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Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center
Guided Walk Through the
Myakka Islands Point Preserve

This event occurred on Friday March 13, 2009.  Myakka Islands Point Preserve is located in North port... and is way off the beaten trail.  Below is a map and directions to help you find this beautiful park.

Directions from Venice: 
Route 41 in North Port and turn South on Biscayne... 
Turn Right on North Port Blvd. and go to the end
Then turn Right on Chancellor Blvd. and go to the end
Then left on Campbell to the end. 

There are no parking facilities... so just park on the edge of the dead end road just before the end of the road 
and look for the Preserve gate on the right side of the road.

 Bobbi Rodgers from the Cedar Point Environmental Center heads 
up the tour and shows everyone where they are in reference to the Myakka River and other natural areas

 Chris Meyer of  Myakka Islands Point also talks to the group and tells how this 100 acre area was transformed by removing about 25 acres of Brazilian Pepper trees to create the beautiful place that it is now.

Before the nature tour started, everyone was asked to take a short quiz about what they knew about the Watershed Areas of Charlotte County.

Then the tour began.

Chris stops all along the way to tell everyone about the plants and their usefulness to the people and animals of the area

 Nuttal's Thistle


Restored to it's original condition the Myakka Islands Point has many different ecological areas.  This is one of the areas that was restored to a more natural condition




Al Squires is a volunteer at the Cedar Point Environmental Park and always has some unique information to share about the plants in the area

Dog Fennel



So far the tour was walking on a new bed of shell that was poured to firm up the trail for vehicles and foot traffic... but walking on it with a fairly large group of people tends to get noisy.  Here the shell path ends... and  so does the crunch of 60+ footsteps 




Any slight deviation in ground level changes the plant landscape




This area may only be one or two feet lower than the area adjacent to it...
but makes all the difference in the world to the plants that live there


This Sand Cordgrass (Spartina bakeri) thrives in the low lying area
that borders the Myakka River here 

 This Flat Topped Goldenrod bloomed last year

Denny Girard & Al Squires from the Cedar Point Environmental Center are both plant experts and always have interesting information to share

 Swamp Ferns



 Sow Thistle


 Only a very small land rise changes the landscape.  Standing in a habitat transitional area between tidal Salt Marsh and Scrubby Pine Flatwood overlooking acres of  Black Needle Rush that grows naturally along the Myakka River

Bobbi points out what Brazilian Pepper trees look like and explains about the damage this invasive species causes to many of the natural areas all over Florida




These holes were probably started by small woodpeckers and then taken over by larger ones... These big openings could now even supply a home for resident owls, hawks or raccoons

 Bobbi Rodgers showing the inside of a White Indigo Berry 
which Native Americans used to use to make dye


The beauty of the Natural Florida Landscape



At the end of the tour, Bobbi has everyone fill out the same questionnaire so that they can gauge the effectiveness of their guided tour in teaching people about the watershed in Charlotte County Florida 

 It wasn't a pass or fail quiz.  It was just a way to help people remember some of the more important things about our natural areas... and help Cedar Point create more fun and interesting nature tours

But I suppose it was a very long and tiring walk for people with tiny legs :)

But I personally was very happy to see the kids participating in
this type of event... as I think most kids these days have a serious
"Nature Deficiency".  Cedar Point Environmental Park offers lots of Nature Tours and other events that are specifically designed for kids of all ages starting with their "Mom's and Tots" program for kids as little as 4 years old.  Call Cedar Point Environmental Park at (941) 475-0769 for more information about their informative walks and tours for all ages.

Thank you for visiting. 

I hope you enjoyed your tour of Myakka Islands Point Preserve

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Cape Haze, FL  33946

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Pictures of Englewood Florida
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All photographs copyrighted by Robert Shainline 2009

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