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Are you a Friends of Rookery Bay member? Learn about discounts and other benefits of membership.
Our team of naturalists offer programs on a variety of topics - check out the daily themes here.
Description: Join a Rookery Bay naturalist as you enjoy a two-hour guided tour exploring the mangrove bays, creeks and islands that make this Reserve a valuable treasure. Beginners trip includes brief paddling instruction. However, possible winds and currents may require paddlers to have upper body strength. Participants must be age 12+ and anyone under 18 must register and paddle with an adult. Kayaks have a 250 pound weight limit. Fee for the tour includes admission that day to the Environmental Learning Center.
Location: Please arrive at launch site (Shell Island Road) 30 minutes prior to scheduled departure time.
Description: Have you ever visited a place with the hope you might come away with a profound understanding of its essence rather than just a snapshot? This tour will “get you there”. Wander through the backwaters of Rookery Bay Reserve, learning about plants and animals and how they fit into the complex tapestry of this place we call an estuary. Journey back in time and learn how human and natural history intersect. Your guide adapts the tour to changes in weather, tides, and participants’ interests so no two tours are the same.
Difficulty level: Participants will be on the boat the entire time and must have the physical ability to step on and off of the boat at our dock.
Location: Please arrive at launch site (Shell Island Road) 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure time.
Description: An opportunity to explore Keewaydin Island, living barrier island with an incredible diversity of life and some of the best shelling in Florida. Stroll the beach with your guide and learn about: specially adapted native plants, gastropods, crustaceans, corals, sea squirts, snails, sponges, fishes, birds, and more. Also included is a leisurely cruise through the Rookery Bay mangrove estuary, one of the richest and most productive ecosystems on the planet.
Difficulty level: Participants must have the physical ability to step down into, and up from the boat at a dock and walk a 1/4 mile across the island and along the beach.
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are recommended for the walk across the island (and can be removed on the beach).
Science Saturdays provide an opportunity for families to spend the day at the Environmental Learning Center enjoying programs, labs and activities centered around a different science theme, on the last Saturday of every month.
This month's theme is Wonders of Water!
Scheduled activities include: Estuary Encounter, Activity Lab, Show & Tell, and Nature on the Silver Screen. Click on the green details button for more information.
Pre-registration is not required. Admission fees are $5 for adults, $3 for kids 6 to 12 and free for members and children under six. Must pay at door.
Extended deadline: Workshop registration closes February 14
Coastal communities increasingly realize the need for adaptation strategies, but many are unsure where to begin. This intensive and interactive course provides individuals with a thorough grounding and practical skills for incorporating adaptation strategies into planning processes. Time in class is provided to practice applying what you learn, and opportunities for local collaboration and next steps are emphasized through discussion, participant activities, and local speakers and examples.
Continuing education credits have been approved through The American Planning Association (14) and The Association of State Floodplain Managers (12).
Description: This one-of-a-kind tour takes place in the evening and is often around the full moon. Guests visit a remote section of Keewaydin Island, renowned for its shell-strewn beaches and pastel sunsets. Stroll along and enjoy beachcombing until the magical moment when the sun sinks into the Gulf. As darkness gradually enfolds you, begin the leisurely return cruise through the back bays of the reserve, becoming immersed in the sights, sounds and sensations of night in a mangrove-forested estuary. If the tide permits, you will ease by the rookery island where hundreds of herons, egrets and ibis gather for the night.
Difficulty level: Participants must have the physical ability to step down into, and up from, the boat at a dock and walk 1/4 mile across the island and along the beach. Closed-toed shoes are recommended.
Southwest Florida is a critical stopover site for thousands of migrating and wintering shorebirds. In this class, Adam DiNuovo of Audubon Florida will discuss the life history of these birds and the amazing journeys many of them make annually. Winter shorebirds are notoriously difficult to ID, so practicing the skills learned in this class is essential. You will learn how to use plumage, size, and behavior to help with identification.
The classroom session will take place at the Rookery Bay Field Station on Shell Island Road. It will be followed by a trip to Tigertail Beach, one of the most important winter shorebird sites in Florida, where we will see many of the birds discussed. Be prepared to wade in water up to your knees, with adequate footwear that will protect your feet (no flip flops). Collier County beach parking fee applies ($8, free with sticker).
This class is geared toward those with some birding experience. If you are new to birding, we recommend taking the Birding Basics class first.
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Tel: (239) 530-5940 300 Tower Road Naples, Florida 34113
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