LEESBURG — The Lake County Parks & Trails Division is hosting two outdoor events this weekend to kick off the month of February.
The “Birding Basics Class” will be held from 8 – 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1 at Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve (PEAR) Park – Gateway, 26701 U.S. Highway 27, Leesburg. This free, outdoor event will be hosted by Lake County park ranger and expert local birder Gallus Quigley, who will offer a hands-on bird identification course for beginners and those who’d like to brush up on their identification skills. Quigley will introduce participants to a variety of topics including etiquette, binoculars, field guides and more. Time permitting, participants will be led on a short hike where they can put their new skills to the test. Participants should bring their own binoculars.
At 318 acres, PEAR Park is the largest county park. The back 268 acres feature a community garden, native butterfly garden, xeric garden, two scenic pavilions and access to four miles of hiking and nature trails. The front 50 acres contain a playground, ballfields and a dog park.
Join the Parks and Trails Division for “A Bicycle Trail Ride” from 1 – 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 2 at The Pasture Reserve, 5144 Lake Erie Road, Groveland. The group will be biking on dirt trails while park rangers talk about the reserve, plants and wildlife. This free event is open to cyclists of all experience levels, but participants must bring their own bicycles.
Located in the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern, the Pasture Reserve is Lake County’s largest preserve at over 800 acres. The Pasture Reserve is the literal “heart” of the Floridan aquifer, and is a mosaic of uplands and wetlands. The property is home to deer, turkeys, alligators and gopher tortoises, among others.
For more information about upcoming events and to register for either of these weekend events, call the Lake County Parks & Trails Division at 352-253-4950, email email@example.com or visit www.lakecountyfl.gov/parks. To view updates about the County’s Parks & Trails Program, like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LakeCountyFLParks.