Upcoming activities at the Guana Research Reserve

GTM-NERR-VILANO_4362The Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve invites local Historic City News readers to participate in their regularly scheduled and special events; dedicated to the preservation of an unspoiled and undeveloped natural treasure, that is home to sea turtles, land tortoises, porpoises, manatees, roseate spoonbills, North Atlantic right whales as well as a vibrant ecosystem and it subsystems.

Unless otherwise noted, all events and activities take place at:
Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve
505 Guana River Road
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082

Friday, February 1; 9 – 11:30 a.m. New Volunteer Orientation
Friday, February 1; 1 – 6 p.m. State of the Reserve
Saturday, February 2; 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. Guided Cultural Hike
Saturday, February 2, 9, 16, 23; 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. More than you wanted to know about…
Wednesday, February 6; 9 – 10:30 a.m. Marineland Beach Walk
Wednesday, February 6, 13, 20, 27; 3 – 4 p.m. Eco Geek Series

–Open to the Public through RSVP–
Carly Swatek, GTM Research Reserve Volunteer Coordinator, offers New Volunteer Orientations on the first Friday of the month from 9 to 11:30 a.m. All new volunteers are required to attend or to have met with Carly prior to beginning their volunteer work at the Reserve. If you are currently a volunteer at the GTM Research Reserve but haven’t been through an official orientation, you are also welcome to attend. Attendees will receive training in all aspects of the GTM Research Reserve, learn general volunteer rules and responsibilities and take tour of the Environmental Education Center. If you are able to attend, please RSVP to Carly at Carly.Swatek@dep.state.fl.us by Jan. 30.

— Preserving Public Lands to Sustain Healthy Communities —
Please join us for the 3rd annual State of the Reserve, an afternoon of presentations highlighting the past year of outstanding research, stewardship and education, on Feb. 1 from 1 to 6 p.m. Presentations will be followed by a local food and wine reception and poster session. Come learn more about your local National Estuarine Research Reserve while networking with the community and GTM Research Reserve Staff, partners and stakeholders. This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP online at http://stateofthereserve2013.eventbrite.com/ or by contacting Emily Montgomery at Emily.Montgomery@dep.state.fl.us or (904) 823-2291. The Environmental Education Center is located at 505 Guana River Rd., Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082.

— Free and Open to the Public –
On the first Saturday of every month from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., visitors can learn about the cultural history of the Guana Peninsula during a guided cultural hike. Find out about the peninsula’s 5,000 years of human history, including how native peoples used estuarine resources, what European plantation life was like and current efforts to learn about and save these resources. Meet at the GTM Research Reserve’s Trailhead Pavilion located west of the Guana Dam. Wear comfortable closed toe shoes. There is a $3 per vehicle parking fee. Please RSVP by going to http://gtmnerrculturalhike.eventbrite.com or by calling (904) 823-4500.

–Free and Open to the Public–
On Saturday afternoons from 11 a.m. to noon, visitors can learn more than they ever wanted to know about plant and animal life found in estuarine habitats. Feb. 2 will feature marine mammals and their unique adaptations to aquatic life. Feb. 9 will explore oceanic birds living near and far, along coastlines and out at sea. Feb. 16 will take a closer look at some of the 44 terrestrial mammals living in the Reserve. Feb. 23 will investigate the habits of upland and secretive marsh birds. The program is free with paid entrance and will take place at the Environmental Education Center located at 505 Guana River Rd in South Ponte Vedra Beach. Please RSVP by going to http://gtmnerrwantedtoknow.eventbrite.com or by calling (904) 823-4500.

— Free and Open to the Public —
On Wednesday, Feb. 6, 9 to 10:30 a.m., GTM Research Reserve volunteer Ron Ceryak will guide hikers on Flagler County’s River to Sea Preserve Oceanside at the Town of Marineland. Expect to see shorebirds and learn about the geology, sand, shells, mollusks, heavy minerals, coquina rock, and the value of dunes and dune vegetation. Ceryak is a retired hydrogeologist and can answer your many questions about the seashore history.
The GTM Research Reserve is on the west side of A1A at Ocean Shore Blvd, at the southern end of the Town of Marineland. See the GTM Research Reserve sign and a temporary event sign posted at the A1A entrance. Please RSVP online at http://gtmnerrmarinelandbeach.eventbrite.com or by calling (904) 823-4500. Be sure to wear comfortable, closed toe shoes.

–Free and Open to the Public–
On Wednesday afternoons from 3 to 4 p.m., visitors can learn about the latest technology used in environmental research. Feb. 6 will explore how people have used the environment to their advantage, from Paleo-Indians to modern society. Feb. 13 will focus on orienteering techniques, from compasses to GPS and beyond. Feb. 20 will feature ways that we can recycle our environment, including Skype discussions with experts across the nation about restoration techniques. Feb. 27 will examine how we can assess the value of our environment and natural resources. The program is free with paid entrance and will take place at the Environmental Education Center located at 505 Guana River Rd in South Ponte Vedra Beach. Please RSVP by going to http://gtmnerrecogeek.eventbrite.com or by calling (904) 823-4500.

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