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Camp Bayou Learning Center Holds Spring Open House Mar. 24

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Enjoy some great family-friendly outdoor activities and have some fun learning about the outdoor wonders of Florida at the Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center Spring Open House, on Saturday, March 24, 2012, from 9am- 2pm. Free admission!

In addition to the everyday options for nature walks, geocaching, letterboxing, photo display, nature center, native plant nursery, browsing our historical exhibits in the Native People's Camp and Fishing Cabins, there will be special event activities:

  • The Crocheted Coral Reef Project has begun at Camp Bayou. Participants will use the unique qualities of crochet to learn how to create a simulated coral reef. Finished pieces will be added to the exhibit at the Florida Craftsman Gallery in St. Pete this summer. The exhibit is a satellite of the original crocheted reef that was the brainchild of mathematician Margaret Wertheim and her sister.
  • For the younger set, there will be several nature craft, game and activity tables set out on the lawn.
  • Eagle Audubon Society members, who are long time supporters, will be available in the Butterfly Habitat to talk about the plants and butterflies at Camp Bayou.
  • Learn about the state-wide private environmental education organization known as LEEF, League of Environmental Educators in Florida and hear about their upcoming conference.
During the lunch hour, the new non-profit that has formed to manage Camp Bayou programs will be introduced--Bayou Outdoor Learning and Discovery, Inc. It consists of the same volunteer staff that existed under the original non-profit, the Ruskin Community Development Foundation, Inc., but is moving in a more self-sufficient direction. Founding supporters who sign up during the Open House will receive a small, but special, token of appreciation.

Other scheduled activities include:
  • Themed guided walks: 9AM, 11AM, 1PM
  • River netting: 10AM
  • Cart tours: on the half hour starting at 9:30AM
These activities are part of a Get Outdoors Florida!, "Let's GO"- C and N, No Child Left Inside, Be Out There!-NWF, and Let's Move Outside inspired initiative.

Camp Bayou is neither 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 Center 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.

The Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center is managed by the newly created, non-profit Bayou Outdoor Learning and Discovery, Inc. (BOLD), in a public- private partnership with 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.

Additional Contact Information

Dolly Cummings

Project Leader,, Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center

315 South Tamiami Trail
Ruskin, FL - 33750

(813) 363-5438