Learn about Volusia County’s conservation lands and land management practices during free Explore Volusia programs in January. Environmental specialists will lead a variety of outdoor adventures and volunteer and learn programs.
Registration is required; call 386-736-5927.
Upcoming events include:
Holiday beach cleanup: 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, Jan. 1. Start the new year by removing New Year’s Eve debris from the beach and learning about the North Atlantic right whale. Meet at Sun Splash Park, 611 S. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach.
Become a purple martin volunteer: 10 to 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 4. Volunteer and learn about purple martins at the Marine Discovery Center, 520 Barracuda Blvd., New Smyrna Beach. Participants will be trained to observe the nests weekly and record their observations. After the orientation, participants will install purple martin nesting gourds.
Help the raptors: 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 5. Celebrate National Bird Day by volunteering at the Marine Science Center, 100 Lighthouse Drive, Ponce Inlet. Volunteers will construct prototypes of concrete trees for the center’s new raptor enclosures and help make enrichment toys for the resident birds. Start saving empty tissue boxes, paper rolls and newspapers to construct enrichment toys. Afterward, the group will tour the boardwalk to learn about the bird residents and the work at the bird hospital.
Spruce Creek paddle: 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 6. Paddle scenic Spruce Creek as you learn about estuaries and the animals that live in them. The group will leave from Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve, a 2,513-acre conservation land that helps protect important ecosystems. Bring a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard, along with a life preserver and whistle. Meet at 2317 Creek Shore Trail, New Smyrna Beach.
Shuck and share: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 7. Learn about water quality in the Indian River Lagoon and how oysters contribute to improving water quality. Then volunteer by making oyster bags that will be used to restore the shoreline. Meet at the Marine Discovery Center, 520 Barracuda Blvd., New Smyrna Beach.
Deep Creek eco-buggy tour: 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10. Learn about important plant communities during a riding tour of Deep Creek Preserve, an 8,000-acre natural and agricultural land. Participants may see carnivorous plants and the rare Sherman’s fox squirrel. Meet at 964 S. State Road 415, New Smyrna Beach.
Bike-about Edgewater: 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17. Take a leisurely ride along the paved path from Cow Creek Road north to the end and back. Participants will learn about local habitats and the organisms that live within them. Bring a bicycle and helmet. Meet in the parking lot on Cow Creek Road a quarter mile south of State Road 442 and a quarter mile east of I-95.
Explore Volusia challenge: 9 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18. A guide will share details about the monthly challenge and help you navigate the iNaturalist app. Meet at Longleaf Pine Preserve, 3637 E. New York Ave., DeLand.
Volunteer on Florida Arbor Day: 1 to 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 21. Volunteers are needed to distribute trees, inform residents about best planting practices, and explain the importance of trees for water and air quality. County staff will offer a brief training session. Giveaway locations are Lyonia Environmental Center, Deltona; Marine Science Center, Ponce Inlet; Stetson Aquatic Center, DeLand; Tiger Bay State Forest, Daytona Beach; and the Marine Discovery Center, New Smyrna Beach.
Clark Bay hike: 1 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24. Walk along the five-mile looping trail in Clark Bay Conservation Area. Participants will see uplands and pine mesic flatwoods along this beautiful wildlife corridor. From I-95 take exit 261, travel west on U.S. 92 toward DeLand for 13.5 miles and turn right onto Kepler Road. Follow it four-tenths of a mile and turn right onto Old DeLand Road. Follow it for about one mile and turn left into the Clark Bay Conservation Area parking lot.
Indian River Lagoon Preserve Park: 9 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25. Take a short hike around the park to learn about the importance of barrier islands, mangroves and the health of the Indian River Lagoon. An environmental specialist will discuss plant life, water quality and local wildlife during this scenic hike. Meet at 700 Sandpiper St., New Smyrna Beach.
Manatee Festival table volunteers: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29. Volusia County Environmental Management will provide information about environmental issues and educational opportunities during this popular festival. Volunteers are needed to work three-hour shifts to set up the table, interact with guests and clean up. Meet at Blue Springs State Park, 2100 W. French Ave., Orange City.
Indian River Lagoon paddle: 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31. Explore the northern end of the Indian River Lagoon while paddling from Mary McLeod Bethune Park to surrounding areas. Participants may see manatees, dolphins and many bird species. Bring a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard, along with a life preserver and whistle. Meet at 6656 S. Atlantic Ave., New Smyrna Beach.
Participants should bring water and insect repellent and wear comfortable clothes and hiking or walking shoes.