Randell Research Center to host fifth annual Calusa Heritage Day
Focusing on regional archaeology, history and ecology, the Randell Research will host the fifth annual Calusa Heritage Day this weekend.
Everyone is welcome to enjoy local art, interactive activities and replicative technologies at the Pineland facility, on Waterfront Drive in Pineland, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on March 13.
Admission to the day-long event is $5 per adult and children under the age of 12 will be admitted for free. All proceeds from this event will benefit the on-going work at Randell Research Center.
All of the activities for both adults and children will center around the Pavilion/Classroom at the Calusa Heritage Trail. Visitors to the event can expect to find a variety of hands-on activities, exhibits and information stations which will be set up in a festival format.
“We are anticipating a great turnout again this year as we have in years past,” said laboratory and shop manager Michael Wylde. “This year promises to have something for every member of the family with lots of things to see, learn about and experience here at the Heritage Trail.”
The featured speaker for this year’s Calusa Heritage Day will be internationally recognized ichthyologist and coordinator of the International Shark Attack File, George Burgess.
Beginning at 2 p.m., join Burgess as he presents “Smalltooth Sawfish: America’s First Federally Endangered Marine Fish.” An expert in the field of ichthyology, Burgess promises to be an informative presenter.
Several exhibits staged throughout the venue will be manned by representatives from the Florida Museum of Natural History. Among the archaeological experts will be Dr. Karen Walker, an environmental archaeologist who serves as collection manager for South Florida Archaeology and Ethnography and can speak on various topics including ancient fishing techniques and sea-level fluctuations. Joining Walker will be Donna Ruhl who specializes in archaeobontany; Melissa Ayvaz, who has worked with Ruhl on the rehabilitation of archaeobotanicals; Ryan Van Dyke, who has assisted in the preservation of artifacts found at Randell Research Center, research assistant, Andrea Palmiotto; Gypsy Price noted for her interest in physical and political anthropology; Austin Bell who serves at the Florida Museum of Natural History in research in museum studies, museum anthropology and zooachaeology and Ann Cordell, who has worked extensively with ceramic technology, ecology studies and photography.
In addition, the researchers also will invite attendees to Mound 5 to see first-hand a working archaeological excavation.
Hands-on activities and special guests also include Robin Brown, Dick Workman, Rick Tully, John Beiault, David Meo, Merald Clark, Hermann Trappman, Kelgin Knives, Terry Powell with tools from the earth, Tin Fins and felix M. Rodrigues.
Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet local authors. Among them will be Gerald and Loretta Hausman. The Hausmans have produced many books on various topics including Native Americans, animals, mythology and more, suitable for adults and children. Also on hand will be Roothee Gabay author of the fiction novel, “I-Land at the Edge of Civilization” who takes her main character to a place where she comes face-to-face with an ancient Calusa tribe; Mary Kaye Stevens, complier and author of “Images of America – Pine Island” and “Lee County Islands” in which Stevens presents a pictorial essay of the past on Pine Island and the barrier islands and Marsha Perlman, author of “Island Wise” and Spirit Life” which delves into the emotions and experience that she has found in the natural world.
Shoppers at the event will find vendors offering native plants, Ancient Hands Pottery, Tooth Fairy Shark Teeth and GAEA Kayak Guides. Yet another booth will be Calusa Tasting with free samples of foods that were once consumed by the Calusa. In addition, food sales also will be provided by Mel Meo and Company.
As for collecting information about Pine Island and the surrounding area, information booths will include the Calusa Land Trust, Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Lee County Parks and Recreation, Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail, Charlotte Harbor Preserve, Sawfish Research with U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Pineland Post Office and Ruby Gill House, Museum of the Islands and the Florida Public Archaeology Network.
For more information about the Calusa Heritage Day or Randell Research Center, visit www.flmnh.ufl.edu/rrc/