Sunday, July 31, 2011

4th Annual Back to School- Back to Nature

The event will be held:
Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center, Ruskin
Saturday, August 6
9am- noon. 
Admission FREE but online registration requested by 8/4 at . If you do not have internet access, you can register by phone at 813-641-8545. Please leave your name, number of children attending and their grade levels on the voice mail service. Please park on 24th St SE near entrance to Camp Bayou. No early entry.

Registered families will visit several nature stations where they will learn something about frogs, fossils, forests or one of several nature topics. Before leaving each station, the children will be given a free school supply item! For a possible extra bonus, children will be given a raffle ticket when they sign in at the registration table. A ticket will be drawn every 30 minutes for other items, including backpacks, journals, lunch bags, and more.


Organizations that will be participating in this year's event include:

Hillsborough County Solid Waste Recycling Program

Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful

Florida Division of Forestry

Hillsborough County Adopt-a-Pond

Girl Scouts of West Central Florida

Brandon Homeschool Fellowship


Florida Master Naturalists

League of Environmental Educators in Florida

Paleo Preserve Fossil Museum

The Camp Bayou Nature Center will be selling a hot dog and drink combo for $3 as a fundraiser during the event.


This year we will hold a Teacher Materials Exchange- an area for educators to leave materials they no longer need or pick up something new. Current items available for the Teacher's Materials Exchange include a fish tank with some accessories, posters, colorful nature magazines, water quality test kits and more! Teachers can also learn about field trips to the Nature Center or Fossil Museum, SWFWMD's SPLASH! grants, upcoming teacher professional workshops, League of Environmental Educators in Florida information and Florida Master Naturalist Program updates.

Camp Bayou is nether a campground nor a summer camp. It was an RV park before the County's ELAP program purchased the land but it is now open for day use only, open to the general public. Through volunteers, donations, membership and grants, the RCDF offers pre-scheduled programs to schools, youth groups, adult groups and families plus it's open from Thursday- Saturday from 9am-2pm for passive recreational pursuits such as wildlife watching, nature photography and trail walks. General admission is still FREE.

The Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center is a public- private partnership between the non-profit Ruskin Community Development Foundation, Inc. (RCDF) and Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation. Camp Bayou is located 3 miles south of SR674 at the end of 24th St SE in Ruskin. More information is on the web at or call 813-641-8545. 


Pictured: Cliff from Hillsborough County Solid Waste and Pat from Keep Hillsborough County Beautiful (now Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful) at last year's event with litter game.

Dolly Cummings
Member: League of Environmental Educators in Florida-

At such times the lonely woods became a sanctuary and a cathedral, a place of spiritual resurgence. ~ 'Miss Emma' in A Land Remembered by Patrick Smith.

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