LEESBURG – Lake County’s Parks & Trails Division and PEAR Association volunteers are inviting nature enthusiasts to The Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve (PEAR) Park for three upcoming free events.
The Nature Center Open House will be held from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 11 at PEAR Park Nature Center, located at the Wildlife Conservation area, 4800 University Ave. in Leesburg. Gene Bouley, a retired science teacher and geology expert, will offer a hands-on mini course on Identifying Fossils from 10 a.m. – noon for kids ages 10 and up, accompanied by an adult.
PEAR’s Open House & Native Plant Sale is scheduled for 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 25 at the Wildlife Conservation Area. This annual event helps promote the use of native plants in landscaping, and proceeds benefit the PEAR Park Association volunteers and their projects.
The final Nature Center Open House of the spring season is set for 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 9 at the Nature Center, where visitors can explore a collections of rocks, minerals, fossils, sands and shells. Gene Bouley will offer a mini course from 10 a.m. - noon on the Formation of Landforms for children ages 10 and up accompanied by an adult.
At 318 acres, PEAR Park is the largest county park. The back 268 acres, known as the Wildlife Conservation Area, feature a community garden, native butterfly garden, xeric garden, two scenic pavilions and access to four miles of hiking and nature trails through meadows, scrub jay habitats and woods along the Palatlakaha River. The front 50 acres is known as the Gateway and contains a playground; tennis, basketball and pickleball courts; canoe and kayak launch; ballfields and a dog park.
To make a reservation for any of these PEAR Park events, log on to www.lakecountyfl.gov/parks/event_reservations.aspx. For more information about the Lake County Parks & Trails Division, call 352-253-4950, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.lakecountyfl.gov/parks. For updates on the county’s Parks & Trails Program, like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LakeCountyFLParks.