Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center is open 9 am to 4 pm 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 for tours and events at rookerybay.org/calendar. Friends of Rookery Bay member discounts apply to most events.
Naturalist Led Kayak Tours at Rookery Bay 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
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.
International Volunteer Day
December 5 • BOGO Admission
Visit the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center for buy one get one free entrance on December 5 and recognize the volunteers who offer their time and talent to Rookery Bay each day. It is an opportunity to raise awareness of the contribution they make to the community and to celebrate their efforts to protect the coastal beauty and wildlife of Southwest Florida.
Rookery Bay Brush Strokes – Wildlife Watercolors
December 5 • 9:30am – 12pm • $60 Registration is required www.rookerybay.org/calendar
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 environmentand 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 LearningCenter, all materials are included. Participants will leave each class with a completed painted piece with matte.
9am – 1pm $5 Admission for adults, FREE for kids 12 and under •Facility is open 9 am to 4 pm•
- December 7 – Birds of a Feather
- December 14 – Managing Marine Debris
- December 21 – Fabulous Fish
- December 28 – World of Water
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.
Essentials of Digital Photography
December 9 • 9:30am – 12:30pm • $55 Registration is required www.rookerybay.org/calendar
If you want to get the best pictures possible, and trulyunderstanding 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.
Lunch & Learn Lecture: Rookery Bay & the Next Generation of Scientists –Shark Research Beyond Our Boundaries
December 13 • 12 – 1 pm • $15 Registration is required www.rookerybay.org/calendar
Please join us for the second in a series of five lectures -Rookery Bay & the Next Generation of Scientists –Shark Research Beyond Our Boundaries. Patrick O’Donnell, Shark Research Environmental Specialist at Rookery Bay and Kristine Zikmanis, Florida International University student will co-present about how the 20 years of shark research extends way past Rookery Bay and where the results may take future scientific studies. 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 copresentations 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.
Birds of the Beach
December 14 •8am – 12pm • $40 Registration is requiredwww.rookerybay.org/calendar
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).
Rookery Bay Brush Strokes –Wildlife Watercolors
December 19 • 9:30am – 12pm • $60 Registration is required www.rookerybay.org/calendar
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.
Celebrate Winter Solstice
December 20 • BOGO Admission!
You’ll get more than your money’s worth out of the shortest day of the year with a buy one get one free entrance to the Rookery BayEnvironmental Learning Center.
Junior Campout at Rookery Bay
December 21 – 22 • Ages 10 – 16 yrs • Co-ed Drop off December 21 at 4:30pm, Pick up December 22 at 8am • $60 Registration is required www.rookerybay.org/calendar
Gain outdoor skills and further your appreciation for the great outdoors of Southwest Florida with the Education staff of Rookery Bay Reserve. This is a non-campfire campout. Participants are required to bring their own camping gear. Pizza and lightsnacks are included.