Water-Related News

Outdoor excursions and field trips offered during Wings & Wildflowers Festival

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The 4th Annual Wings & Wildflowers Festival, to be held Oct. 2-4 in Leesburg, offers a host of eco-friendly activities such as field trips, nature hikes, boat rides and bird watching expeditions in key wildlife viewing areas.

Centered at Leesburg’s Venetian Gardens, located at 201 E. Dixie Ave., the festival encourages visitors to explore Lake County through expert-guided trips. Excursions include bus trips to Lake Apopka’s North Shore Restoration Area, Emeralda Marsh, and the new Green Mountain Scenic Overlook & Trailhead, tours on Clermont’s famed Florida Scrub-Jay Trail, a daybreak hike in the Ocala National Forest in search for the elusive Red-cockaded Woodpecker, and the Pelagic Birding boat trip with the Marine Science Center in New Smyrna Beach.

For wildflower enthusiasts, field trips to the Ocala National Forest include the Wildflower Hike at Clearwater Lake and the all-new Paisley Woods Sandhill Ecology Exploration trip, where participants can hike or bike through the forest. The Hidden Waters Preserve Wildflower and Ravine Hike will explore a 90-acre preserve at a unique sinkhole lake and ravine.

Indoor and outdoor exhibitors, events, shows and seminars at Venetian Gardens throughout the festival will include Beekeeping 101, A Birder’s Guide to Lake County, Winging it with Dragonflies, Going Batty, Florida’s Amazing Carnivorous Plants and more. Also, for the first time, the UF/IFAS Extension in Lake County's Fall Master Gardener Plant Sale will be held in conjunction with the Wings & Wildflower Festival. Pollinator attractors, tropical and butterfly plants will be available for purchase by cash or check.

To sign up for festival events, visit www.wingsandwildflowers.com or sign up onsite during festival hours, Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday beginning at 11 a.m., at the registration table inside the Leesburg Community Center at Venetian Gardens.