For Hometown News
VERO BEACH --Residents and visitors can experience the beauty and joy of natural Florida without having to leave town.
Savor a free, guided nature walk at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area, a 440 acre nature preserve, beginning Nov.2 at 9 a.m.
Walks will continue on the first and third Saturday of each month through April.
Open from dawn to dusk every day for your enjoyment, the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area is located in southern Indian River County on Oslo Road east of U.S. Highway 1 behind the Vero South Square Shopping Plaza.
Meet lead interpretive guide Ken Gonyo and other volunteer naturalists in the preserve parking lot located at 150 - 9th Street Southeast (Oslo Road), weather permitting.
Entertaining and knowledgeable volunteers trained by the Pelican Island Audubon Society, in concert with the adjacent Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, University of Florida, will lead participants through a mosaic of dramatically different habitats -- from a cathedral of majestic ancient oaks with a carpet of ferns in the moist hammock to the dry sands of the scrubby pine flatwoods to the mangrove-lined coastal wetlands overlooked by a 15-foot observation tower.
The walk is approximately one and one-half miles in length. Wading birds, woodpeckers, songbirds, and zebra longwing butterflies frequently can be spotted, so participants may want to bring binoculars. Bright red berries will abound on the wild coffee bushes, and clusters of striking magenta berries will adorn the well-named beautyberry.
These walks usually last about two hours, so comfortable shoes are suggested. Also, bring sun and mosquito protection, and be prepared to walk on the natural trails with exposed roots and uneven surfaces. No bathroom or water fountain facilities are available in the preserve.
No reservations are needed.
For more information, visit http://ourorca.org or contact the Pelican Island Audubon Society at 772-567- 3520.