Did you know, that UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County helps to operate two Education Centers in Pinellas County preserves?
Brooker Creek Preserve (www.brookercreekpreserve.org) and Weedon Island Preserve (www.weedonislandpreserve.org) make up the two largest natural areas in Pinellas County. In addition to providing a range of ecosystem services to the County, these preserves also provide opportunities for recreation and education.
Brooker Creek Preserve is approximately 8,700 acres, and is the largest natural area in Pinellas County. Located in the north part of the County in Tarpon Springs, Brooker Creek Preserve is bordered by dense urban development. The preserve
provides a refuge for native plants and animals and serves to protect a large
portion of the Brooker Creek Watershed. Visitors are encouraged to explore a network of hiking and equestrian trails to observe the various ecosystems present.
Weedon Island Preserve is approximately 3,200 acres, and is the second largest natural area in Pinellas County. Located in the south part of the County in St. Petersburg, Weedon Island Preserve is located along the shores of Tampa Bay. The site was occupied by indigenous people for thousands of years, and holds a wealth of information about their lifestyle. The preserve has almost 5 miles of hiking trails on a mixture of boardwalk, asphalt, and dirt. In addition to hiking opportunities, there is a 4-mile paddling trail with kayak rentals available through a 3rd party vendor (Sweetwater Kayaks).
Both preserves include an on-site education center with unique exhibit halls staffed by trained volunteer docents. The education centers are open to the public Thursday – Saturday, 9am – 4pm. In addition to the exhibit halls, the education centers host educational programs, guided hikes, and children’s story time on a regular basis.
On behalf of all of the staff and volunteers located at the preserves, I’d like to invite you to visit us real soon.
Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Agent
UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County