Speakers for 2019 General Membership Gatherings
January 23 Justin Proctor, (BirdsCaribbean) - Creating Bird Friendly Landscapes
BirdsCaribbean (https://www.birdscaribbean.org/) is the largest regional organization dedicated to the conservation of wild birds and their habitats in the insular Caribbean (including Bermuda, the Bahamas and all islands within the Caribbean basin).
Justin has a B.Sc. in Marine Biology from the University of Maine and a Master’s degree in Natural Resources from Cornell University. His love of birds would ultimately send him on a crash course with the Laboratory of Ornithology in Ithaca, NY. He works extensively with aerial insectivore species, specifically swallows and swifts, from northern Canada down through Argentina. He is the Vice President of BirdsCaribbean, and Journal of Caribbean Ornithology (JCO) Managing Editor.
February 27 Dan Quinn (Biologist with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) - SW FL Invasive Animals
Dan Quinn is the lead nonnative wildlife biologist for FWC in Southwest Florida. Originally from Kansas City, MO, he graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Truman State University and received his M.S. in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Georgia. He has worked and conducted ecological research domestically and abroad and has spent the last 7 years working in the field of wildlife conservation in the Southeastern United States. His current projects focus on priority invasive wildlife such as Nile Monitors, Tegus, and Pythons.
March 27 Roxanne Taylor, State of the Slough, and invasive plants. Roxanne Taylor, Land Steward, Lee County - State of the Slough Roxanne Taylor is as she puts it: “The new Bob”. Roxanne is the Slough’s new Land Steward. She is responsible for the natural areas management of Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, Six Mile North, and additional preserves. Roxanne has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Central Florida and a Master’s degree in Environmental Management from Portland State University. She is a Professional Wetland Scientist and a Certified Ecologist. Roxanne previously worked at the South Florida Water Management District for more than 10 years as an environmental analyst and project manager. She has experience in wetland enhancement, restoration, mitigation and creation.
April 24: Dr. Charles O'Connor - Florida's Incredible Prehistoric Animals. Charles O’Connor, Board Member and Education Director for the Friends will be our speaker in April. Dr. O'Connor is a native Floridian and an amateur paleontologist. He was an assistant in the Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, one of the premier Pleistocene fossil museums in the nation. He has received the Golden Apple Award, SW FL Audubon Educator of the Year Award, Ding Darling Conservation Award, and was both a Lee County Science and Environmental Teacher of Year for his classroom science activities and community environmental education work. He has taught community and school groups for over 20 years. There will be a large teaching collection of vertebrate fossils on display.
Wet Walks for the Public - the 2018 public wet walks are completed for the season. Watch this page for the 2019 schedule, TBA around July, 2019.
The Friends of the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve are again hosting off the boardwalk strolls along the wet walk trail usually closed to the public. The invigorating, beautiful path is immersed in the watery heart of the Slough. Group size is limited to 16. You must be at least 10 years old to participate because of the possible water depth.
Reservations required. Contact Charles O'Connor at email@example.com
Attire: long pants, secure shoes that won’t pull off (e.g., no Crocs, flip-flops, flimsy shoes,), and bring a change of clothing (changing rooms are available). Guests with improper shoes will not be allowed on the trail, per Parks and Recreation safety rules. You’ll be encountering many submerged roots and occasional cypress knees, so you’ll want to be protected. If you have trouble walking or have poor balance, skip the wet walk. The elevated wooden walkway is more easily negotiated. The wet walk trail is not for guests who need assistance, or have trouble with knees, ankles or balance.
We’ll be walking in fresh, clean rainwater, usually up to our waists. You will exit wet but not muddy, and we have a rinse off hose. Your clothing will later dry out and can be reused. Usually there’s no need for insect repellent because the slough water is constantly flowing and mosquitoes need stagnant water to breed. Rarely, there are a few mosquitoes that arrive from off site. This trail has been safely enjoyed for over 45 years by 10's of thousands of walkers. You will not have any problems with wildlife.
We meet under the parking lot pavilion. Waterproof cameras are best, and expect everything to get wet. I can store any electronic car keys safely in a dry, secure room. We will wait for fleeting lightning storms to pass but tropical storms or continuous harsh weather will cause a cancellation. Light rain is not a problem, and as you may know, Florida weather changes quickly.
Please allow time to visit the amazing Interpretive Center on site. Hours are Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 4pm. It has a wonderful display of photo contest winning images, a gift shop with unique treasures, and the interpretive exhibits are top quality. You’ll really enjoy the interactive displays.
Wet walk donations ($10 suggested) are used to sponsor summer camp scholarships, purchase educational supplies, fund student slough trips, and to support educational programs. If you feel that you want to donate more, please do. All donations are very appreciated and put to good use. A collection jar will be available.