L earn about Florida’s plants and animals by exploring collections, hiking and participating in socially distanced activities!
These unique events give participants:
- An up-close look at Museum specimens to learn about the collections and their importance
- The chance to take part in activities relating to Florida’s wildlife
- A special hike and personalized tour of the creatures that live in local parks
This program is aimed at K-6 graders and all youth must be accompanied by a paid adult. Register early as there are limited spots available!
Masks are expected and social distancing guidelines will be implemented at all times during the event.
Most park explorations include short hikes on marked trails. Plan ahead to make the most of your time in nature.
- Up to 1 mile of hiking (strollers not recommended).
- We could potentially get up to 30 minutes away from restrooms during the hike.
- Bring a reusable water bottle.
- Wear appropriate footwear and clothes that can get dirty.
- You might want some bug spray!
Florida’s wildlife has more to offer than the gators in the water and the bugs in the air. Learn about…
As we develop these guided tours, we are also offering videos and material so you can explore at your own pace on your own time. Want to take a self-guided exploration of the pollinators of Paynes Prairie?
In October 2020, we took students and adults on a tour of Paynes Prairie State Preserve. Explore the park and pollinators with these three videos as a starting point for your own adventure!
Introduction to Paynes Prairie State Preserve
Learn About Pollinators
Make Your Own Pooter
In November 2020, we took students and adults on a tour of Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park with Gabriel Somarriba, graduate student at the Museum’s Ichthyology Collection. Explore the park and fishes with these videos and a fish ID guide as a starting point for your own adventure!
Fishes in Florida Springs
Download our easy photo guide to some of the most common fishes you’ll discover in Florida’s springs:
Browse the whole gallery of Florida’s freshwater fishes:
Introduction to Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park
Learn About Fishes at Springs
In February 2021, we took students and adults on a tour of Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park with Carmi Thompson, a collection manager here at the Museum’s Invertebrate Paleontology Collection. Explore the park and Florida’s geology with these videos as a starting point for your own adventure!
Introduction to Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park
Meet a Paleontologist and Learn about Geology!
In March 2021, we took students and adults on a tour of Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park with Ian Ausprey, a Ph.D. student in the Florida Museum’s Ordway Lab of Ecosystem Conservation. Explore the park and Florida’s many species of birds with these videos as a starting point for your own adventure!
Learn About Birds at the Prairie!
Learn How Scientists Use Bird Collections!
The Birds of Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
Learn how to make a gliding contraption with strange looking wings!
In March 2021, we took students and adults on a tour of San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park with Emilie-Kate Tavernier, Ph.D. candidate at the University of Florida’s Department of Biology and Lauren Whitehurst, Ph.D. student in the Soltis Lab. Explore the park and the many species of plants and micro-habitats found in San Felasco with these videos as a starting point for your own adventure!
Plant Scientist at San Felasco
Plant safety tips
The Plants of San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park
In May 2021, we took students and adults on an easy hike through Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park to observe the reptiles and amphibians common in our area. With Maggie M. Hantak, Florida Museum postdoctoral researcher, and Daniel J. Paluh, Ph.D. candidate in the Blackburn Lab, participants also learned about museum collections and how they can be used to study animals in new ways.
Explore the park and Florida’s many species of reptiles and amphibians with this video as a starting point for your own adventure!
Reptiles and Amphibians at the Prairie!
In September 2021, we explored Sweetwater Preserve with Dr. Matt Smith, Associate Professor of Plant Pathology and curator of the UF Fungal Herbarium, to discover the life that’s beneath our feet – mushrooms! The preserve has an abundance of wetland areas that provide a good environment for mushrooms and fungi to develop.
Explore the park and Florida’s many species of fungi with these videos as a starting point for your own adventure!
Meet a Mycologist and Learn About Fungi
That is a Mushroom?
How to ID Mushrooms
Are Mushrooms Dangerous?