Conservation Foundation to host two Nature Explorers events in December for children ages 5 to 10

One to be held on Dec. 11 at the Celery Fields in Sarasota County; second planned for Felts Preserve in Manatee County

This Indigo Bunting is making itself at home in the Felts Preserve. Contributed photo by Bill Johnson

The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast will present two Nature Explorers events in December, including  “Audubon’s fun annual Christmas Bird Count,” in which children ages 5 to 10 are invited to take part, the Foundation has announced.

The two Saturday events will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. One will be on Dec. 11 at the Celery Fields in Sarasota County; the other, on Dec. 18 at Felts Audubon Preserve in Manatee County, a news release says. The Felts Preserve is located at 4600 24th Ave., E. in Palmetto (34221), while the Celery Fields is located at 6893 Palmer Blvd. in Sarasota (34240), the release notes.

Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count occurs each year from Dec. 14 to Jan. 5, the release adds. Conservation Foundation representatives are “excited to introduce children to this engaging citizen science tradition,” the release says. “Participants will learn more about the habitats our local lands provide to various bird species, then use their powers of observation to help scientists across the country understand the migratory patterns of different birds,” the release adds.

Both events are free and open to the public, though space is limited and registration is required, the release notes. Capacity is limited to 20 children per event, and all children must have a parent or guardian present. To register, visit

“Our Nature Explorers program furthers our commitment to youth education and community engagement,” says Christine P. Johnson, president of the Conservation Foundation, in the release. “We hope our Nature Explorers’ events connect more kids to nature and create memorable experiences that lead to a lifelong love of the great outdoors.”

Nature Explorers is the public program of the Conservation Foundation’s Next Gen Conservation initiative, the release explains, while the nonprofit’s Youth in Nature program “works to serve at-risk, underserved youth, providing WOW! moments in nature,” the release adds.

The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast protects land and water in Southwest Florida for the benefit of people and nature, the release explains. “Working with landowners, businesses, and government, Conservation Foundation saves land forever, protecting those special places that make this region extraordinary.” The Foundation is a nationally accredited land trust, the release adds.

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