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Posted on: September 23, 2021

County plans Explore Volusia programs in October

Point-of-view photo of a person rowing a kayak with two others ahead on a lush, green stream.

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

Registration is required; call 386-736-5927.

Upcoming events include:

Blue Spring paddle: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5. Learn about wildlife and the area’s history as you paddle through old logging trails back through Snake Creek. This trip will be just over seven miles long. Bring a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard, along with a life preserver and whistle. Meet at the end of West French Avenue, about one mile past the Blue Spring State Park entrance.

Longleaf hike: 9 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 7. Take a walk through Longleaf Pine Preserve’s flatwoods, cypress domes and swamps. Participants will learn about the connections between soils and the plant and animal communities of the wetlands. Meet at the west entrance, 3637 E. New York Ave. 

Beresford bike-about: 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12. Learn about the local environment and the importance of protecting the water quality of our springs as you ride the Lake Beresford Park Trail and a segment of the Spring-to-Spring Trail. The emphasis will be on the connectivity of local water bodies. Participants must wear a helmet and bring their own bicycle. Meet at Beresford Park, 2100 Fatio Road, DeLand. 

Make a bat box: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14. Meet in the pavilion at Hickory Bluff Preserve, 598 Guise Road, Osteen, to see an active bat box and learn how bats benefit humans and the environment. Participants will build boxes before watching the bats fly out of the Hickory Bluff box at dusk. On Oct. 15, participants can watch their boxes being installed at Deep Creek Preserve, New Smyrna Beach. 

Tomoka River paddle: 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19. Join environmental specialists at High Bridge Park, 39 Highbridge Road, Ormond Beach, to learn about restoration efforts and strategies for restoring mangroves, oysters and salt marsh. Bring a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard, along with a life preserver and whistle. Participants may also bring their fishing gear to test their skills. Ethical angling will be discussed. A Florida saltwater fishing license is required to fish, and all regulations must be followed. Participants are not required to fish to participate.

Deep Creek eco-buggy tour: 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20. 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 964 S. State Road 415, New Smyrna Beach. 

Scrub Oak hike: 9 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26. Learn about the importance of scrub habitat, water recharge zones and keystone species while hiking through the beautiful Scrub Oak Preserve. Participants will hike about one mile of trails and get an up-close look at the land management practices of the conservation area. Meet at 1495 McGregor Road, DeLand. 

 Longleaf eco-buggy tour: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27. Take a night ride through Longleaf Pine Preserve’s flatwoods, cypress domes and swamps. Participants will look for nocturnal species and observe the night sky with Derek Demeter, director of the Emil Buehler Planetarium at Seminole State College. Meet at the east entrance, 4551 Pioneer Trail, New Smyrna Beach.

Help us mark storm drains: 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 28. Where does the water go? Tag along with Volusia County’s environmental specialists and help them mark storm drains in New Smyrna Beach, Edgewater and Oak Hill. The group will mark the drains with “no dumping” curb markers and learn how fertilizers and other contaminants harm the Indian River Lagoon. Meet in the Hiles Boulevard parking lot, 4516 S. Atlantic Ave., New Smyrna Beach.

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

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