NATURE: Wild Places
CIRCLE BAR B PRESERVE, Lakeland, FL
Circle B Bar Reserve, on northwest shore of Lake Hancock, is a former cattle ranch that today boasts a wide variety of plants and animals. You can see several distinct ecosystems in this reserve of 1,267 acres. You're almost guaranteed to see alligators in Lake Hancock, often considered headwaters of Peace River, which flows more than 100 miles from Polk County southwest to Gulf of Mexico. 4399 Winter Lake Rd., Lakeland, FL 33803
LETTUCE LAKE, Tampa, FL
Lettuce Lake Conservation Park is one of Hillsborough County's most visited parks. More than half of the park’s property lies in the natural floodplain of the Hillsborough River, consisting of a hardwood swamp forest. The remainder of park consists of hardwood hammocks and pine flatwoods plant communities. Park features wooded picnic areas and playgrounds, a 1.25-mile paved exercise trail and 3,500-foot boardwalk with an observation tower provides scenic views of the Hillsborough River.
Park ranger and volunteer-led nature education tours are available on weekends. Canoe and kayaks rentals provide up-close encounters with a variety of aquatic birds and wildlife.
Robinson Preserve, Bradenton Fl, is a 600+ acre salt marsh home to jumping mullet and hundreds of other species of fish and other marine life. Interior featuring hiking paths, kayak and canoe waterways, bridges, picnic spots, mangrove forests and a 53-foot-tall tower with a wide-open view of the Tampa Bay area. The 120-year-old Valentine House, moved to the preserve by boat, near property entrance is Robinson’s information center. Main aquatic entrance to preserve is at 9800 Manatee Ave. West, Bradenton 3420 This wonderful launch site boast home to dolphins, manatees at play and many other wildlife.
at Lowry Park, Tampa, FL
Tampa Zoo is a modern, 24-acre facility that opened to the public in 1988. It now encompasses 56 acres of naturalistic animal exhibits in a lush, tropical garden setting. The Zoo offers popular educational programming, fun recreational amenities, up-close animal encounters and engaging seasonal events for which it has won accolades as one of the country’s most family-friendly zoos.
Tampa Bay, FL
Weedon Island Preserve is an expansive 3,190-acre natural area on Tampa Bay. This coastal system, comprised of aquatic and upland ecosystems, is home to numerous species of native plants and animals, an educational facility and a rich cultural history. Indigenous peoples occupied this site for thousands of years. Today, the Preserve protects this wide diversity of natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. Well-known birding and fishing site
Exploration of mindful meditation,
nature-inspired expressive photography,
and aroused sensory awareness, for enhancing wellness and joy.