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Posted on: March 17, 2021

County plans Explore Volusia programs in April, NSB included

Two kayakers, a young male in the lead and female turning to smile, paddle along Callalisa Creek

Learn about Volusia County’s conservation lands and land management practices during free Explore Volusia programs in April. Environmental specialists will lead a variety of outdoor adventures. 

With social distancing in mind, each program will be limited to eight persons. Participants must register at least 48 hours before the program. Only registrants will be allowed to participate. To register, call (386) 736-5927.

Upcoming events include:

Bike-about Palm Bluff: 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Apr. 1. Explore the eight distinct natural plant communities in the Palm Bluff Conservation Area, which is managed by the St. Johns River Water Management District. With its wide variety of habitats, this is a great place to go birding. Visitors may see a variety of species, including bluebirds, brown-headed nuthatch, turkeys, wading birds and raptors. Wear a helmet and bring a bicycle; large-tired bikes are recommended. Meet in Osteen in the parking area east of County Road 415, about 9.5 miles south of State Road 44 and 1.9 miles north of Howland Boulevard.

Hickory Bluff hike: 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Apr. 6. Explore the natural world and compare habitat characteristics during an upland and swamp hike of the St. Johns River watershed. Meet at Hickory Bluff Preserve, 598 Guise Road, Osteen.

Deep Creek eco-buggy tour: 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Apr. 14.Take a riding tour of this 8,000-acre natural and agricultural land to learn about important plant communities. Participants may see carnivorous plants and the rare Sherman’s fox squirrel. Meet at Deep Creek Preserve, 964 S. State Road 415, New Smyrna Beach. 

Callalisa Creek paddle: 9 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, Apr. 16. Enjoy a backwater paddle through a maze of mangroves. Participants will navigate oyster beds, learn about mosquito canals and see a variety of birds. Bring a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard, along with a life preserver and whistle. Meet at Callalisa Park, 598 S. Peninsula Ave., New Smyrna Beach.

Lake George eco-buggy tour: 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Apr. 20. Explore the pine flatwoods, cypress swamps and marsh while riding Volusia County’s eco-buggy. Lake George has the second highest population of bald eagles in the lower 48 states, so participants may see one. Meet at 998 Ninemile Point Road, Seville.

Indian River Lagoon night paddle: 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Apr. 22. Skilled paddlers can explore the lagoon and witness its beauty under the night sky. Participants may see and hear a variety of organisms, including the extremely important horseshoe crab, whose blue blood saves lives. Bring a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard, along with a life preserver, whistle, and electric torch or flashlight with a white light. Meet at Menard May Park, 413 S Riverside Drive, Edgewater.

Scrub Oak hike: 9 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Apr. 24. Learn about the importance of scrub habitat, water recharge zones and keystone species while hiking through Scrub Oak Preserve. Participants will hike one mile of trails and get an up-close look at the conversation area’s land management practices. Meet at 1495 McGregor Road, DeLand. 

Bike-about Spruce Creek: 9 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Apr. 28. Learn about the local ecosystem as you ride a segment of Martin Dairy Trails in Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve. Moderate skill is preferred due to rough terrain, soft sands, and up and down hills. Bring a bicycle and helmet. Turn north off Turnbull Bay Road just off Pioneer Trail and meet in the dirt parking lot on Martin Dairy Road, New Smyrna Beach. 

Participants should bring water and insect repellent. They should wear comfortable clothes and hiking or walking shoes.

Explore Volusia staff has established public program procedures based on current guidelines. These procedures are subject to change based on guidance at the local, state and federal levels. Please visit http://bit.ly/3rShGPQ and contact staff for more information.

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