January Field Trip
Hike the trail at the Upper Pithlachascotee River Preserve
17135 Minneola Drive
Spring Hill, FL 34610
Date and Time:
Sunday, January 17, 2021
Meet at 10:30 am
Wear a mask, good hiking shoes and bring a hat, water, sunscreen and a snack.
Field Trip Leader: Katie MacMillen, Grants Specialist Pasco County Parks,Recreation and Natural Resources
This 129-acre Preserve was the first to be acquired and protected by the Pasco County ELAMP program. It and it is dominated by 69 acres of bottomland forest associated with the Pithlachascotee River and a small tributary - Ryals Branch - that crosses the site. ommunities grant from the Florida C Trust was awarded for the acquisition of this property for 50% of the acquisition cost.
The preserve is located within a designated wildlife corridor and is dominated by 69 acres of bottomland forest associated with the Pithlachascotee River and a small tributary - Ryals Branch - that crosses the site. Other natural communities include sandhill and upland mixed forest. Protected wildlife species documented or likely to occur include the gopher tortoise, Florida mouse, gopher frog, little blue heron, and snowy egret. The Preserve has 2 miles of trails including a 1,500-foot boardwalk.
From US 41 head north to SR52 and turn left (west) and travel 1 mile to Kent Grove Drive. Turn right then go .5 mile to Orange Drive turn left and then.4 mile to Minneola Drive and turn right.
From the Suncoast Parkway, head north and take exit 27. Turn right on SR 52 and travel 1.9 miles to Kent Gove Drive. Turn left and then go .5 mile to Orange Drive, turn left and .4 mile to Minneola Drive and turn right.
February Field Trip:
Withlacoochee River Park
Date: Saturday, February 13, 2021, 10:00 a.m.
12449 Withlacoochee Blvd.
Dade City, FL 33525
Meet at the large parking on your left past the canoe launch at 10;00 am
Withlacoochee River Park is a Pasco County regional park occupying 458 acres of hardwood and pine forest. Combined with 146 additional acres from the SWFWMD’s Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve it provides recreation and protection for the area’s water resources, and natural communities. The park and has a wide diversity of plant life and an abundance of wildlife. The park includes the western section of Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, Florida Trails Association trails and connects to the Florida National Scenic Trail.
Nearly 36 miles of the Withlacoochee River’s 110-mile length are protected as an Outstanding Florida Water within the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve. As a plateau above surrounding areas, the Green Swamp region is an important physiographic feature of Florida. Its 560,000 acres of wetlands, flatlands and low ridges are bounded by prominent sandy ridgelines. Rainwater drains across the surface to create the headwaters of four major rivers: the Withlacoochee, the Ocklawaha, the Hillsborough and the Peace. Rainwater also trickles down through the soil to replenish the Floridan aquifer system, the primary source of drinking water for most Floridians. Because the Green Swamp region is elevated above outlying areas and the underground aquifer rises very close to the land surface, the region functions as the pressure head for the aquifer. Protecting the Green Swamp is vital to protecting the quality and quantity of Florida’s water supply. Recognizing the statewide significance of this area, the state of Florida in 1974 designated 322,000 acres of the Green Swamp region as an Area of Critical State Concern.
The park has a nature trail and boardwalk we will explore and a tower with a good view of the Green Swamp region.
From 41N or I75 head north to CR 52. Stay on SR52 past St. Leo University for 5.5 miles and turn right on Prospect Rd at the light. Go .3 miles and turn left onto Clinton Ave. travel 4.6 miles. Go over US 301 and Clinton becomes Enterprise Road for 2 miles. Turn left on Auton Rd and go 1.5 miles to the Park entrance on your right.
Ongoing- Lunch and Learn with the Florida Native Plant Society (membership to FNPS required to attend- click this link to join- fnps.org)
Fridays at 12 PM, online web based seminar. Once you join the FNPS, each week you will receive an email with the topic and information to listen to the presentation. Also, if you miss a presentation, you will have access to saved presentations on YouTube.
Contact Valerie Anderson for more information or if you are a member and not on the email list. Her contact information is: Valerie Anderson
email@example.com | 386.852.2539
Please check your email for the information to join this meeting.
If you are not a member and would like to join our meeting, please email NatureCoastfnps@gmail.com. Include your name and email address and let us know that you would like to join the meeting. No membership is required.