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Lake County park rangers to guide winter bird hike

RELEASE DATE: November 21, 2008

LEESBURG — Lake County park rangers will lead a winter bird hike on Sunday, Dec. 7, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at PEAR Park, located at 5336 University Ave., Leesburg.

“We will hike about 2 to 3 miles looking for sparrows and other winter residents of PEAR Park,” said Park Ranger Gallus Quigley. “The meadow and scrub restoration areas provide great foraging and cover to the many sparrows. The park’s wooded areas can contain wintering warblers and thrushes, and the property also is home to several hawks, including the Northern Harrier and American Kestrel.”

Park rangers encourage participants to wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Hikers should also bring binoculars, cameras, sunscreen, insect repellent, water and snacks.

The 318-acre reserve is located at the end of University Avenue, south of Leesburg on U.S. Highway 27. PEAR Park is divided into two distinct areas. The “Gateway” or front 50 acres is being developed into an active recreation area that will offer a variety of amenities, including ball fields, pickle ball and tennis courts, playgrounds, volleyball courts, a canoe and kayak launch, dog park and trails. The remaining 268 acres features restoration areas, community garden, native butterfly garden, nature center and trails.

Reservations are required and are limited to the first 25 individuals. When making a reservation guests are encouraged to leave names and number of people participating and a contact telephone number. For more information or to make reservations for the winter bird hike, call Park Ranger Gallus Quigley at (352) 742-0992 or e-mail parksandtrails@lakecountyfl.gov.

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Office: 352-343-9603; Cell: 352-455-0445
klafollette@lakecountyfl.gov

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