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‘Ding’ Darling announces 100th anniversary celebration Saturday

By Staff | Sep 26, 2008

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of three of the refuges that are part of the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge Complex, the refuge will host a celebration at Pineland on Saturday.

The host site for the celebration will be the Randell Research Center located on Waterfront Drive in Pineland.

The day will start off at 9 a.m. when visitors to the research center can enjoy a free archeological tour of the Calusa Heritage Trail. The tour will take visitors back in time to when the Calusa tribe made its homes on the ancient piece of land on Pine Island. Two tours will be offered with the first at 9 a.m. and the second at 1 p.m.

In addition to the land tour, two water tours will also be offered. The Tarpon Bay Explorers and GAEA guides will offer a free four-hour guided kayak paddling tour to the islands dotting Pine Island Sound. The tour is being sponsored by the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society.

DDWS also will offer a free five-hour boat tour aboard the Tropic Star. The tour begins at 11 a.m. and passengers will have a choice of having lunch at Cabbage Key or frolicking in the surf at the beach on Cayo Costa.

Back at Randell Research Center, landlubbers can visit numerous vendor booths until 3 p.m. to gather information about the three refuges, as well as learn more about the Calusa Land Trust on Pine Island and Lee County Parks and Recreation.

The wildlife refuge encompassing Matlacha Pass, Pine Island and Island By National Wildlife Refuges was established in 1908 when it was dedicated by President Theodore Roosevelt. The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society is a non-profit organization that supports the Education Center, “Ding” Darling Days and other educational and biological programs at the refuge.

For more information about this and other 100-year anniversary celebrations, visit: dingdarlingdays.com, or call the Education Center at 472-1100, ext. 233.