Back to Nature (Published on TBNWeekly.com - Jan. 19, 2005)
Discovery Day and Nature Festival
Go fly a kite! Jump into a boat! Take a hike! Catch
a butterfly! Watch an eagle soar from a tower up high. Post a sign: Gone
|Photo by Rick Tremmel
|Graceful in pink, roseate
spoonbills can be observed along the boardwalk at Boca Ciega
Millennium Park in Seminole.
Is there one place you can go to do all these things and more? What if I told you
that not only could you do all these things in one place, but that this wonderful
place is in your very own backyard. No, I dont mean Florida in general. Yes,
we have beaches here, and lakes there, waterways over there and open spaces over
here. Thats Florida.
But right here in Seminole we are blessed with one of the most spectacular parks
in the whole United States Boca Ciega Millennium Park at 12410 74th
Ave. N. (Old Oakhurst Road) 588-4882.
Boca Ciega Millennium Park features include fishing access to the bay, a canoe
launch, 1.5-acre Paw Playground, 35-foot observation tower, .25 mile nature trail,
boardwalks, playground, restrooms, picnic shelters and bicycle/pedestrian paths.
Five ponds were added to treat stormwater runoff and hydrate the wetland areas
before the runoff reaches Boca Ciega Bay.
It is not unusual to see people standing statuesque, binoculars pointed to the
treetops capturing some unusual site of winged beauty. Boca Ciega Millennium Park
is a designated hotspot on the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation
Commissions Great Florida Birding Trail. You can view shore
birds, wading birds, birds of prey, upland birds and water fowl. Each time I visit
I am rewarded with a long list of birding sites some labeled frequent
but some not what one would expect to see.
I noted that one of the birding tours lists Boca Ciega Millennium Park as a
possible place to observe turkeys. Sure enough, on several early morning walks I
have spotted turkeys roaming the park. Ive also seen foxes, of course,
raccoons, and have heard about several other animals that live in the wilds of Boca
Ciega Millennium Park.
At the entrance to the 184.6-acre park is the Pinellas County Millennium Time
Capsule with more than 100 items secured for future generations to find. The park
has been recognized by the Florida Native Plant Society for its use of natives in
landscaping. Boca Ciegas natural communities include pine flatwoods, coastal
oak hammock, mangrove swamp, salt marsh, bay head and wetlands. A wide variety of
Florida vegetation and wildlife highlights Boca Ciega Millennium Parks
On March 5, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Boca Ciega Millennium Park will be hosting a
Discovery Day and Nature Festival. The motto of this day is
Touch, Create, Observe. There will be childrens games and arts
and crafts, a scavenger hunt, cast net demonstrations, snakes, birds, and pond
programs and guided bird walks.
The Division of Forestry, Project Wild, Animal Services, 9-1-1, Bike Safety,
Morton Plant, Exotic Pest Plant Council, ADA, Friends of Boca Ciega, Osprey Bay
Kayaks, North American Butterfly Association, St. Petersburg Audubon Society,
Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary and more will be putting on displays for young to old.
There will be something for everyone to enjoy and find educational. Refreshments,
nature based products and native plants will be on sale.
You wont be disappointed. So go fly a kite! Jump into a boat! Take a hike!
Catch a butterfly! Watch an eagle soar from a tower up high. Post a sign: Gone
Lets all get out on March 5. Support our neighborhoods
world class Boca Ciega Millennium Park.
Karen can be reached at MyMuddyPawsStudio@gmail.com.