May events for Nature Lovers at PEAR Park

Lake County Parks & Trails is inviting residents to explore one of Lake County’s natural gems, Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve (PEAR) Park.

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On Saturday, May 7 from 7:30 – 11 a.m., Gallus Quigley, Recreation Coordinator for Parks & Trails, will lead a free Quarterly Bird & Butterfly Survey at the park’s Wildlife Conservation Area, located at 4800 University Ave., Leesburg. Volunteers are needed to assist in surveying the bird and butterfly population at the property to help with land management. To participate, knowledge of common species is a plus, but not required. Participants are encouraged to bring binoculars, field guides, water, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat and hiking shoes.

A free, open house will be hosted on Saturday, May 14 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at PEAR Park’s Nature Center, which features a collection of rocks, minerals, fossils, sands and shells. During the event, Gene Bouley, a retired science teacher and geology expert, will offer a hands-on mini-course on the Formation of Landforms from 10 a.m. – noon, for children ages 10 years and older, accompanied by an adult.

Kids can learn all about reptiles at the Wildlife Conservation Area on Sunday, May 29 during the Snake Safety for Kids program. Park rangers will explain why snakes are a beneficial part of the ecosystem, and how to identify and avoid venomous snakes in the wild.

PEAR Park is a passive recreation area with several miles of trails, xeric and butterfly demonstration gardens, two observation pavilions, community gardens, Scrub Jay restoration area and meadows. Visitors to PEAR Park are also encouraged to explore the Wildlife Watch Post, a 320-square-foot bird watching and wildlife viewing blind at the Wildlife Conservation Area, which opened earlier this year.

To make a reservation for any Parks & Trails events, visit shortcut: http://bit.ly/1rFvqOP. For more information about the Lake County Parks & Trails Division, call 352-253-4950, email parksandtrails@lakecountyfl.gov or visit www.lakecountyfl.gov/parks or www.facebook.com/LakeCountyFLParks.

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