Holidays Are Over: De-stress

by Erick Carter

You did it! Now it’s time for you.

Let’s make those changes you said you would when life quieted down.

Choosing a new hairstyle is fun.

  • Creating a side-sweep bang for someone who didn’t have bangs is a simple change that is easy to keep up. If you want more drama, add a
    pop of color with highlights.
  • Changing a layered cut at the starting balance point can make it edgy. Create symmetry within the layers.
  • If you prefer longer hair with no layers, try pleated highlights. It is low maintenance and adds visual texture in a soft way.

Wasn’t this a New Year’s resolution of yours? Should it be?

Erick Carter, Owner/Stylist

I would like to invite all readers to write in your questions.
You can do so by email at or call me at 239.777.2380.

Saving Paradise

by Eric Eikenberg – CEO, The Everglades Foundation

It was the last legislation that President Bill Clinton signed into law, the largest environmental restoration project in the history of the planet: a massive, multibillion-dollar rescue mission to save America’s Everglades.

The sweeping bill envisioned 68 separate public works projects, all with the goal of restoring the historic southward flow of freshwater from Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades and ultimately to Florida Bay.

The ambitious goals of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project united Democrats and Republicans alike. Environmentalists and sugar industry lobbyists joined to support the bill, which had been years in the making. It followed extensive study by academic scientists as well as experts at the federal, state and local levels, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and reflected the views of stakeholders from across the region.

President Bill Clinton signed the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan into law on
December 11, 2000. Since then, not a single one of the 68 restoration projects outlined in the
legislation has been brought to completion.

It has now been almost 20 years since President Clinton signed “CERP,” as it came to be known, but not one of its 68 projects has yet been brought to a conclusion.

What’s the matter here? More importantly, what can we do about it?

CERP outlined a funding mechanism almost as complicated as the projects themselves, but it suffices to say that construction costs were to be borne equally by both the federal and state governments. At various times and for varying reasons, either the federal government or the state of Florida (and sometimes both) failed to ante up.

The result has been that America’s Everglades — the location of a World Heritage Site, home to more than 70 endangered species and water source for 8 million people — is now on life support.

Things now seem to be changing. States of Emergency that closed beaches and restricted fishing in three of the last six summers finally awakened Florida to the consequences of inaction.

Massive public reaction to job killing cycles of red tide and blue-green algae forced action by policymakers both Tallahassee and Washington.

As of this writing, at least, they continue to respond favorably.

The goal of Everglades restoration projects under CERP is to restore, as much as possible,
the historic southward flow of fresh water from Lake Okeechobee into the Everglades and, from there, to Florida Bay.

What’s needed is a reliable and sustained funding stream of at least $400 million a year — $200 million apiece from the State of Florida and from the federal government. That’s no small task — but you can help.

If you’re a Florida resident, your legislators need to hear from you. Even if you live and vote elsewhere, your home state Senators and federal Representatives need to hear from you.

So far, more than 60,000 Americans from every State in the Union have contacted their lawmakers urging them to support full funding for Everglades restoration. To join us, text the word “WATER” to 56886. Follow the prompts and enter your information to email your Senators, Representative and the President. The Everglades is counting on you.

Eric Eikenberg is CEO of The Everglades Foundation, the leading science-based organization working to restore America’s Everglades.

Yoga, Fitness Offer Opportunities to #StandUp for Recovery; A Journey to Community Wellness

DLC Young Executives partnered with Yoga Lab and CycleBar to provide a sunset rooftop
yoga that brought hundreds in support of mental health and collective healing.

Increasingly, holistic practices such as yoga, meditation, mindfulness and exercise are being embraced as ancillary modalities for managing mental health and substance use disorders because they are proven to complement traditional recovery programs.

These self-soothing techniques—especially when combined with socializing through fitness—can reduce the impact of exaggerated stress responses and help people manage anxiety, depression and addiction in a supportive environment.

Yoga specifically can be a powerful tool for people going through major life changes and recovery. Studies have shown that by helping to reduce perceived stress and anxiety, yoga modulates stress response systems and decreases physiological arousal such as heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration.

In 2011, David Lawrence Center (DLC), Collier County’s leading non-profit mental health and addiction recovery treatment center, started offering yoga to adult residents in the Crossroads Addiction Recovery program through an innovative partnership with Bala Vinyasa Yoga, now Yoga House.

Bala Vinyasa owner and instructor, Kiersten Mooney, said at the time, “When strong urges or cravings come up due to addictions or major life crises they create extreme emotions and even physical reactions in our body. Through awareness-based yoga practices we are able to increase the gap between a stimulus and our ability to choose how to respond instead of reacting to the sudden urges and emotions.”

Amanda Seide turned her life around with the help of DLC and yoga. Today, she donates
her time to help others.

Creating a unique opportunity to support DLC, the studio welcomed residents for a private in-studio class as a donation.

Mooney said of her donation, “Yoga can help individuals in recovery let go, have faith and open themselves up to receive the love and support that is around them.”

An example of one of those individuals is Cory, a DLC client who sought treatment after spiraling into opioid addiction. Cory, now sober for two years thanks to the treatment she received at DLC and yoga, said “My underlying problem was that I was disconnected. I felt unworthy and not loved. Once I realized I could be my authentic self, honest and comfortable in my own skin, I was then able to connect with others.”

Cory admits that the yoga community is a big part of the connection she feels today. Fittingly, the word yoga translation in Sanskrit is “unite.”

Realizing fitness was a way to unite donors to support DLC, a generous donation made in 2014 by Denis and Linda McCarthy was then used to fund a new Crossroads Fitness Court, named Bryan’s Court, in honor of their son who lost his battle to addiction. Soon after, DLC partnered with Max Flex Fitness to provide fitness classes for Crossroads residents at the new Bryan’s Court and to children and adults in the Crisis Stabilization Unit. These services, not covered by insurance, were funded by grants from the Community Foundation of Collier County.

Max Flex Fitness, Athleta, Lean and Green Body and Naples Therapeutic Riding Center and others businesses support DLC Young Executives Elevate Wellness classes to benefit DLC’s
holistic services

Owner of Max Flex Fitness, Nino Magaddino, stated, “Our trainers have an invested interest in using fitness to help others in recovery.”

In addition to teaching DLC clients the importance of fitness for maintaining life-changing wellness, Magaddino provides fundraising support through the DLC Young Executives “Elevate” Wellness Series. Elevate enhances the public’s health and wellbeing through physical activity and also helps create awareness about DLC’s services and fundraising opportunities for DLC’s holistic care.

Naples Children & Education Foundation Celebrates 20 Years of Impact on Underprivileged and At-Risk Children in Collier County

Rick Germain, David Hoffmann, Jerri Hoffmann, Karen Scott.

The Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), the founding organization of the highly successful Naples Winter Wine Festival (NWWF), is proud to announce it is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a series of public and private events to build awareness of its impact on the local community and underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County.

Since its inception in 2000, NCEF has evolved into a major philanthropic force in Collier County with 137 Trustees, 11 employees and over 300 volunteers. NCEF also has broadened its role over the years from traditional grant making to local charities on an annual basis by adding seven strategic initiatives to fill gaps in children’s services and develop long-term collaborative solutions.

“In a short time, NCEF has become the single largest source of funding for essential services for children in Collier County, impacting more than 45 of the most effective nonprofits in the community and providing 275,000 children with the services and resources they need to excel,” said NCEF CEO Maria Jimenez-Lara.

“We are very excited about celebrating the 20th anniversary for both NCEF and NWWF in 2020, and we look forward to the next 20 years and beyond.”

To kick off the 20th anniversary celebration, NCEF Trustees boarded the Naples Princess luxury yacht on November 1, 2019, for a “Cruise Down Memory Lane.” The special evening cruise was hosted by NCEF Trustees Jerri and David Hoffman, who donated it to the online auction at last year’s Wine Festival as a “buy a spot” opportunity.

NCEF Trustees Kristine and Chris Williams purchased every spot on the boat and then donated it back to NCEF for the memorable occasion.

On January 15,  2020, NCEF Trustees will collaborate with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation on what will become the first “Annual Give Back Day” at Youth Haven, an emergency and residential shelter for boys and girls ages 6-18 years that was one of the original NCEF beneficiaries. Trustees will spend the day working on garden beds and stuffing backpacks for kids.

Jeff Gargiulo, Kristine Williams, Joe Masterson, Valerie Boyd

Another original beneficiary, Boys & Girls Club of Collier County, will showcase its Blue Can TEEN food truck.

The 20th annual NWWF will take center stage on January 25, 2020 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples. Guests will have a chance to bid on and win one of more than 60 auction lots featuring coveted wines and once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences.

Every dollar raised under the tent will be allocated through grants to strategic initiative partners and organizations that support the community.

Since its inaugural event in 2001, the NWWF has raised more than $191 million, making a profound difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of local children.

On March 3, 2020, NCEF will partner with the NaplesNEXT Ideas Festival to bring together distinguished members and elected leaders of Collier County, state and local representatives, and national experts for a State of the Community Summit.

The program, which takes place on day two of the second annual NaplesNEXT Ideas Festival, will discuss the current and future state of the landscape of child wellbeing, including child advocacy, education and pediatric healthcare.

NCEF will continue its 20th anniversary celebration in April 2020 by dedicating its new permanent headquarters on Goodlette-Frank Road, just north of Golden Gate Parkway. The two-story, 15,000 square foot building will serve as home to NCEF’s operations and will further develop a central hub for child well being forums, educational seminars, training and non-profit development.

“Construction of this new permanent headquarters is a significant milestone for NCEF as the premier supporter of children’s physical, emotional and education services in Collier County,” said Paul Hills, Capital Campaign Co-Chair and NCEF Trustee.

“We are excited to put down long-term roots within the community helping to ensure support for future generations of children.”

About Naples Children & Education Foundation

The Naples Children & Education Foundation, the founding organization of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, is improving the educational, emotional and health outcomes of underprivileged and at-risk children. Through its annual grants and strategic initiatives, NCEF has impacted over 45 of the most effective nonprofits in the community, providing 275,000 children with the services and resources they need to excel. NCEF’s unique approach, which emphasizes collaboration between organizations and bridges public and private resources, has become a blueprint for how to transform a community, one issue at a time.

About Naples Winter Wine Festival

The Naples Winter Wine Festival, one of the world’s most prestigious charity wine auctions, offers a weekend of unforgettable memories. Guests enjoy world-class food and wine during intimate dinners in private homes and are invited to bid on once-in-a-lifetime travel and wine experiences during an electrifying live auction. Since its inaugural event in 2001, the NWWF has raised more than $191 million, making a profound difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of children.

For additional information on the Naples Children & Education Foundation or the Naples Winter Wine Festival, contact Lisa Juliano at or 239-514-2239.

Residents look forward to moving into Moorings Park Grande Lake

As construction continues on the first phase of Moorings Park Grande Lake, residents are eagerly awaiting a Spring move-in.

“We are extremely excited about being a part of this new community – Moorings Park Grande Lake,” said Larry McPherson. “The spectacular views, the amenities and the opportunity to meet new people convinced us this is where we wanted to live.”

“When we looked at all the floor plans we chose the Brook floorplan. We are moving from a very large home and we liked the layout of this plan, not to mention the view,” said Larry’s wife, Chuckie.

“Being a nurse, I love the idea of continuous care, promoting health and wellness throughout your life and that was a big attraction for me here.”

The Brook model, featured in both Phase 1 and 2, includes a magnificent great room, master bedroom and bath separated from the guest suites, as well as private elevators.

Mark Wilson, President of London Bay Development Group, emphasized the thought process behind the design of each floorplan at Moorings Park Grande Lake.

“We wanted to make these really great floor plans. If we were building this project today on the beach, the floor plans would be very similar,” he said. “That includes really open plans, high ceilings, lots of glass to bring the outside light in, very large lanais, and wonderful spaces to enjoy both the inside and outside.”

Wilson further commented, “We’re getting rid of formality and bringing in casual living. That’s the way people want to live today.”

Limited opportunities to purchase in Phase 1 remain, which includes a social membership to Naples Grande Golf Club. The membership takes effect the moment residents take occupancy of their home and until such time as the Moorings Park Grande Lake Clubhouse is completed.

Sales of Phase 2 have topped the 50 percent mark. The Clubhouse residences, located on the floors directly above the Clubhouse, feature two bedrooms plus a study, as well as three bedroom plus study floor plans ranging in size from 3,331 to 3,566 square feet under air. All offer panoramic lake and golf course views.

Private elevators take Clubhouse residents conveniently from their homes to a multitude of amenities located below including casual and fine dining venues, a poolside Bistro as well as a lakefront resort-style pool and cabanas.

A state-of-the-art fitness center is the perfect place to start an active day while a best-in-its-class golf simulator, a theatre and a salon and spa are all planned as well. Active individuals will also enjoy the nearby outdoor yoga pavilion and boardwalk that surrounds the lake.

The Clubhouse is also home to The Center for Healthy Living, home to rehabilitation services, as well as the Care 360 concierge healthcare program, which is operated in concert with NCH Healthcare System.

Developed in partnership with London Bay Development Group and situated on 55 acres in the heart of Naples, Moorings Park Grande Lake is a pet-friendly campus. Entrance fees start at $1.5 million and are 70 percent refundable. Assisted Living and Memory Care services are included with residency.

For more information, visit them online or by calling 239-232-8409.

There’s Hope for Innovative Senior Care

Samira K. Beckwith, Hope Healthcare President, CEO

Hope PACE®, a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, provides coordinated health care designed to meet the social, emotional, and practical challenges of older adults. This innovative program helps seniors live safely in the place they call home.

Hope President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith notes, “Our comprehensive services ensure every need is met, whether it’s health care, a warm meal, or a hand to hold. Families can take great comfort in knowing we’re helping their loved ones.”

Upon enrollment, participants receive all of their health care through Hope PACE. Personalized care plans are designed to meet each person’s needs and include services such as:

  • Primary medical and nursing care, visits with medical specialists, and dental care
  • Occupational, physical, and speech therapy
  • All necessary prescription medications and lab services
  • Medical equipment and home safety modifications
  • Skilled home care and personal care aides
  • Hospitalization, skilled nursing facility care, and end-of-life care
  • Transportation, socialization, games and activities

A group of dedicated staff members work closely with participants and families to ensure the best possible care. With an established network of professional support, caregivers can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that Hope PACE will meet the needs of their aging parents, spouses, or loved ones.

The interdisciplinary team includes:

  • Physicians, APRNs, and nurses who are responsible for participants’ medical needs
  • Home Care Coordinators who monitor in-home services and order necessary medical equipment
  • Dieticians who offer tips on healthy eating and balanced nutrition for senior adults
  • Personal Care Aides who assist with activities of daily living like dressing, bathing, and grooming
  • Social Service Counselors who connect families with community resources, answer questions about personal finances, and encourage discussions about advance directives
  • Recreation Therapists who lead craft activities, play games, and organize field trips
  • Bus Drivers who provide safe, convenient transportation to the state-of-the-art Hope PACE Care Center in fully accessible Hope Mobiles

For isolated or lonely seniors, warm meals and social activities at the Care Center can be a welcome change. Activities are designed to stimulate conversation and social connections. Daily exercise opportunities are available in addition to fun games like Bingo, Jenga, or trivia contests.

PACE participants who live in Collier County attend the Care Center conveniently located at 13020 Livingston Road in Naples. Regular hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Most participants come to the Care Center two or three times a week. Others may only attend a few days a month. Each person’s Care Plan will specify the schedule for their ongoing visits.

To be eligible for the program, participants must live in Charlotte, Collier, or Lee County and be 55 years of age or older. Bilingual staff members are available to assist those who speak Spanish.

To learn more about this one-of-a-kind health care program, visit or call: Main Line (239) 985-6400 Toll Free (866) 659-7223


Jay Baker, Dr. Jaclynn Faffer and Patty Baker

The Naples Senior Center will present “Motor City Magic– Memories of Motown” at its 8th Annual Evening for Better Tomorrows gala on January 11, 2020, atRoyal Poinciana Golf Club.

More than 300 attendees will be entertained with legendary Motown hits mixed with rock and roll songs performed by the Shadows of the 60s, including hits by the The Four Tops, The Supremes and The Temptations.

Founder and creator Dave Revels was a member of The Drifters and is currently lead singer of The Persuasions. Guests will also enjoy a lavish cocktail hour and seated dinner.

All proceeds support Naples Senior Center and continued expansion of services. Established as a Florida nonprofit organization in 2011, the senior center provides critical programs and services addressing the emotional and social needs of seniors across Collier and southern Lee counties.

The senior center opened its doors on January 17, 2014. It is the only human services agency of its kind in our community with the mission of empowering seniors and families by giving them the tools to address life’s challenges, like the isolation and loneliness faced by so many local seniors.

“Even in Paradise, there are seniors suffering from loneliness, financial distress and hunger,” said Dr. Jaclynn Faffer, President/CEO of the Naples Senior Center. “The Sunshine State has a large population of seniors that need assistance. That’s where the Naples Senior Center steps in.”

The Naples Senior Center is “The Central Address for Senior Services.” It enriches the lives of adults 60 years of age and older by providing comprehensive programs and social services that support and strengthen seniors and their families, often at times of vulnerability and crisis.

The Naples Senior Center is nonsectarian and serves as a portal to several comprehensive services provided by licensed or certified professionals to meet the critical unmet needs of those diagnosed with ADRD and their caregivers as well as the area’s drastically underserved seniors population.

Programs include Structured Dementia Respite Support; Geriatric Management and Senior Outreach Programs; Emotional Support Services; and a Food Pantry. NSC also offers an average of 40 different social, emotional and wellness programs each week aimed at stimulating the mind. The need is there.

Membership in the Naples Senior Center has surged from 80 initial members to more than 1,400 today. The Center is able to provide such a broad spectrum of important support programs and social activities for seniors in our community thanks to its generous contributors and loyal supporters as well as its corps of more than 200 carefully vetted and trained volunteers.

The Naples Senior Center’s 8th Annual Evening for Better Tomorrows gala takes place at 6 p.m. at the Royal Poinciana Golf Club, 1600 Solana Rd. Tickets are $375 per person and Patron Tables may be reserved for $7,500. The presenting sponsor for the evening is FineMark National Bank & Trust. A wide range of additional sponsorship opportunities are also currently available.

For more information or reservations, visit or call (239) 325-4444.

Engaged residents are the key to a bright future

by Jim Melican, president of the Gulf Shore Association of Condominiums

The third decade of the 21st century has begun, and 2020 will be a very important year in the City of Naples.

Much has been accomplished by our current City Council, notably the completion of the beautiful new Baker Park and the construction of the new Category 5 resistant fire station.

Our leaders have also been working to update the vision for the future of our City, last revised in 2007. And, early this year, the Council will be establishing objectives and setting a budget for a 2030 Vision Plan.

By all accounts, the future looks bright that Naples will continue to be on the top of nearly everyone’s list as a wonderful place to live. But we all realize that an engaged citizenry is one of the prerequisites for that to continue.

This year, on March 17, we will have a very important election, which will largely set our course for the next four years and beyond. Naples residents will be selecting a Mayor, as well as three City Council members, together four of the seven members of the City’s governing body.

With more than double the candidates for these positions, residents will have to engage with the issues and the candidates to ensure their vision aligns with our hopes for the future.

There are a number of key matters which the City must continue to address. How to strike the right balance between desirable redevelopment while not sacrificing Naples’ small town character?

Fixing the storm water infrastructure, which affects water quality in the City’s lakes, bays and just off the beaches. As well as the issue of traffic flow and congestion, including whether additional parking garages would be the best and most cost-efficient use of redevelopment opportunities, to mention only a few.

It is vital that the City’s residents educate themselves about these important issues, and, before casting their votes in March, that they understand how the candidates would respond to them.

In the special Council election last year, only 30% of the City’s registered voters actually voted (4,411 of 14,551). One of GSAC ‘s initiatives early this year will be to increase the percentage of participating voters by providing an opportunity for citizens to learn more about what the key issues are, and to hear the candidates for elected office discuss specifically how they would address them. For that purpose, we will be hosting a Candidates Forum on January 23 at 8:30 a.m. in Sugden Hall at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 500 Park Shore Drive. Naples residents are cordially invited to attend. We would request that those intending to do so please submit a complimentary registration online at, but advance registration is not essential to attendance.

Eeny, Meeny, Miny… NO! Don’t Leave it to Chance!

by Rick Borman

Whether a project has been suddenly foisted upon you in the form of the failure of your 10 year old 2-ton air conditioning unit that has failed or perhaps it’s just plain high time to bring that 1990’s kitchen into the 21st century, the age old question of choosing the right contractor can be as much a nuanced art form as it is a challenge in Southwest Florida.

Naples is known nationwide for our tropical lifestyle, the nation’s finest homes, world-class dining, golf and those fabulous Gulf sunsets. With all of this, one might surmise that finding and hiring a contractor for any project from a small one to a complete remodel would offer up a plethora of excellent choices. This is not always the case, however.

We seem to be incessantly bombarded by advertisements for companies that promise to tackle small projects or find you the perfect contactor by simply going online and filling out a short form.

I have personally tried these services and I was left less than impressed by the person who came to my door, which in turn left me unimpressed by the company’s vetting process.

Remember, any project that involves multiple phases means that not only must you have full confidence in the skills and pro-standards of your hire, but you can count on seeing a lot of each other nearly daily until that job is finished.

Personal chemistry and ease of communication with your vendor becomes critical with longer or more complex projects. You need to trust his or her judgment and be able to say whatever is on your mind and have that person really listen and implement.

As a licensed certified professional home inspector and FAA commercial drone pilot, I am asked almost daily for recommendations for any variety of licensed tradesmen. I make a practice to provide three names and only those in whom I am fully confident.

My hypothesis is that the only currently reliable way to choose the “right” contractor is the old fashioned way; ask your friends and neighbors.

Make sure to ask them specific questions such as:∙ Were you happy with the job when it was completed?∙ Did the project get done on time and on budget?∙ Were the workers respectful and truly skilled at their respective trades?∙ How was the communication with the contractor when it came to changes or challenges?

If the situation permits, inquire if you might be able to pay a brief visit to the recommending person’s home to see a sample of their contractor’s work. Their experiences can tell you a lot about what you may expect and experience. Your friends know you, so they will be weighing whether you and their recommended contractor will work well together.

This kind of calculation is something that no algorithm can provide. Of course, if you are hiring an architect, you will be presented with his short list of preferred contractors that have worked successfully with your architect in the past.

There is no substitute for the real life experiences of friends, relatives and neighbors when it comes to making the decision of whom to invite into your home to provide a service.

There are many truly gifted, honest and professional contractors in every trade in the Naples area. The challenge is to find the ones that make your life easier. Once you have compiled your very own little black book of vendors, you will not want to ever let them go. You may even find yourself being a little reluctant to share your treasure with just anyone

.Rick Borman, Owner, Reliable Inspections of Naples and 3D Aerial Imaging , 239.778.1176 ,

Programs, Tours and Events at Rookery Bay Reserve – January 2020


Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center is open 9am to 4pm Monday through Saturday.

At Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, you can learn about environmental science and the natural world through actual hands-on experiences with marine life touch tanks, exhibits and coastal habitat displays. The two-story modern visitor center is air conditioned and includes an art gallery, naturalist led programs, gift shop, nature viewing platform over the water and more!

Kids and grown-ups alike can explore the center and discover the plants, fish and wildlife that call Rookery Bay Research Reserve’s 110,000 acres home. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for kids 6 – 12, and free for kids under 6 and Friends of Rookery Bay members. Located at 300 Tower Road, one mile south of the intersection of US 41 and Collier Boulevard. Learn more and register

Naturalist Led Kayak Tours at RookeryBay Research Reserve – All Year!

Join Rookery Bay Research Reserve for a kayak adventure into the beautiful backwaters of Rookery Bay Reserve with our exclusive partner, Rising Tide Explorers! All the guides are active local biologists, certified naturalists and certified kayaking instructors making them the most qualified guides in the region. The whole family can enjoy a memorable and educational adventure into the estuary. With our kayak tours, guests paddle through beautiful mangrove tunnels, teeming mudflats and intricate oyster reefs while searching for amazing wildlife like sea stars, large snails, birds, dolphins and manatees! Book at

In the Rookery Bay Gallery –Annual Painting Exhibition

November 3, 2019 – January 9, 2020 Included with Admission to Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center

The Friends of Rookery Bay and the United Arts Council of Collier County present the Annual Painting Exhibition with works submitted by artists from Collier and Lee counties. Following Rookery Bay’s environmental mission, works share a central theme of flora and fauna.


Science Saturdays 9 am – 1 pm

$5 Admission for adults, FREE for kids 12 and under •Facility is open 9 am to 4 pm

  • January 4 – Invasive Species
  • January 11 – Birds of a Feather
  • January 25 – Skulls & Bones

At the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, Science Saturdays are sure to unleash your inner scientist or marine biologist with hands-on discoveries for all ages. Every Saturday a different theme at Rookery Bay, enjoy eco-crafts, a presentation, a featured film and our “Lessons in Laboratories” program from 11 – 11:45 am.

Lunch & Learn Lecture: Rookery Bay & theNext Generation of Scientists – The SeaTurtle Nesting Program: Connecting Science, Stewardship and Education

January 10 • 12 – 1pm • $15

Registration is required

Please join us for the third in a series of five lectures – The Sea Turtle Nesting Program: Connecting Science, Stewardship and Education. Jill Schmid, Rookery Bay GIS Specialist and Sarah Norris, Rookery Bay Environmental Specialist will co-present on the sea turtle monitoring and research program at Rookery Bay Research Reserve. Lunch will be provided. The 2019-20 lecture series focuses on key projects occurring at Rookery Bay and the collaboration of senior scientists and up-and coming young staff members or interns. During co-presentations of findings and information, the teams will highlight the importance of mentorship in science and how working together with today’s young professionals positively impacts the future of environmental ecology and conservation in Florida.

Essentials of Digital Photography

January 13 • 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m • $55

Registration is required

If you want to get the best pictures possible, and truly understand your camera’s features, this camera workshop is for you. The class covers the essentials of your digital camera. You will learn how to use your camera’s shutter, aperture, ISO control and the drive modes to create images with impact and creativity. Sonny Saunders has over 35 years of experience in photography and instruction and is renowned for his ability to communicate to a wide variety of students.

Rookery Bay Brush Strokes –Birds in Water Color

January 16 & January 30 • 9:30 am – 12 pm • $60

Registration is required

Paint the beauty of coastal Southwest Florida and the wildlife of estuary waters at Rookery Bay Brush Strokes watercolor painting class. Local Naples artist Jan Deswik offers step-by-step simple instructions and creative support that’s perfect for beginners or anyone inspired by the coastal environment and wants to bring it to life in a one-of a-kind painting. Each class spotlights a natural theme from shells to birdlife to local waterways. Held in classrooms at The Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, all materials are included. Participants will leave each class with  a completed painted piece with matte.

Festival of Birds

January 17, 18 & 19, 2020 

Join Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve for the Festival of Birds. This annual event allows guests to explore the local environment through guided field trips to wildlife hotspots around Southwest Florida, and features programs and presentations at the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center. Dozens of field trips, including birding walks, buggy rides and boat tours will be offered by Rookery Bay Research Reserve and area partners. Trips range in price from $20-$145. Registration for fieldtrips is required.

Birds of the Beach

January 25 • 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. • $40

Registration is required

Southwest Florida is a critical stopover site for thousands of migrating and wintering shorebirds. In this class, Adam DiNuovo of Audubon Florida will discuss the life history of these birds and the amazing journeys many of them make annually. Winter shorebirds are notoriously difficult to ID, so practicing the skills learned in this class is essential. You will learn how to use plumage, size, and behavior to help with identification. The classroom session will take place at the Rookery Bay Field Station on Shell Island Road. It will be followed by a trip to Tigertail Beach, one of the most important winter shorebird sites in Florida, where we will see many of the birds discussed. Be prepared to wade in water up to your knees, with adequate footwear that will protect your feet (no flip flops). Collier County beach parking fee applies ($8, free with sticker).