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September teems with discovery at Pinellas County preserves | Environment

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September teems with discovery at Pinellas County preserves
Environment, Events, News
September teems with discovery at Pinellas County preserves

Pinellas County, Florida -- Here are the events happening at Weedon Island Preserve in September.

Weedon Island Preserve continues the numerous opportunities available for hikers. Each Saturday in September, hikers can learn about the ecosystems and early residents of the preserve while hiking the coastal uplands and boardwalks through mangrove forests. This two-hour hike, beginning at 9 a.m. is best for ages 6 and older. Advance registration required.  

The Great Weedon Bird Quest continues to be a popular hike. On Friday Sept. 13, the group will learn the identifying marks and behaviors of our feathered year-round residents and seasonal visitors while assisting in compiling an annual checklist of the preserve’s birds. This two-hour hike, starting at 8 a.m., is designed to take advantage of all levels of birding experience. Binoculars and bird guides are available. Advance registration required.  

A special two-hour program designed for adult photographers is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21. Beginning at 8 a.m. this is a perfect opportunity for photographers to hone their skills in search of that perfect photo. After a brief classroom session, preserve volunteers highlight seasonal features of the preserve and specific wildlife behaviors to help participants capture the natural beauty of Weedon Island Preserve. Advance registration required.

On Saturday, Sept. 28, be a part of the nation’s largest single-day volunteer event for public lands for Paddle Coastal Clean Up Day. Public lands and estuaries provide benefits that are critical to ecosystem health, and the health and well-being of people who recreate on them and live in close proximity to them. Volunteer from 9 a.m. to noon and give back to Tampa Bay and the lands of Weedon Island Preserve. Volunteers will use canoes and kayaks to help clean up the difficult-to-reach shorelines of Weedon Island Preserve. This cleanup will help to protect wildlife from entanglement and increase the aesthetic value of our natural surroundings. Advance registration requested.

Wee-Time at Weedon is a program designed to introduce preschool children to the wonders of the natural and cultural world. The second and fourth Thursday of each month, children are treated to a variety of stories and hands-on activities that connect them to their environment. This 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. activity is recommended for ages 3 to 5.

In the past 3,000 years pottery was a vital part of life in Florida, but it is also an important clue for archaeologists today. On Saturday, Sept. 7, learn how archaeology works in the subject of pottery to identify different prehistoric pottery types from around Florida and the ways archaeologists use them to learn about people in the past. This two-hour program, beginning at 10 a.m. is free but advance registration required.

Learn how to interpret the characteristics that define wetlands on Saturday, Sept. 14. During this one-hour presentation, three characteristics tell the story of current and past conditions of these often-underappreciated systems. Learn to read the story that the plants and soils tell us about these wetlands. Identification of hydrologic indicators, hydric soils and some key wetland plants will be covered. This class, beginning at 1 p.m., is helpful for those wanting to extend their knowledge of wetland systems and for those who want to learn how to identify some common wetland plants. Advance registration required.

On Thursday, Sept. 19, the archaeology lecture series presents “You Have Guns and So Have We.” This ethnohistoric perspective on Seminole combat behaviors is a topic that has received a high level of attention in the anthropological literature since the inception of the discipline. Much of the 7 to 8 p.m. literature has focused on the origins and causes of warfare rather than the behaviors associated with it. Throughout the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, Europeans and Americans employed tactics and instituted laws that sought to subjugate Native American groups and appropriate their lands. None of these groups sat passively during this process. They employed resistive tactics and strategies aimed at maintaining their freedom. By tracing the combat behaviors of the Seminoles back through time to those of their ancestors, the group is able to see the evolution of the combat behaviors used by the warriors during the apex of their militancy  - the infamous Second Seminole War. Advance registration required.

The Connecting People and Place exhibit continues. 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 all Pinellas County holidays. (727) 453-6500; www.weedonislandpreserve.org.

Weedon Island Preserve protects more than 3,700 acres of natural ecosystems and is located at 1800 Weedon Drive NE in St. Petersburg. The preserve is operated under the Pinellas County Parks and Conservation Resources Department and is open to the public seven days a week, including holidays, from 7 a.m. to 15 minutes before sunset. Its many outdoor activities include walking trails, a fishing pier and a canoe/kayak launch.

Pinellas County Extension offers classes, programs and activities at the Cultural and Natural History Center. The center features the permanent exhibit, Connecting People and Place, an art-inspired, hands-on educational exhibit which reveals the area’s history, ecology and people. The center is open Thursday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed all Pinellas County holidays.

To learn more about Weedon Island Preserve and its upcoming programs and events, call (727) 453-6500. To register for programs and events visit www.weedonislandpreserve.org. Videos featuring Weedon Island Preserve can be viewed at www.youtube.com/pcctv1.

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