2013 - 2014 Programs and Education

  • Monthly General Meetings
  • Audubon Resource Center at Lettuce Lake Park (a.k.a. 'ARC in the Park')
  • Volunteer Training for work at 'ARC in the Park'
  • Tampa Audubon is happy to offer the Natural Hillsborough: A 2014 Audubon Adventure series through the University of South Florida (USF) Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). This wonderful series of 8 classes runs from Jan 21- Mar 11., Tuesday mornings 10 am -12 pm. You must first register through USF OLLI here.
    The mission of Tampa Audubon is "to conserve and restore our ecosystems, focusing on birds, wildlife and their habitats through education, advocacy and community involvement." This year's adventure consists of a series of one-hour lectures followed by a one-hour field trip walk within Lettuce Lake Park. Develop an understanding of how to access and enjoy some of the unique features of the great outdoors of Hillsborough County. Topics include: introduction to birding, wildlife of the park, wetlands, bluebirds and boxes, birds of prey, wildlife habitats, herons and egrets, and Hillsborough's natural areas.

Tampa Audubon Monthly Meetings

Tampa Audubon's Monthly General Meetings are open to members and non-members alike, and are held at the Hillsborough County Extension Office located at 5339 CR 579, Seffner, (1/2 mile south of exit 10 on I-4) on the 1st Thursday of each month. The 2012-2013 season runs from September through May.

The General Meeting schedule is as follows:

6pm - Photo Club meets
7pm - Potluck, Birdsightings, Announcements
7:30pm - Speaker

Our Programs for the 2013-2014 season (July through August is our summer hiatus)

  • September 5 - Screening of Green Fire
  • October 3 - Eaglewatch Program Matt Smith, Eagle Watch Coordinator for Audubon Florida at the Birds of Prey Center in Maitland
  • November 7 - To The Rescue: Reinier Munguia, President, Lake Region Audubon
  • December 5 - Holiday Party: Breeding Bird Atlas with Dave Goodwin and Christmas Bird Count with Mary Keith
  • January 2 - Hooked and Entangled Bird
    Mark Rachal, manager of Audubon Florida's Coastal Island Sanctuaries, will discuss his experiences managing the nesting colonies of the Tampa Bay region and the threat that discarded fishing gear poses to many of our coastal waterbirds. Fishing line entanglement is a significant threat and boat ramps and fishing piers can be hot spots for hooked and entangled birds. Discarded fishing gear can even find its way into the coastal nesting islands and pose a danger for future generations of birds. Mark will talk about cooperative efforts to lessen this threat and what you can do to help. The mission of the Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries is the protection of the great colonial waterbird populations of the Florida coast, and the natural systems that support them. The Tampa Bay area is home to a population of colonial waterbirds totaling up to 50,000 breeding pairs at nearly 30 sites. Don't forget to catch the Photo Club at 6pm, prior to the meeting!
  • February 6 - Swallowtail Kites: Dr. Kenneth Meyer, Executive Director of Avian Research and Conservation Institute, University of Florida
  • March 6 - Horseshoe Crabs and more: Tom Farrell, Tampa Audubon, Board of Directors
  • April 3 - Earth Watch Vacations: Pam & Doug DeNeve
  • May 1 - Habitats & Wildlife: Tammy Lyons, Tampa Audubon, Board of Directors
  • June 5 - Beneficial Bats: Shari Clark, Bat Belfrys, Inc.

ARC AT THE PARK

ARC - Audubon Resource Center

The Tampa Audubon Society, in cooperation with the Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department, has established the Audubon Resource Center at Lettuce Lake Regional County Park (ARC at the PARK) located at 6920 E. Flectcher Ave, Tampa, FL 33637. Mike Mullins is the Director at the center. The Resource Center was created to help foster a culture of conservation and an environmental ethic in the Tampa Bay region and to encourage community involvement in the Audubon mission. Check out the Nature Museum in the Visitor Center.

ARC at the Park:

  • Provides a variety of environmental education programs and field trips for all ages.
  • Displays wildlife native to the Hillsborough River watershed.
  • Promotes Audubon Society membership and sponsorship for "Audubon Adventures" environmental education materials for local elementary schools.
  • Assists park visitors with wildlife and plant identification.

Volunteer Training:

We are in urgent need of additional volunteers to staff the facility. Volunteers commit to one Saturday or Sunday afternoon per month, from 1-5 p.m. Training is simple and available. The only skills you need is a love for the environment and a willingness to share a friendly smile with the visiting public. These 4 hours you spend a month are hugely rewarding. Please visit the ARC or email Mike Mullins if you are interested. If you know anyone that would like to become an active ARC volunteer, please share this with them.


 

Dated 4-7-14 (see invite and response card)

Dear Friend and Supporter of the Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries,
On March 31, 1934, Fred Schultz and his wife Idah arrived on Whiskey Stump Key in eastern Hillsborough Bay to begin an era: Fred was the first warden of the Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries, a role he served for 29 years.  The year before, Dr. Herbert Raphael Mills, a pathologist working in Tampa and an avid bird-watcher and member of the Florida Audubon Society, had travelled to the “wilderness” of Tampa Bay and found that the wading bird colony at Green Key had been shot out and plundered.  He contacted Audubon, the owner of Green Key, and the U.S. Biological Survey, and then personally funded the warden position, hiring Mr. Schultz, a soft-spoken pioneer from the region.  He arranged for Mr. Schultz to be a duly appointed U.S. Deputy Game Warden.  In his first year of service to the Audubon Society, Warden Schultz posted signs, patrolled Green Key, the Alafia Bank Spoil Islands, and Tampa Harbor spoil islands, conducted regular nesting bird surveys, and intercepted plume hunters interested in Great and Snowy Egret plumes, people wanting young ibis for the 4th of July Curlew Purlew, campers, and other trespassers.

In the 80 years since then, 31 people have served the Sanctuary as biologists, wardens, and managers.  The Sanctuary’s region of activity now stretches from Citrus County to northern Charlotte Harbor.  Fortunately there is no longer a market for courtship plumes or a demand for young ibis for stew pots, but with a large boating population and extensive development affecting the freshwater wetlands that the waterbirds depend on to raise their young, bird conservation responsibilities and opportunities are broad.

We invite you to share a trip to the Richard T. Paul Alafia Bank Bird Sanctuary on May 8.  We will see the progeny of the Green Key colony these many generations of birds later.  Thousands of ibis, hundreds of spoonbills, herons, egrets, and pelicans will be returning in the evening to the islands where they are nesting.
We look forward to sharing the stories, the accomplishments, the spectacle, and the joy of the celebration with you.
Thank you for your support of the Sanctuary, for being part of the team of staff, volunteers, and donors working in concert to protect the great waterbird populations of Florida. Please see the invite and response card.
Ann Paul
Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries
410 South Ware Boulevard, Suite 702
Tampa, FL 33619
Office: 813/623-6826
Facsimile: 813/623-4086
Cell: 813/624-3149