Mark your calendar for Saturday, March 19th from 9:00 AM to Noon. That’s the date for the first annual Bird Rookery Day hosted by the Venice Area Audubon Society. March marks the peak nesting season for birds at the renowned Venice Bird Rookery and you will have a special opportunity to learn about the birds on the rookery island as well as some interesting information about the importance of bats and butterflies.

The Rookery Day festival will feature a number of nature stations around the park as well as environmental information tents, a Florida native plant sale and a native tree give-away. There will also be presentations from the Mangrove Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society and The Healthy Pond Collaborative where Mollie Holland from Sarasota County’s NEST Program and Sandy Gilbert from START (Solutions To Avoid Red Tide) will brief the audience on the importance of maintaining healthy neighborhood stormwater ponds.

According to Kate Borduas, one of the Audubon Society’s event organizers, the festival will showcase the many ways we all can support wildlife with emphasis on the native plants and trees that are home to the insects that sustain our bird and bat populations.

Children’s activities will include a “Treasure Hunt” to find the answers to questions based on “Fast Facts” posted at each of the nature stations. Educational booklets will be offered as treasure hunt rewards.

Collaborators in the Venice Area Audubon Society’s event include the Mangrove Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society; Sarasota Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources; Peace River Butterfly Society and the Healthy Pond Collaborative. Additional support for the event will be provided by FPL/Audubon Florida and McKeithen Growers.

You’ll find the Venice Audubon Rookery Park and Nature Center behind the R.L. Anderson Administrative Center at US 41 and Annex Road, one block from Jacaranda Blvd. in Venice.

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