Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and offers a two-story visitor center, art
gallery, gift shop and nature trail with viewing platform. Themed naturalist programs offered daily on topics such as manatees, sharks, sea
turtles, marine life touch tank and more. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for kids 6 – 12, and free for kids under six and
Friends of Rookery Bay members. Located at 300 Tower Road, one mile south of the intersection of US41 and Collier Boulevard. Learn
more, or register for events, at rookerybay.org.
Guided Boat and Kayak Tours
Two-hour guided kayak tours let you explore backwater bays and mangrove tunnels while learning about your surroundings from an experienced guide and naturalist. Tours provide opportunities to see wildlife such as wading birds, osprey, fish and dolphins. Tours include free admission to the Environmental Learning Center on day of trip and proceeds support the non-profit Friends of Rookery Bay, Inc. Kayak and boat tours are offered Tuesdays – Fridays from November – April.
January 9 – 13, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Portraits in Graphite
Join our Artist in Residence, Lee
Hammond, and learn how to realistically
draw portraits in graphite. In 5 days, you will
learn everything you need to draw anything
proficiently in pencil. Hammond has been a professional artist and art
instructor for more than 30 years. She has published more than 35 art
instruction books. Cost is $395 (supplies are not included).
January 11, 6 – 8 p.m.
Tales from the Coast: Clyde Butcher
Pre-eminent photographer Clyde Butcher will
share experiences and images from more than
50 years spent creating exquisite black and white
photographs of untouched natural landscapes
of North America. Clyde’s life experience has
reinforced his sense of dedication to use his art form, photography,
to show people that there is a unity between all undisturbed natural
place. The evening will include beer, wine and appetizers. Admission
is $25 ($20 for Friends of Rookery Bay members.)
January 13, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Enjoy this fun and informative class designed to help you identify
birds around you. Oriented toward the beginning birder, the classroom
session explores how to use birds’ plumage, shape, behavior and
habitat to recognize various species. It also covers the effective use of
binoculars and field guides. During the second part of the class you
will learn more tricks of the trade during a field trip to a nearby park
where you can enjoy practicing new skills. Cost is $40.
Southwest Florida Nature Festival
Explore the local environment through guided field trips to
wildlife hot spots around Southwest Florida and lectures at the RB
Environmental Learning Center. Field trips, including birding walks,
buggy rides and kayak tours, are offered in conjunction with partners
such as Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Big Cypress National Preserve
and Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Field trip prices range from
$15 – $135.
January 14, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Nature Festival Keynote Presentation: “My Big Year Birding Adventure”
South Florida author Sandy Komito is the only birder in North
America who’s ever done two record-setting “Big Years,” each of
which exceeded 700 bird species observed. His experience helped
inspire the book and movie “The Big Year.” Admission to the evening
keynote presentation is $15.
January 17, 12 – 1 p.m.
Lunch & Learn Lecture: Tom Potts, Aquarius
Program at Florida International University
Learn about an environmental topic and
enjoy lunch in our auditorium. The January
lecture welcomes Tom Potts with Florida
International University’s Medina Aquarius
Program, who will discuss the incredible 23-
year journey of living and working underwater aboard the Aquarius
Lecture is $15, or $10 for Friends of Rookery Bay members,
January 21, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Birds of the Beach
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. Learn how to use
plumage, size, and behavior to help with identification. The classroom
session 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. Cost is $40.
January 23 – 27, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Portraits in Colored Pencil
In five days you will learn everything you need to know to draw
proficiently in colored pencil with no experience required. This class
will make you a master at various colored pencil techniques, and
capturing things realistically. Hammond has been a professional
artist and art instructor for more than 30 years. She has published
more than 35 art instruction books. Cost is $395 (supplies are not
February 2, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
World Wetlands Day BOGO
In celebration of the birthday of evolutionary biologist Charles
Darwin, the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center offers
“buy one, get one free admission.” Higher price prevails. Cannot be
combined with other offers.