September teems with discovery at Pinellas County preserves. Unless otherwise noted, all events are free but require advance registration.
BROOKER CREEK PRESERVE
(727) 453-6800. www.brookercreekpreserve.org
Book Time: Beginning at 10:30 a.m. each Thursday in September, youngsters continue to be treated to the ever-popular Book Time. For 45 minutes, tots ages 3 to 5 connect to the wonders of the natural world through stories and crafts, games or other hands-on activities.
Ecological Hikes: On Saturday hikers see how the land has changed over time and the ecological footprints left by those changes on a 0.75 mile walk. Closed-toe shoes, water and hat recommended on this 90-minute hike beginning at 9 a.m. Best for ages 6 and older. Advance registration required.
Birds of Prey: On Saturday from 10:30 to noon, several live birds of prey will be used to illustrate aspects of predator-prey relationships, adaptations that ensure success as predators and their role in maintaining healthy, balanced ecosystems. The basic natural history of each species is also discussed along with the impact of humans on their habitats and populations.
Wildflower Garden Club: On Saturday, Sept. 28, from 8 to 10 a.m., join the Friends of Brooker Creek Preserve to get gardening hands dirty in the preserve’s wildflower garden. Bring garden gloves and hat. Morning snacks are usually provided. Free; advance registration required.
Windows to Our Wildest Place: Don’t miss Brooker Creek Preserve’s ongoing exhibit Windows to Our Wildest Place. These permanent, hands-on educational exhibits help visitors understand how natural Florida has changed over time and the ecological footprints left by those changes.
Brooker Creek Environmental Education Center is located at 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; closed all Pinellas County holidays.
WEEDON ISLAND PRESERVE
(727) 453-6500. www.weedonislandpreserve.org
Weedon Guided Hikes: Weedon Island Preserve continues the numerous opportunities available for hikers. Each Saturday in September, hikers can learn about the ecosystems and early residents of the preserve while hiking the coastal uplands and boardwalks through mangrove forests. This two-hour hike, beginning at 9 a.m. is best for ages 6 and older. Advance registration required.
Photograph Program: A special two-hour program designed for adult photographers is scheduled for Saturday. A brief classroom session will begin at 8 a.m. when volunteers highlight seasonal features of the preserve and specific wildlife behaviors to help participants capture the natural beauty of Weedon Island Preserve. Advance registration required.
Rainwater Harvesting Workshop – Saturday from 10 to 11:30 a.m., this workshop is hosted by the University of Florida/IFAS Extension. Participants will learn how to save rainwater in a recycled plastic drum for use in your landscape. Each attendee will receive instructions on how to build and install a rain barrel and a reference booklet. You also have the option of purchasing a completed rain barrel. Rain Barrels are available only at the class and pre-payment is required when registering. If rain barrel will be transported inside your car please bring something to cover your seats to protect from possible soil or moisture. Questions about this class? Call (727) 453-6524.
Paddle Coastal Clean Up Day: On Saturday, Sept. 28, be a part of this nation’s largest single-day volunteer event for public lands. Public lands and estuaries provide benefits that are critical to ecosystem health, and the health and well-being of people who recreate on them and live in close proximity to them. Volunteer from 9 a.m. to noon and give back to Tampa Bay and the lands of Weedon Island Preserve. Volunteers will use canoes and kayaks to help clean up the difficult-to-reach shorelines of Weedon Island Preserve. This cleanup will help to protect wildlife from entanglement and increase the aesthetic value of our natural surroundings. Advance registration requested.
Connecting People and Place: This art-inspired, permanent hands-on educational exhibit reveals the area’s history, ecology and people.
Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center is located at 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg and is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; closed all Pinellas County holidays.
FLORIDA BOTANICAL GARDENS
(727) 582-2109; www.flbg.org
Using Herbs: On Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 2 to 3 p.m., Master Gardener Ruth Davies will talk about using herbs in teas and infusions. Davies will also offer a nice selection of herbs for sale, with donations benefiting the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. Recommended for adults. Free. The event will be held at the Garden Club of St. Petersburg, 500 Sunset Drive S. Call (727) 582-2109 or visit www.eventbrite.com/event/5260391974/eorg.
For more information about Pinellas County services and programs, visit www.pinellascounty.org.