TAVARES — Lake County Parks & Trails is hosting several free, family-friendly events this weekend centered on educating residents about Lake County’s unique natural resources and efforts to protect them.
On Friday, Feb. 12 from 7:30 – 11 a.m., park rangers will lead a Quarterly Bird & Butterfly Survey at Ellis Acres Reserve, 25302 County Road 42, Paisley.
Parks & Trails hosts quarterly Bird and Butterfly Surveys in five different parks and preserves throughout the year, and volunteers are needed to assist in surveying the bird and butterfly populations to help with management of the properties. Knowledge of common species is a plus, but not required. Participants are encouraged to bring binoculars, field guides, water, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat and hiking shoes.
On Saturday, Feb. 13 from 8 to 11 a.m., a Beginning Birder Field Class will be held at PEAR Park’s Gateway, 26701 U.S. Highway 27, Leesburg. The class will give participants an opportunity to get hands-on knowledge of the basics of birding, including tips on binoculars and field guides. Also on Saturday, an open house will be held at PEAR Park’s Nature Center, 4800 University Ave., Leesburg, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Gene Bouley, a retired science teacher and geology expert, will offer a hands-on mini course on identifying minerals from 10 a.m. – noon, for children ages 10 years and older and who are accompanied by an adult.
Visitors to PEAR Park are also encouraged to stop by the new Wildlife Watch Post, a 320-square-foot bird-watching and wildlife viewing blind at the Wildlife Conservation Area. The Wildlife Watch Post is a premier location for birders, native plant and wildflower enthusiasts and nature photographers.
To make a reservation for any of these free Parks & Trails events, visit 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.