Oxbow Eco-Center Warms Hearts with Nature This February
The Oxbow Eco-Center wants to melt your heart with environmental activities and outdoor learning throughout February. The Oxbow’s trails are open daily during daylight hours and the education center is open Tuesdays through Fridays from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Programs planned for February include:
- Tours of the Oxbow continue every Saturday through April 14 at 11 a.m. and include a brief history of the 225-acre property, an introduction to our exhibit hall, a walk through the gardens and a short stroll through our beautiful preserve. These 30-minute tours are designed for people of all ages and abilities, and are free of charge. Drop-ins are encouraged; no reservations required.
- Visit the Oxbow’s animal ambassadors every Saturday (Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23) at 3 p.m. with Critter Crunch and Munch. Watch the Oxbow’s inhabitants enjoy their favorite time of day: Meal-time. This interactive opportunity is free and appropriate for all ages.
- St. Lucie Audubon Society presents “St Lucie Estuary & Southern Indian River Lagoon Water Resource Summary” on Thursday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. Kathryn LaMartina of the South Florida Water Management District will discuss the current state of our waterways.
- The Oxbow’s Naturalists Series continues Friday, Feb. 2 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with Interpretation: Connection People with Nature. Part three of the Oxbow Naturalist Series will introduce students to environmental interpretation. This technique is used by nature enthusiasts, professionals and volunteers to connect an audience to a natural resource through storytelling and imagination. Professional environmental interpreters will share their tips and tricks as you explore the natural world with new eyes. As an environmental interpreter you have the ability to evoke emotion and activate change for causes you care about such as conservation and stewardship. This course will help you in developing the skills you need to benefit the causes you care about and open people’s eyes to the magic of the natural world. $30 for one class or take the whole Oxbow Naturalist series for $100. However, this program is free for registered Oxbow volunteers. Designed for ages 15 and older, registration is required at: 772-785-5833 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Join Ms. Phyllis for Tales and Trails on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 3:30 p.m. Appropriate for ages 2-6, this free storytime adventure is followed by a hike in the butterfly garden or down the boardwalk to see what kinds of animals you can spot.
- Do you know J.O.E.? The Junior Oxbow Explorers hits the Trails at Twilight on Friday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. Many wildlife species are most active during dusk, that magical time when day transitions to night. Join us for an evening walkabout on one of St. Lucie County’s many nature preserves and explore the sights and sounds of nature after-dark. This program is designed for children ages 8-12. The cost is $5 per participant. Reservations are required: 772-785-5833 or email@example.com. Note this program will take place at one of the county’s preserves other than the Oxbow: To be announced.
- Are you a nature ninja? Take part in the “Leave No Trace” workshop on Sunday, Feb. 11 from 1 to 3 p.m. and learn strategies to reduce the impact of outdoor activities, while still enjoying and receiving the health benefits that nature provides. Join the Oxbow Eco-Center, Indian River Lagoon Aquatics Preserves, and the Subaru team for a fun and informative Leave No Trace training session and excursion into the forest at the Oxbow. This program is free, but does require registration. Please call 772-785-5833 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Appropriate for adults, families and children ages 7 and older.
- Discover “Florida: A Land of Constant Change” with a guided hike on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 9 a.m. It is often said that the only constant in life is change. Join staff member April Frederick to explore the Oxbow Preserve as we look for evidence of the ways that nature and man have changed Florida’s landscape over time. Guided hikes are up to 2.5 miles and are designed primarily for mature teenagers and adults. This hike is free, but registration required.
- Get creative with the Hidden Beauty Upcycled Art Series: Recycled Robots on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 9 a.m. Recycling is one of the best ways individuals can help protect the environment in their daily lives. But, with a little creativity and some guidance, recycling can be so much more. This series is designed to help you reimagine everyday, discardable objects into a fantastical creation. Make adorable robots from everyday items. Appropriate for ages 12 and older, the cost is $20 and includes all supplies. Space is limited, so reservations are required: 772-785-5833 or email@example.com. This workshop runs from 9 a.m. to noon.
- The Oxbow’s Dirty Hands Day continues on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 9:30 a.m. Plant a tree, pull some weeds, clear a trail and get your hands dirty at the Oxbow Eco-Center. This volunteer opportunity is designed for community groups or individuals who are looking to make a difference through environmental stewardship. Open to all ages, but participants under 18 must be accompanied by an adult unless they are a current Oxbow volunteer.
- Strike out into a new hobby with Explore Archery on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 9 a.m. Instruction will include a classroom session and outdoor range time. Please bring a bagged lunch, water bottle, closed-toe shoes and appropriate clothing for Florida weather. These programs are for adults and children ages 10 and older. All participants under 15 years of age must have a guardian present. The cost is $10 per person for anyone planning to participate in the range. Registration is required: 772-785-5833 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Situated on a 225-acre preserve on the North Fork of the St. Lucie River, the Eco-Center, 5400 NE St. James Drive, Port St. Lucie, offers a rare glimpse of "the real Florida" with nature trails, boardwalks, observation towers and an interactive environmental learning center. For more information call the Oxbow staff at 772-785-5833 or visit: www.oxboweco.com.