Nature-lovers can explore four of Hillsborough County’s most scenic wetlands areas during free tours being offered as part of American Wetlands Month.
The guided tours are being offered by the wetlands division of the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County, and the Conservation and Environmental Lands Management Department of Hillsborough County.
Guides will give tour-takers a chance to learn about different kinds of plants and find out why wetlands are important, said Jackie Jordan, wetlands division project manager for the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County.
Some of those benefits include serving as a habitat for many wildlife species, providing recreational opportunities, filtering drinking water and reducing flooding hazards, Jordan said.
This is the schedule of the upcoming tours:
- May 5 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.: Lettuce Lake Conservation Park, 6920 E. Fletcher Ave., in Tampa.
- May 11 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.: Lutz Lake Fern Trailhead, 7020 Lutz Lake Fern Road in Odessa.
- May 19 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.: Alderman’s Ford Conservation Park, 100 Alderman’s Ford Park Drive in Plant City (There is more than one entrance, this one is the best one to use).
- May 25 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.: Upper Tampa Bay Conservation Park, 8001 Double Branch Road in Tampa.
Although the tours are free, there is a $2 park entry fee per vehicle, for up to eight people.
Other things to know about these tours:
- Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by adult
- Hikers will walk a distance of 1 mile to 2 miles
Those planning to go on the tour are advised to bring water in a refillable container, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and bug spray.
Bringing a camera is a good idea, too, Jordan said, noting there will likely be some photo opportunities.
Published May 2, 2018