Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory Volunteer Nature Stewardship Class begins on Saturday, January 19

NEWS RELEASE

Do you want to learn about the natural resources of Indian River County? Are you interested in exploring the intricate and always evolving interrelationships between plants, insects, animals, and people? The Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, University of Florida, will present its twenty-second free volunteer nature stewardship class beginning on Saturday, January 19, 2019, from 1:30 to 4:30pm.

This six-week class offers a unique opportunity to explore the diverse habitats along the Indian River Lagoon that surround the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory and are part of the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area. The class is taught by researchers and staff from the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, Florida Atlantic University, the Indian River Mosquito Control District, the Environmental Learning Center, and other organizations. It provides a coherent, science-based foundation for future nature study and a forum for researchers and naturalists to share their enthusiasm, insights, and delight. Class participants are rewarded with ongoing workshops and special walks that enhance their knowledge of our natural world.

Each of the six sessions includes classroom instruction and field activities at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area, a 440-acre nature preserve on Oslo Road east of U.S. Highway 1. The nature trails at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area provide easy access to a diverse array of enchanting plant communities including oak hammock, scrubby pine flatwoods, sand pine scrub, and mangrove forest. You will discover new ways to enjoy nature in your daily life and at the many nature preserves that grace the Treasure Coast.

The ability to walk comfortably on uneven surfaces, a curiosity about our local natural resources, and a willingness to share what you learn as a volunteer are the class prerequisites. In exchange for this free class, all participants are asked to volunteer in a manner that suits their interests and schedule. Some participants choose to lead nature walks, perform trail maintenance, or work to control invasive pest plants at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area. Other people volunteer at local nature centers or with the Indian River Land Trust. Classroom teachers, home schoolers, girl and boy scout leaders, and other educators are welcome to participate and share what they learn in their work.

This class is underwritten by the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area Environmental Education Fund through the University of Florida Foundation. The class is limited to 20 people. Visit http://exploreorca.com to learn more and to register for the class.

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