Programs and Education

Tampa Audubon Monthly Meetings

Tampa Audubon's Monthly General Meetings run from *September through May (no meeting in January) the 1st Thursday of each month and are open to members and non-members alike. Meetings are held at the Hillsborough County Extension Office located at 5339 CR 579, Seffner, (1/2 mile south of exit 10 on I-4).

*Note: There is also an annual joint meeting held every July with the Suncoast Native Plant Society and Tampa Sierra Club. Location is announced as we move closer to July.

The General Meeting schedule is as follows:

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

Programs to look forward to in 2015

  • February 5 - Rich Crete - "Backyard Birding & Great Backyard Bird Count"
  • March 5 - Nancy Murrah & Cheryl Merz - "Citizen Science"
  • April 2 - Mary Miller - "Bluebirds"
  • May 7 - Joel Jackson - Photo Club Presentation
  • June - No program in June
  • July 15 - Tampa Audubon hosts the Joint Meeting with Native Plant Society & Sierra Club
  • Nature’s Classroom
    13100 Verges Rd.
    Thonotosassa, FL 33592

    4:00 Nature Walk with Gail Parsons
    5:30 Potluck dinner
    6:30 Announcements
    7:00 Program:  “Beneficial Bats - Their Role in Ecosystem Health”
    Speaker: Shari Blissett-Clark of Bat Belfrys Inc, the Florida Bat Conservancy, and the Florida Native Plant Society

    Shari’s fascination with bats began over 20 years ago when she partnered with Bat Conservation International as a bat house researcher and built and erected many successful bat houses throughout Florida. The alarming decline in bat populations throughout the world has spurred Shari to redouble her public education efforts regarding these highly beneficial mammals.

    Shari will describe for us the many benefits of bats, from insect control to seed dispersal.  Bats species account for 20% of the mammals on Earth but they are misunderstood and often vilified, falling victim to myth and superstition.  This program dispels these misconceptions and pays special attention to Florida’s bat species and the profound contributions they make to healthy ecosystems, including cave environments, coastal habitats, forests, wetlands, and our own backyards.  Find out about artificial roosts and conservation initiatives. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet live Florida bats.

    Don’t miss this once‑a‑year opportunity to network with fellow nature lovers in the Tampa Audubon Society, Tampa Bay Sierra Club, and Suncoast Native Plant Society at Nature's Classroom, a stunning 365-acre environmental studies program and learning laboratory that is used by students of the Hillsborough County Public Schools. Nature’s Classroom houses an abundance of natural Florida plants, birds and animals - which is why you may choose to come early for a guided walk with Gail Parsons. Please arrive at 3:45 pm if you would like to join the 4 pm Nature Walk (bug spray and sturdy walking shoes recommended). Contact Gail at gailpar1@verizon.net to RSVP.

    At 5:30 pm, a potluck dinner will begin in the beautiful air‑conditioned comfort of the Teco Center for Environmental Studies. Plenty of parking can be found in the lot directly in front of the Center. Please bring a dish of your choice (appetizer, salad, entrée or dessert). Plates, utensils, coffee and cold beverages will be supplied.

    Children are welcome! There will be hats, t-shirts and the “Young Birders Field Guide” available for purchase.

     

  • August - No program in August
    • 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.


      Natural Hillsborough: A 2015 Audubon Adventure

      Tampa Audubon is happy to offer this wonderful series of classes through USF OLLI for the winter 2015 schedule. A series of 8 classes runs from Jan 27- Mar 17, Tuesday mornings 10 am -12 pm. You must register through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at USF. www.conted.usf.edu/seniors/membership.html.

      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.

      Bring a $25 check for donation payable to the Tampa Audubon Society, to the first meeting. An additional charge of $2 per vehicle at the gate, per day covers parking and park entrance fee. Please bring binoculars to class.

      Note: Each class includes an hour-long walk in the park. Participants must be able to stand and walk for an hour. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Sandra Reed is VP of the Tampa Audubon Society. She will coordinate a series of instructors who will share their knowledge on many facets of natural Hillsborough County. The instructors have expertise in birds, wildlife, native plants, wetlands, habitats, geology and wildlife areas