Celebrate the wonders of the birds, wildlife, and natural lands that we enjoy in West Central Florida.
A 4-day festival offering presentations workshops keynotes field trips boat trips a nature expo a turtle symposium presentationswere you can learn from renowned professionals, experience peak migration, and shop unique products!
Held at: Starkey Environmental Education Center, Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park
Where Have All the Cattle Gone?
Laura Starkey is a daughter of Marsha and Jay B Starkey, Jr. and granddaughter of Jay B Starkey, Sr., the namesake of the Jay B Starkey Wilderness Park. At our March meeting, she will share with us the history of her family and the cattle ranch where she grew up, the majority of which is now the JBSWP, in a once-rural Odessa. She will talk about the formation of the Starkey Wilderness Park and how her generation of the family has faced the realities and challenges of being ranch landowners in one of the fastest developing urban regions of Florida.
National Wildlife Refuges: Americas Best Kept Secret
This program, presented by the Friends of Tampa Bay National Wildlife Refuges, will explore the history of the National Wildlife Refuge system including important early sanctuaries in Florida, and will address both the history and wildlife of our local Pinellas refuges, and Egmont Key. Egmont Key is one of Florida’s largest nesting bird sanctuaries, home to over 30,000 pairs of nesting birds each year.
Pat is an active volunteer and board member with the Friends of Tampa Bay National Wildlife Refuges. His work with the group includes public outreach, land management and habitat protection, and working with the interpretive docent program on Egmont Key. A long time wildlife advocate and recreational birder he believes that the preservation and restoration of wildlife habitat in Florida is key to protecting our native species.
Dave is speaking to you as a board member of Friends of Tampa Bay National Wildlife Refuges and Coordinator of the Save Egmont Key Initiative. After retiring from Baxter Healthcare where he was the Director of R&D for Kidney Dialysis research and Blood Collection systems, he decided that wildlife here in Florida now needed his help. To grow his understanding of Florida’s biodiversity, Dave became a Florida Master Naturalist by taking all three modules of the University of Florida’s science based program.