Get in Touch with Nature, Work with Scientists on November 2: Bill Keith Preserve Park in Fort Lauderdale Is Where to Connect

DAVIE, Fla. – Stop and smell the roses, take a snapshot of the wildlife in your immediate area, and learn what plants, insects, and wildlife make up your neighborhood. It’s this type of interactive science that makes a BioBlitz an engaging way to spend the day at a park with your family, friends, neighbors and community groups.

On November 2, the Fort Lauderdale community of Shady Banks and surrounding areas are invited to Bill Keith Preserve Park, located at 1720 SW 17th St., to take part in a Broward BioBlitz. This one-day connection with nature provides a guided search for birds, reptiles, butterflies, insects, and invasive plant species. The day’s activities are led by scientists, master naturalists and extension agents from the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, an arm of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and UF/IFAS Extension Broward.

The 3.4-acre land that is Bill Keith Preserve Park sits in the heart of the Shady Banks community. This diverse and picturesque site is surrounded by the quiet waters of the South Fork New River in Fort Lauderdale and will serve as the study site from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a host of other learning activities.

“It’s the ideal opportunity for children and adults to gain skills and knowledge about biodiversity while developing a stronger connection to their home environment,” said Mathieu Basille, assistant professor of wildlife ecology and conservation. “A BioBlitz aims to promote local natural areas by empowering citizens to better understand and protect the biodiversity we research as scientists.”

“An exciting component to the BioBlitz is the use of the iNaturalist app,” said Mathew Boone, a biologist at the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, who will lead the citizen scientist event. “Participants are invited to bring a smartphone loaded with the iNaturalist app, which will be used to photograph and document wildlife sightings in the park.”

The BioBlitz serves as one of several key urban horticulture programs designed for residents, added Lorna Bravo, UF/IFAS Extension Broward Director.
“Master gardeners, education/training specialists and extension agents are available through the extension to assist with landscape and gardening questions. Programs, such as Florida Friendly Landscaping™, teach residents to maintain attractive landscapes while reducing yard waste, pesticide, fertilizer, and water use.”
The event is free, but registration is encouraged.

Please check out this link https://shadybanksbioblitz.eventbrite.com for more information. For question, please contact the UF/IFAS Extension Broward office at 954-756-8529 and ask for Lorna Bravo, or email lbravo1@ufl.edu, or call Dr. Mathieu Basille at UF/IFAS at 954-577-6314 or email basille@ufl.edu.

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The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS web site at ifas.ufl.edu and follow us on social media.

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