Guest article by Susan Strawbridge, Park Services Specialist
Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park will focus on native plants and Florida’s orchids during the month of April. The Park is introducing monthly themes featuring natural and cultural resource opportunities in Florida State Parks.
Two programs are planned to interpret the importance of planting with native plants. Park volunteer and orchid enthusiast Jeff Rundell will present a program on orchids. In the early days of Homosassa Springs, the attraction raised exotic orchids in large greenhouses and featured blooming plants for sale in the Children’s Education Center, which was once the Park’s main entrance. With the Park’s current focus as a Florida State Park and our emphasis on native plants, Rundell will concentrate on the Florida’s wild orchids. This program will be held in the Children’s Education Center on Thursday, April 17, 2014, starting at 10:00 a.m.
Jim Bierly of Citrus County’s Native Plant Society will offer a program on the native plants of our area. On Thursday, April 24, 2014 starting at 10:00 a.m. The Native Plant Program will be held in the Park’s recently renovated Children’s Education Center.
Both the Native Plants Program and the Orchids Program are included in your Park admission. In addition to these programs, visitors will find exhibits and displays on native plants and orchids in the Visitor Center and the Children’s Education Center.
On Saturday, April 19, 2014, the Park will celebrate Earth Day with exhibits in the Garden of the Springs and with interpretive carts throughout the Wildlife Walk area. The day will start with a free Easter Egg Hunt in the picnic area adjacent to the Visitor Center on US. 19. Regular admission will apply for entrance into the Wildlife Park.
The Children’s Education Center has reopened after the first phase of restoration was completed on this historic building. The building was the original entrance to Nature’s Giant Fish Bowl and was built in the 1940s. The roof was replaced, and brick work was added to the lower half off the interior walls to protect the building from water damage. The remaining interior walls were repainted.
As you can see, we have a lot planned for April and encourage you to visit Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park to learn about the importance of native plants and orchids.
For more information, please call (352) 628-5343.
Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
4150 S. Suncoast Blvd.
Homosassa, FL 34446