TAVARES — Bring work gloves and join Lake County Park Rangers in Florida's battle against invasive plants in observance of National Invasive Species Awareness Week from 8:30 -10:30 a.m. March 8 at Lake May Reserve, County Road 44A, Eustis. At approximately 136-acres, Lake May Reserve’s native landscape consists of xeric oak hammock and a mix of upland scrub, pine and hardwood forested areas, features citrus groves and the property’s centerpiece, the 20-acre Lake May.
Bird and butterfly watchers are invited to participate in a Bird and Butterfly Survey from 7–11 a.m. March 8 at The Pasture Reserve off Lake Erie Road in Groveland. The Pasture Reserve is located in the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern, the heart of the Floridan aquifer, and consists of a mosaic of uplands and wetlands. Volunteers of all levels are welcome, but should be able to identify common species by sight or sound, and have their own binoculars and field guides. The survey will include hiking approximately two miles on unpaved trails.
Also on March 8, The Parks & Trails Division and PEAR Association Volunteers are hosting The Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve (PEAR) Park Nature Center Open House from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Nature Center, 4800 University Ave., Leesburg. The nature center features a collection of rocks, minerals, fossils, sands, shells, and other natural specimen that can be viewed under a microscope. PEAR Volunteer and former science teacher Gene Bouley will also be on site to help answer children’s questions.
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.
There are over four miles of hiking trails through meadows, scrub jay habitats and woods along the Palatlakaha River.
For more information about upcoming events and to register for these Saturday events, call the Lake County Parks & Trails Division at 352-253-4950, email firstname.lastname@example.org 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.