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 Homeschool Hopper 

From Land to Sea: An Exploration of Treasure Coast’s Diverse Habitats

Fridays, September 6th through Oct 25th, 2019

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Local scientists and environmental educators bring a unique learning experience to area homeschool students.  Seven agencies and organizations will host a series known as Homeschool Hopper: From Land to Sea.  The interactive series will focus on watersheds, aquatic habitats and human impacts to water quality.  Weekly hands-on sessions include habitat studies, investigations into biodiversity, water quality testing, exploring restoration, and more!

Sessions will take place Fridays, 10 a.m. - noon, September 4th through October 25th. Each week, students will visit a different venue and learn from a diverse group of scientists and educators.  The course is appropriate for ages 10-14. Pre-registration required. Cost for the 8-part series is $45 per student.

Advanced registration required!

To register, call Savannas Preserve State Park, 772-398-2779

 

Fall 2019 Schedule

SEPTEMBER 6

OXBOW ECO-CENTER

5400 NE ST JAMES DRIVE

PORT ST LUCIE

 Seasonal Wetlands of the Upland Pines

Pine forests are normally thought of as high, dry, sandy areas- but that is not always true! In this immersive field trip, we will explore ephemeral ponds in our pine flatwoods. Join us as we learn about distinctive plants and animals that rely on this important habitat as an annual water source for breeding and foraging.

SEPTEMBER 13         

HEATHCOTE GARDENS

210 SAVANNAH ROAD 

FORT PIERCE

 Micro-Habitats in Hardwood Hammocks**

Uncover the secret homes in hardwood hammocks!  Learn what a micro-habitat is, and how more life exists in these ecosystems than is obvious at first glance. Observe, identify and discuss aquatic inhabitants of phytotelmata throughout the gardens.

SEPTEMBER 20     

O.R.C.A. @ TONY ROBINSON WATERFRONT TRAIL

79TH STREET, EAST OFF U.S. HWY 1

VERO BEACH

Marvelous Mangroves***

Come explore Florida’s mangrove species, their adaptations, and the incredible role they play in our coastal ecosystem.  During an interactive waterfront hike, we will discuss the ecological and economic importance of mangrove forests, and learn about ORCA's Living Shoreline restoration projects!

SEPTEMBER 27

SAVANNAS PRESERVE

2541 SE WALTON ROAD

PORT ST. LUCIE

 Rangers on the Ridge*

Discover some of the last remaining strands of coastal scrub ridge in SE Florida alongside Park Rangers! This habitat stands out in the Savannas landscape with slopes of white sand, short tree canopies, and up to 60 ft of elevation. In this unique, desert-like habitat, we will search for rare and imperiled species!

 OCTOBER 4

ST. LUCIE AQUARIUM

420 SEAWAY DRIVE

FORT PIERCE

 Exploring the Biodiversity of Coral Reefs**

Learn how coral reefs support biodiversity and what corals need to survive and thrive in our oceans. Experience the struggles of life on the reef in an interactive role-playing game. Students will also explore colorful exhibits, a 2500 gallon coral reef ecosystem, and interact with live animals in our touch tank.

OCTOBER 11

ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING CENTER

255 LIVE OAK DRIVE

VERO BEACH

 Burrow the Bottomless Benthos!

Below the bottom of the IRL, there is an underground world thriving with life! Learn how important these benthic creatures are to the health of the IRL.  We will explore the lagoon bottom while wading and collecting core samples, which we will sieve and magnify to examine the organisms we uncover.

OCTOBER 18

MANATEE CENTER

480 N INDIAN RIVER DR

FORT PIERCE

 Where the Wild Things Live…In Your Backyard!

Our backyards can be surprisingly great habitat for wildlife.  Join this fun, hands-on workshop to learn how to attract new wild neighbors to your yard.  We will examine the differences between landscaped spaces and wild spaces, learn how to plan a wildlife friendly yard, and sow some native seeds to take home!

 OCTOBER 25

INDIAN RIVER LAGOON

AQUATIC PRESERVES

MEET AT THE BOAT RAMP @ 420 SEAWAY DRIVE

FORT PIERCE

 

Secrets of the Seagrass

There is more than meets the eye in the seagrass of the lagoon! Come meet the species that thrive in and depend upon this biodiverse habitat. In this beach-side class, discover the variety of seagrasses in the IRL and seine net to get up close and personal with the species living there.

*An adult chaperone must accompany students at this location, no drop-offs

**Families desiring to stay and enjoy the center will need to pay an additional entrance fee.

***Please note that Toni Robinson Waterfront Trail does not have bathroom access.

About the Homeschool Hopper

The Homeschool Hopper program began in 2014.  Designed to teach a comprehensive Science unit through immersion and hands-on experiential learning, it has been a popular opportunity for area homeschool families.  The 2019 series is sure to exceed expectations with a record eight participating organizations.  These include the Oxbow Eco-Center, Smithsonian Marine Station, Savannas Preserve State Park, Manatee Center Observation & Education Center, and our two new partners, Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves, Ocean Research & Conservation Association (ORCA), The Environmental Learning Center (ELC) and Heathcote Botanical Gardens. 

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Click HERE to see additional youth programs!

 

  To register for the Homeschool Hopper Programs, call the Savannas Preserve State Park at  772-398-2779.

For more information, contact the Oxbow Eco-Center at (772) 785-5833 or oxbow@stlucieco.org. 

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