December 5 - 7, 2007 - Hyatt Sarasota

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Field Trips
Wednesday, December 5, 12:30 - 5:30 PM

Roaming the Carlton Reserve

This is a bus tour of T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve. While roaming through 24,565 acres, the bus will make frequent stops to experience the mesic flatwoods, depression marshes, and shady oak hammocks. This unique property is also home to 20 listed plant species and the endangered Florida panther! See first hand the prescribed and wildfire areas of 2007 and hear how partnerships with surrounding neighbors are helping to restore the ecosystem.

Located in Venice, the Reserve abuts Myakka River State Park to the south. Its only commercial property is the public water treatment plant.

Leader: Sarasota County, TBD
Field trip duration - 4 hours (depart Hyatt at 1pm)
Difficulty level - easy

Hike the Green Corridor - Sleeping Turtles Preserve

Learn how the green river corridor is being preserved by removing structures within the floodplain and creating nature trails for hiking and equestrian use. A conceptual plan for additional public amenities will be shared by Sarasota County staff. The group will be split into two with each group experiencing the forested wetland and oak hammock and the old growth pines and upland mixed forest festooned with Spanish moss, butterfly orchids and resurrection ferns.

Leaders: Sarasota County, Nancy Edmondson and Scott Moranda
Field trip duration - 4 hours (depart Hyatt at 1pm)
Difficulty level - easy

Oscar Scherer State Park Hike and Canoe Trip

A large acreage of scrubby flatwoods makes this park one of the best places to see Florida scrub-jays, a threatened species found only in Florida. The park protects scrubby and pine flatwoods that were once widespread throughout Sarasota County. Fifteen miles of trails through these beautiful natural areas provide opportunities for hiking, canoeing, and wildlife viewing. Should you choose, canoeists will paddle along South Creek, a blackwater stream that flows to the Gulf of Mexico.

Leader: DEP Park Manager, John Roche
Field trip duration - 4 hours (depart Hyatt at 1pm)
Difficulty level - moderate (canoeing)
Canoes are limited to the first 20 registrants

Strolling Through Red Bug Slough Preserve

This trip begins with a short orientation about the preserve's uplands and urban challenges. Participants will then hike for two miles stopping frequently along the trails to learn about the preserve's flora and fauna and to discuss topics related to public access, recreation, and land management challenges.

Background: Red Bug Slough Preserve is a 72-acre preserve owned and managed by Sarasota County Natural Resources. The preserve is named for Red Bug Slough, a 3.5 mile-long channelized tributary of Phillippi Creek. In addition to the slough, habitats present include mesic hammock, mesic flatwoods, and a small isolated wetland. Participants will visit invasive plant restoration areas and view the results of a recent vegetation reduction project in mesic flatwoods.

Leader: Sarasota County, Jeff Weber
Field trip duration - 3 hours (depart Hyatt at 1pm).
Level of difficulty - Easy to moderate

Sarasota Bay Explorers

Join local marine biologists on a 2-hour custom cruise through Sarasota and Roberts Bays. Obeserve Florida manatees and Bottlenose dolphin while learning about the ecology, history, and folklore of the area. You will visit an uninhabited island and view pelicans, herons, ibis, and egrets in their nesting habitat. The highlight of this trip is viewing marine life up close by sampling with a trawl net. Observe puffer fish, sea horses, stone crabs, and cow fish.

Leader: Sarasota County, Cesar Rodriguez
Field trip duration - 2 hours (depart Hyatt dock at 1pm)
Difficulty level - easy

Paddle & Hike: Wild & Scenic Myakka River and Deer Prairie Creek Preserve

Experience the Wild and Scenic Myakka River by water and land. This trip will highlight Sarasota's progress in protecting habitat along this wild and scenic river, focusing on an area where both sides of the river are protected. A one and a half mile kayak trip will be combined with a two mile nature walk along the hiking trails of Deer Prairie Creek Preserve. Guides will discuss land acquisition programs as well as the land management and public access activities on the properties.

Leaders: Southwest Florida Water Management District and Sarasota County (joint owners of the preserve)
Field trip duration - 4 hours (depart Hyatt at 1pm)
Difficulty level - moderate
Participants must be prepared to both kayak and hike

Wade-fishing the Flats of Tampa Bay

Plan to spend the afternoon wade-fishing on the flats of Tampa Bay from the District's Piney Point tract. Part of the Tampa Bay Estuarine project, the Piney Point tract was acquired for future restoration of altered salt barrens and estuarine habitats through the Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) program. Match wits with wiley snook, redfish and trout along miles of deserted beach. As an added treat, climb an observation tower and view some of the most extensive salt barren habitats on Tampa Bay, and mangrove habitats supporting a locally significant wading bird rookery.

Leader: Southwest Florida Water Management District, Will Miller
Field trip duration - 5 hours (depart Hyatt at 12:30pm and return at 5:30pm).
Difficulty level - easy
Bring your tackle and prepare to get your feet wet

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Tour

Explore the world's most spectacular display of rare orchids and bromeliads in this 8.5-acre tropical oasis on the shores of Sarasota Bay. Discover an open-air and under-glass museum of more than 20,000 colorful plants, including a living collection of more than 6,000 orchids - many collected in the wild by the Garden's research and conservation scientists on more than 150 scientific expeditions to tropical rainforests.

Leader: Botanical Gardens Tour Guide
Field trip duration - 2 hours (orientation at 1:30pm)
Level of difficulty - Easy
Transportation on own

811 South Palm Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236
Link for directions:

For more information contact: Doreen DiCarlo at CES
Phone: 561-799-8553 | Fax: 561-626-1404 | E-mail: