2023 Field Trips

Lyonia Preserve

Date:  Feb 29, 2023
This trip is to a Scrub Jay habitat in Deltona.  We are going around the preserve on a tram.  This is a native plant habitat suited to the scrub jays, and if you have never seen one they are very friendly and curious birds who have been known to get very close to people and even land on them on rare occasions.   They are native to Florida only.   The preserve is being restored with native plants so the scrub jays have a place to live.   2150 Eustace Ave Deltona

Lake Deaton Park

14 September - Community Effort at Lake Deaton Park.  The Butterfly Club has planted a butterfly garden for the City of Wildwood.

Fred Funk Butterfly Garden

20 September - Tour of Fred Funk Butterfly Garden -  231 Lake Griffin Road, Lady Lake, FL  Beginning at 8 a.m. to beat the heat,  see an array of marked Florida natives in an attractive setting and a host of butterflies. Afterward, join us for coffee at Panera's to discuss findings and answer gardening questions   This is a great opportunity to see Florida natives in an attractive setting as a mature plant for those who are intending to relandscape their homesite.  Interested please send an email to fnpsthevillages@gmail.com to indicate your interest.

City Fireworks

Monday, July 3, 2023

View the Orange City Fireworks and Moon Flowers while floating on the St. Johns River.  

A spacious pontoon boat, the Blue Heron, will float us down the river to watch the Orange City fireworks from the water - and see Moonflowers in bloom.  Our boat leaves the dock at 8:30 in Deland. Anyone wishing to go to dinner first, please join us at Cooks in Deland for the buffet.  Guests who are not members of FNPS are welcome.  The drive is a little over an hour.  The boat tour cost is $25 per person.

In case of inclement weather, a rain date to view Deland's fireworks is July 4th.

The head ranger is going to have a golf cart available for 3 people who cannot walk the 1.5 miles in the preserve.  

Oakland Preserve

Date: October 19, 2023, Thursday
Location: Oakland Preserve
Carpool: 8:30 Hacienda Recreation Center
Driving Directions: If you don't want to carpool, meet at 9 a.m. at Oakland Nature Preserve. 747 Machete Trail, Oakland, FL 34787 Google Directions
Lunch: Barbeque in Winter Haven
Sign Up: At the meeting or call Pam Powell at 352 750 2420 (NO TEXTS)

FNPS members only.  Join FNPS

The Preserve encompasses approximately 150 acres of land - 50 acres of uplands and 100 acres of forested wetlands - and includes a boardwalk to Lake Apopka with a classroom-sized pavilion on the lakefront and a pavilion on the West Orange Trail. 

Interpretive signs through the Preserve help visitors identify plant species, while the log cabin-style Education Center, modeled after a pioneer homestead, includes a classroom, museum, office, and restrooms. 

Our group will be led by the preserve manager.   She will talk about the restoration efforts in the area.   We will ride on a tram that seats 24 people.  The trip will take about an hour.  The date was picked to be able to see the most wildflowers in bloom.

The preserve is located in Oakland which is near Clermont.  For those who want to go to lunch after the trip -  we will be going to a barbeque place in Winter Garden that Bob Keys promised is the best around.

Great Photos on Trip Advisor

Lake Apopka 

Date: November 9, 2023, Thursday
Location: Lake Apopka, closed area
Car Pool: 8:30 Hacienda Recreation Center
Driving Directions: If you are not carpooling meet at 9:00 am at Lake Apopka, 22526 Carolyn Lane,  Astatula, FL Google Directions.
This trip will be led by Ben Gugliotti (those of you who went to Hidden Waters will remember him). Ben is an expert in locating and identifying native plants.  Lake Apopka is the state’s fourth-largest lake and is fed by a natural spring, rainfall, and stormwater runoff. Since Lake Apopka is the headwaters of the Ocklawaha Chain of Lakes, the lake was designated for cleanup under the Surface Water Improvement and Management Act of 1987.  Major district activities here include marsh and floodplain restoration and the creation of a marsh flow-way system that filters Lake Apopka’s waters by circulating lake water through restored wetlands. 

We will be taken to an area that is not open to the public.  There will be a flatbed - pulled by a truck - with bench seating for 12 people.  Ben is going to show us the restoration efforts and also an area where there are native plants that are grown and harvested and given to other preserves.  He will also talk about Lake Apopka.    Be advised - this trip is not for the faint-hearted.  Ben said that the trip would take about 3 hours riding on the flatbed.

Lake Apopka Wikipedia: This article goes into depth detailing the pollution and clean-up of this major fishing and birding area. The area where we are going is managed by St. Johns River Water Management District ("SJRWMD") 

Trip Pictures

Past Field Trips



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