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Free guided walks offered for 20/20 preserves

By Staff | Nov 11, 2014

Lee County Parks & Recreation invites visitors and residents to explore nature and get to know some of the plants and animals that live at some of the area’s most beautiful Conservation 20/20 preserves.

And three of them are in North Fort Myers.

From December through March, guided nature walks will be provided by Conservation 20/20 volunteers and Institute of Food and Agricultural Science Master Gardeners on Saturdays from December through March. Parking is free and no fee or registration is required.

Cathy Olson of Lee County Parks & Recreation, said it’s the third year for these walks and they have gotten more popular each year.

“Our first year we didn’t have a great turnout. Last year we had between 12 and 20 people on every walk, mixed between residents and tourists,” Olson said.

Each preserve has its own unique personality with its own vegetation and animal colonies. They also have amenities such as trails and facilities.

“Some have boardwalks, Wild Turkey has historical elements from Buckingham Airfield and other interpretive finds out there,” Olson said. “You get a taste of the real Florida on all these places. We picked them for their visible amenities and because they’re all different.”

There are five preserves at which guided nature walks are offered. Three of them are in North Fort Myers: Prairie Pines Preserve, 18400 North Tamiami Trail, Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve (east), 10130 Bayshore Road; and Powell Creek Preserve, 15601 Hart Road.

The others are at Wild Turkey Strand Preserve, 11901 Rod & Gun Club Road, Fort Myers and Pine Island Flatwoods Preserve, 6351 Stringfellow Road, St. James City.

The walks are scheduled from 9-10:30 a.m. the first Saturday of the month for Prairie Pines Preserve; second Saturday for Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve; third Saturday for Wild Turkey Strand Preserve; the fourth Saturday for Pine Island Flatwoods Preserve and the fifth Saturday of the month for January will feature Powell Creek.

All walks meet in the respective parking lot. Please remember to bring items you may need during the walk, such as water, hat, binoculars, sunscreen, camera, closed-toed shoes or boots.

“There are more than 25,000 acres of 20/20 land in Lee County, so go check them out,” Olson said.

For more information, contact Olson at 533-7455.