Get Outside! Day at Serenova

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Get Outside!
Biking on the Serenova Tract
Learning about Florida native animals
“Hey everybody – let’s do the wave!”
Horses on hand
A day of education as well as recreation
Taking a group hike
Learning about Florida’s geology
Hands-on with the experts
Getting involved with Florida’s history
Good, healthful food for everyone
Representatives from Pasco County are here to help
“This is a big place, isn’t it!”
Scavenger hunts for kids
Learning about native flora on a guided nature hike

Guided nature hikes, scavenger hunts and a pet-a-pony display were some of the many activities offered at the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s (District) first “Get Outside!” Day community event at Starkey Wilderness Preserve’s Serenova Tract. Among the favorites were the artifacts and fossils exhibit as well as the water quality and bugs display.

“This was a great event to get outside with my family,” said Ron Oakley, Governing Board vice chair. “My six-year-old loved it and we really enjoyed every minute. My family is ready for the next event,” said Oakley.

More than 400 people attended the event — 74 percent of whom were first-time visitors. To encourage people to come back to the Serenova Tract and use the property more often, the District created a pledge for event visitors. More than 200 people signed the pledge promising to come back with family and friends.

“It was a beautiful day and a great turnout by local residents to enjoy a wilderness experience right in their own backyards,” said Dave Moore, District executive director. “The District protects these natural lands for their water resource benefits and opens them to the public for many different kinds of recreational opportunities.”

This was the first of three community events planned as part of the “Get Outside!” campaign. Currently, there are more than 343,000 acres of conservation lands in the region open to the public for various recreational activities.

The next “Get Outside!” Day will be at the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve’s Hampton Tract in Polk County on Feb. 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The third event will take place at Deep Creek Preserve in DeSoto County on April 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Conservation Lands of Southwest Florida

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