Summer 2015 Newsletter

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teaching. stewardship. naturally.

Tree Hill Nature Center is the perfect place in our community to benefit from important environmental programs and experience family fun in a natural environment. Tree Hill is home to 50+ acres of natural space, 2 miles of walking trails, picnic area, Florida Natural History Museum, hands-on Touch Tank, butterfly and hummingbird gardens (seasonal) and native & exhibit animals. Tree Hill Nature Center has provided the best in environmental and conservation education to our community since 1971.

Migratory Birds

 Each year millions of birds from over 1,000 species migrate. The journey of these birds is to areas that offer prime breeding spots and plentiful food sources. In the Eastern part of north America the Atlantic Flyway refers to the routes taken by these birds. Incredibly, there are some birds who make this unaccompanied journey during their first year of life. There are some species that fly thousands of miles without stopping to rest. Florida is a popular spot for birds, both for species wintering over and for species migrating through or stopping just to breed. The Blue-headed Vireo breeds in Canada, but winters over in the southeast, from Florida to Texas and into South America. Contrary to the Blue-Headed Vireo are Sparrows who come to Florida and other parts of the south to breed during the winter. There are Scarlet Tanagers who migrate through the south, but also breed in the south.

If you are interested in learning more about birds, some resources and articles we recommend:

Butterfly Garden

Support from JEA brings water efficient garden to Tree Hill

With the generous support of JEA, we have been able to build a Water Efficiency Butterfly Garden. The next time you are visiting the Joesph A. Strasser Amphitheatre, look across to the Arlington Community Garden. Directly in front of the Community Garden you will see the newly constructed beds filled with beautiful plants and flowers attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. The Florida friendly, native plants require minimal water and minimal maintenance.

In addition to being a beautiful display, the Water Efficiency Butterfly Garden attracts more pollinators and beneficial insects than butterflies. For instance, the lady bug can use the dill plants for all stages of its life cycle. In turn, the ladybug eats aphids, which are a significant pest to gardeners. The array of other plants, such as lemon balm, penta, and blue porterweed attracts the honey bees. We are happy to do our part for the honey bees who pollinate so many of our crops.

Interested in planting your own butterfly garden? Here are some more resources to help you get started:

Our Newest Member of Parliament

Year after year Barred Owls return to nest

We are excited to report that the parliament (a family of owls is called a parliament) of Barred Owls (Strix varia)  has nested with us once again. After much care from the nesting female, one hatchling was born. As is typical with owls, the male hunted and brought back food for the female and the owlet. After a few weeks of exploring the nest and the surrounding branches, the little one decided it was time to try flying. This phase of exploration and the first attempts at flying can be deadly, but the owlet is doing just fine. The parliament of owls is an indicator that our grounds support a diverse wildlife population and offers satisfactory nesting sites.
Click here for more information about the Barred Owl

Education Programs

On and off site programs continue throughout the summer 

At Tree Hill Nature Center we offer a number of different educational programs for youth and adults. One of our youth programs includes animal encounters and a guided trail tour. Our Environmental Educators introduce visitors to native species, including an opossum, American alligator, and grey rat snake. Our partnership with the local school districts helps us reach more than 10,000 students each year! 

We have four additional programs that can be offered because of the generosity of JEA. These sessions are available, free of charge, to JEA customers and focus on water conservation and energy conservation. Each year, these programs reach more than 15,000 people.

Copyright © 2015 Tree Hill Nature Center, All rights reserved.

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