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SCCF Open House a traditional Sanibel event

By Staff | Feb 10, 2016

From last year’s SCCF Open House: A family huddle happens to go over what animal call they will do. PHOTO PROVIDED BY SCCF

The Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation will celebrate its 40th Open House Monday, Feb. 15.

The day will feature fun activities for young and old alike, but the highlight of the day will be the SCCF’s open-door policy for the day and access to their many plugged-in scientists, who will be on hand to answer questions and talk about what they do.

“Our Open House is a day when our staff who work behind the scenes, are accessible to the public,” said SCCF education director Kristie Anders. “We’ll have our scientists available who deal with water quality, sea turtles, reptiles, birds and land management to answer any question. They all will be here Feb. 15.”

The Open House will last all day from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Nature Center located at 3333 Sanibel Captiva Road. There will be free admission to the Nature Center all day long, while from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the porch and butterfly will be hosting activities.

A special live reptile exhibit will be on display, along with an aquaria to see close up some of the creatures that live in our bay waters, and children’s crafts will be available.

From last year’s SCCF Open House: A young visitor holds a king snake, which is native to Florida. PHOTO PROVIDED BY SCCF

At 11:45 a.m., the long-standing Nature Sounds Contest will begin.

Divided by age groups, kids and adults demonstrate their favorite and most practiced nature sounds.

“In years past, Dad’s have done their best imitation of an elephant, two year olds do their quack, squawk or meow and everyone in between has a great time both as participants and observers,” Anders said.

Prizes will be granted to these talented performers.

Another big attraction are the free hot dogs, chips and lemonade which will be available until the supply runs out.

From last year’s SCCF Open House: Adults get into the fun of the popular animal call contest. PHOTO PROVIDED BY SCCF

There also will be a guided walk by out of the SCCF’s “Weeds, Seeds and Birds” experts, start at 12:30 p.m. Karl Werner will be leading a walk to the Sanibel Slough, as well.

To end the festivities, herpetologist Chris Lechowicz will give a talk regarding the relatively new Pine Island Sound Indigo Snake project at 1 p.m.

The first SCCF open house was held in 1977 and it’s been well attended each of the 40 years.

“We have a good mix of residents and visitors attend,” Anders said. “Since it’s the mid-winter break for schools up north, there will be lots of grandchildren coming down visiting grandparents and we get quite of few of them visiting. We have had families come here every year and it’s fun to see their children grow up.”

Anders also encourages people to ride their bikes, since the vast Sanibel shared-used pathways run right by the SCCF Nature Center, along with a crossing of Sanibel Captiva Road.

“It’s been a long tradition of the SCCF to open its doors to guests and make it a day of fun,” Anders said.