National Public Lands Day
Wildlife Drive opens at 7 a.m. for free touring and closes at 7 p.m. Narrated tram tours will run at normal cost and schedule – 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 3 p.m. The always admission-free “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center opens at 9 a.m.
In the Refuge Nature Store, the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) is giving away a free bottle of Just Water with a purchase of $10 or more, upon request. This year’s National Public Lands Day celebrates the seventh anniversary of the Kick the Bottle campaign to rid the refuge of the disposable plastic bottles that are a scourge to the environment. Just Water comes in a reusable container that consists of 82 percent renewable resources -- primarily paperboard sourced from forests where new trees replace those harvested.
Special free and discounted activities take place at the refuge from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.:
8 a.m. All day long, Tarpon Bay Explorers offers a 25 percent discount on all bike, kayak, and paddleboard rentals.
8:30 a.m. 25 percent off Guided Kayak Tour at Tarpon Bay Explorers. Reservations are recommended at 239-472-8900.
8:30-9:30 a.m. Guided Tour and Clean-up along Indigo Trail to the Wildlife Education Boardwalk. Meet at the parking lot flagpole, and bring water, sunscreen, and insect repellant.
9:30 -11 a.m. “Hidden Treasures of “’Ding’” Caravan. Follow a naturalist along Wildlife Drive and stop for up-close and personal viewings. Meet at the parking lot flagpole, and bring water, sunscreen, and insect repellant.
10 a.m.-3 p.m. Make-and-take recycled crafts in the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center Classroom.