seating is limited.  Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Center, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs.  (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Jan. 5

The History of Egmont Key: Egmont Key has been a sentinel for ships entering Tampa Bay from the Gulf of Mexico for hundreds of years. Early European explorers recognized the island’s strategic location and its story reflects major events in the history of the United States and Florida. Authors Don and Carol Thompson’s new book aims to foster an appreciation of the uniqueness and beauty of this island, as well as an understanding of its place in history. Light refreshments, sponsored by Friends of Weedon Island, available at this book signing and talk. 2 to 3 p.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Jan. 8

Roundup License Training - LCLM Training & LLO Review: This class provides training and testing necessary to obtain a limited commercial landscape maintenance license (LCLM) or as a review and testing for the limited lawn and ornamental (LLO) license. This class is NOT for renewal CEUs. $60. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pinellas County Extension, 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo. (727) 582-2562; register at http://pce-commercialhort.eventbrite.com.

Jan 10

Book Time at Brooker: Children ages 3 to 5 connect to the wonders of the natural world through a story and a craft, game or other hands-on activity. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Jan. 10

3rd Annual Roots to Shoots Tree Program: University of Florida Extension agents, staff and O’Neil’s Tree Service will demonstrate canopy cleaning, lifting, structural pruning, tree climbing techniques and safety. Classroom topics will include safety, tree roots and creating a wind-resistant urban forest. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $30; free to employees of Pinellas County and the Pinellas County School Board and Pinellas County Master Gardener Volunteers (must have ID on day of class). Advance registration required. Pinellas County Extension, 12520 Ulmerton Road in Largo. (727) 582-2562; register at http://pce-commercialhort.eventbrite.com.

Jan. 10

Wee Time at Weedon: Children ages 3 to 5 are treated to a variety of stories, crafts, games and hands-on activities that connect them to their environment. This week’s story, Turtle Saver by Laurie Parker illustrates how one good deed can multiply and how we are connected with everything around us. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg.  (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Jan. 12

Birds of Brooker Hike: Join this special hike identifying common birds of Brooker Creek Preserve. Meander along the one-mile trail to gather information on the birds seen and heard. Binoculars will be helpful. Bring water. 8 to 10:30 a.m. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Jan. 12

Weedon Island Guided Hike: Learn about the ecosystems and the early residents of Weedon Island Preserve while hiking the coastal uplands and the boardwalks through mangrove forests. Best for ages 6 and older. 9 to 11 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Jan. 12

Benefits of Trees: Learn about the benefits of trees especially in urban settings. Meet your local Pinellas County Natural Resource Extension Agent as she explains the many ecosystem services that trees provide and learn about the Traveling Tree Walk! 11:00 am to noon. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Jan. 17

Photography Hike: This hike is a perfect opportunity for adult photographers to hone their skills. After a classroom session highlighting specific wildlife behaviors and focus tips, guides will assist participants in capturing the natural beauty outdoors. 8 to 10 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Jan. 17

Book Time at Brooker: Children ages 3 to 5 connect to the wonders of the natural world through a story and a craft, game or other hands-on activity. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Jan. 18

Fertilizer/Pesticide BMPs: Training to obtain limited certification for urban landscape commercial fertilizer (LCULCF). BMP certification awarded upon passing the exam. Four FDACS pesticide CEUs provided. 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $15; free to employees of Pinellas County and the Pinellas County School Board and Pinellas County Master Gardener Volunteers (must present ID on day of class). Advance registration required. Pinellas County Extension, 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo. (727) 582-2562; register at http://pce-commercialhort.eventbrite.com.

Jan. 19

Brooker Creek Guided Hike: See how the land has changed over time and the ecological footprints left by those changes. Closed-toe shoes, water and hat recommended. Best for ages 6 and older. 9 to 10:30 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Jan. 19

Weedon Island Guided Hike: Learn about the ecosystems and the early residents of Weedon Island Preserve while hiking the coastal uplands and the boardwalks through mangrove forests. Best for ages 6 and older. 9 to 11 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Jan. 19

Florida Sandhill Crane Conservation: Learn about Florida Sandhill Crane populations, their life cycles, their habitats and special organizations that help the cranes with all aspects of their health including prosthetics. The many threats to sandhill cranes and important things people can do to protect them in their habitat are covered in detail.10 to 11a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Jan. 24

Rain Harvesting: Learn how to save rainwater in a recycled plastic barrel. The collected water may be used for plant beds, potted plants and vegetable and herb gardens. 9 to 10:30 a.m. With payment of $25 advance registration fee, each attendee will receive the booklet Building and Installing the Rain Barrel, one 60-gallon plastic barrel and a 3/4” spigot. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Jan. 24

Book Time at Brooker: Children ages 3 to 5 connect to the wonders of the natural world through a story and a craft, game or other hands-on activity. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Jan. 24

Wee Time at Weedon: Children ages 3 to 5 are treated to a variety of stories, crafts, games and hands-on activities that connect them to their environment and the cultural world. This week’s story, Ten Little Rabbits by Virginia Grossman, celebrates native American traditions with weaving, fishing and storytelling. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg.  (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Jan. 26

Brooker Creek Guided Hike: See how the land has changed over time and the ecological footprints left by those changes. Closed-toe shoes, water and hat recommended. Best for ages 6 and older. 9 to 10:30 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Jan. 26

Weedon Island Guided Hike: Learn about the ecosystems and the early residents of Weedon Island Preserve while hiking the coastal uplands and the boardwalks through mangrove forests. Best for ages 6 and older. 9 to 11 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Jan. 26

Brooker Creek Extended Guided Hike: A trained volunteer guide will conduct a 2.8- to 4-mile walk to look at how the land has changed over time and discuss the ecological footprints left by those changes. Insect repellent may be helpful. Water, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen along with sturdy closed-toe shoes are recommended. All ages are welcome; children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult; those younger than 10 may find this hike challenging. 9 to 11:30 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Jan. 26

Family Herpetology Series I – Snakes: Join an expert herpetologist and learn about these ecologically important, but often misunderstood vertebrates. Brooker Creek Preserve is home to many of these incredible creatures. Find out the facts about their diversity, ecology and conservation. This live reptile presentation is one in which participants have the opportunity to learn about the natural history of these fascinating creatures. Recommended for all ages. 10:30 am to noon. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Jan. 26

Pinellas Folk Festival: Dozens of the Tampa Bay area's premier folk musicians will be playing traditional folk, gospel, country and bluegrass music on stages throughout Heritage Village at this festival. Sponsored by the Pinellas County Historical Society. There will be historical demonstrations and activities. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free to children younger than 12; suggested minimum donation of $5 per adult. Heritage Village, 11909 125th Street N., Largo. Shuttle to event entrance located from free parking on 119th St. between Ulmerton and Walsingham roads; handicapped parking and drop-off located at 12211 Walsingham Road. (727) 582-2123; www.pinellascounty.org/heritage.

Jan. 31

Book Time at Brooker: Children ages 3 to 5 connect to the wonders of the natural world through a story and a craft, game or other hands-on activity. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

February

Feb. 2

Birds of Prey: They soar, they swoop and they rule the skies. Dr. Gabriel Vargo, retired-emeritus professor and avian education volunteer at Boyd Hill Nature Park, will look at the life history of these majestic birds with his live cast of local owls and a hawk. Dr. Vargo discusses the characteristics that make raptors successful predators, their ecology and natural history, their importance and role in the ecosystem and the problems they encounter in our human-modified environments. 10 to 11 a.m. All ages welcome. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Feb. 2

Dog Training: Learn the basics of dog training in a seminar for all who have adopted dogs from Pinellas County Animal Services or other shelters in the county. Learn about housetraining, loose-leash walking and dealing with challenging dog behaviors. No dogs at the class please. 10 a.m. Free. Pinellas County Animal Services, 12450 Ulmerton Road, Largo. (727) 582-2600; www.pinellascounty.org/animalservices.

Feb. 2

Brooker Creek Guided Hike: See how the land has changed over time and the ecological footprints left by those changes. Closed-toe shoes, water and hat recommended. Best for ages 6 and older. 9 to 10:30 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Feb. 2

Weedon Island Guided Hike: Learn about the ecosystems and the early residents of Weedon Island Preserve while hiking the coastal uplands and the boardwalks through mangrove forests. Best for ages 6 and older. 9 to 11 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Feb. 2

Birding 101: Clearwater Audubon’s Lynn Sumerson will explore the basics of how to identify the many birds surrounding us every day. Participants will learn what to look and listen for as well as gaining insight into some basic equipment you will need to take your birding skills to the next level.  10:30 a.m. to noon. Free; Brooker Creek Preserve EnvironmentalEducation Center, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Feb. 2

Brooker Creek Book Club: Hosted by the Friends of Brooker Creek Preserve, the Brooker Book Club meets the first Saturday of each month. Geared toward adults, the book list includes novels by Florida authors, past and present, with archeology, biography, politics and history storylines. February’s book selected for discussion is Digging Miami by Robert S. Carr. Advance registration is required as seating is limited.

Feb. 7

Book Time at Brooker: Children ages 3 to 5 connect to the wonders of the natural world through a story and a craft, game or other hands-on activity. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Feb. 9

Birds of Brooker Hike: Join this special hike identifying common birds of Brooker Creek Preserve. Meander along the one-mile trail to gather information on the birds seen and heard. Binoculars will be helpful. Bring water. 8 to 10:30 a.m. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Feb. 9

Weedon Island Guided Hike: Learn about the ecosystems and the early residents of Weedon Island Preserve while hiking the coastal uplands and the boardwalks through mangrove forests. Best for ages 6 and older. 9 to 11 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Feb. 9

Pinellas Energy Efficiency Project 2.0: Learn how much energy is wasted in the home every day, around the clock in this advanced energy-saving class. Participants receive free equipment and materials to help cut energy costs and save money each month. When registering please select only one ticket per household but feel free to bring the whole family. 10 to 11 a.m.  Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Feb. 9

Florida Scrub Jays: Learn about this threatened species and where scrub jay exist in Florida.  10:30 am to noon. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Feb. 14

Book Time at Brooker: Children ages 3 to 5 connect to the wonders of the natural world through a story and a craft, game or other hands-on activity. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Feb. 9

Brooker Creek Guided Hike: See how the land has changed over time and the ecological footprints left by those changes. Closed-toe shoes, water and hat recommended. Best for ages 6 and older. 9 to 10:30 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Feb. 14

Book Time at Brooker: Children ages 3 to 5 connect to the wonders of the natural world through a story and a craft, game or other hands-on activity. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Feb. 14

Wee Time at Weedon: Children ages 3 to 5 are treated to a variety of stories, crafts, games and hands-on activities that connect them to their environment. This week’s popular classic story, The Very Hungary Caterpillar by Eric Carle, tells the journey of a caterpillar as it transforms into a butterfly. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg.  (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Feb. 16

Photography Hike: This hike is a perfect opportunity for adult photographers to hone their skills. After a classroom session highlighting specific wildlife behaviors and focus tips, guides will assist participants in capturing the natural beauty outdoors. 8 to 10 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Feb. 16

Brooker Creek Guided Hike: See how the land has changed over time and the ecological footprints left by those changes. Closed-toe shoes, water and hat recommended. Best for ages 6 and older. 9 to 10:30 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Feb. 16

Weedon Island Guided Hike: Learn about the ecosystems and the early residents of Weedon Island Preserve while hiking the coastal uplands and the boardwalks through mangrove forests. Best for ages 6 and older. 9 to 11 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Feb. 21

Book Time at Brooker: Children ages 3 to 5 connect to the wonders of the natural world through a story and a craft, game or other hands-on activity. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Feb. 23

Brooker Creek Guided Hike: See how the land has changed over time and the ecological footprints left by those changes. Closed-toe shoes, water and hat recommended. Best for ages 6 and older. 9 to 10:30 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Feb. 23

Weedon Island Guided Hike: Learn about the ecosystems and the early residents of Weedon Island Preserve while hiking the coastal uplands and the boardwalks through mangrove forests. Best for ages 6 and older. 9 to 11 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Feb. 23

Extended Brooker Creek Guided Hike: Trained volunteer guides will conduct a 2.8- to 4-mile walk to look at how the land has changed over time and discuss the ecological footprints left by those changes. Insect repellent may be helpful. Water, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen along with sturdy closed-toe shoes are recommended. All ages are welcome; children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult; those younger than 10 may find this hike challenging. 9 to 11:30 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Feb. 23

Family Herpetology Series II: Frogs!: Join Avalon, an 11-year-old herpetologist who founded Conserve it Forward, as she discusses frogs, their challenges and what you can do to help! Get up close and personal with live amphibians! Great for the whole family. 10:30 a.m. to noon. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Feb. 23

Birds of Pinellas: Then and Now: Ron Smith, long-time Pinellas birder, author and field trip leader, will talk about the history of the birdlife of Pinellas dating from the late 1800s to today.  His overview, complete with slides, is both eye-opening and educational.  Did you know that Pinellas Point once hosted a wading bird colony as far as the eye could see; that Robert Hoyt, a prominent Pinellas bird collector in his day, planted the original kapok tree; or that birders from all over the country flock to Fort De Soto Park in April to see migrating songbirds pass through in great numbers?  Learn things about the birdlife of Pinellas that you never knew before. 2 to 3 p.m.  Free, registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Feb. 28

Book Time at Brooker: Children ages 3 to 5 connect to the wonders of the natural world through a story and a craft, game or other hands-on activity. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800; www.brookercreekpreserve.org.

Feb. 28

Wee Time at Weedon: Children ages 3 to 5 are treated to a variety of stories, crafts, games and hands-on activities that connect them to their environment. This week’s story, The Snail’s Spell by Joanne Ryder uses imagination to understand the life of a small snail in a garden. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Free; advance registration required. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg.  (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org

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