Earth Day at Highlands Hammock State Park

Highlands Hammock State Park is a great destination for connecting with nature any time of the year. Earth Day, which officially falls on April 22, is a great reason to get out and experience nature in the wild, and learn about what you can do to help keep wild Florida accessible to all creatures—humans included—who need a connection to nature for sustenance and renewal.

To attract more families and folks of any age, the park has scheduled activities on the two Saturdays preceding Earth Day. Come celebrate the legacy of Earth Day on April 13, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Activities throughout the day for all ages will include guided nature walks, presentations in the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum, activities for youth, plus information from environmental and government agencies. On Saturday, April 20, a new event, the 2019 Earth Day Trail Run/Walk 5K takes place with a 7:30 a.m. start time. See registration information at the end of this article.

Nature walks on the Cypress Swamp Trail led by trail guide and naturalist Brian Woodworth are scheduled at 9 and 11 a.m. Visitors will meet in the Cypress Swamp parking area on the Loop Road. A Saturday Kids Discovery Nature Walk for children aged 5 to 13 is scheduled from 10 to 11 a.m. on the Wild Orange Trail. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Families will meet at the Music in the Park stage in the picnic area prior to departing on the Wild Orange Trail behind the Hammock Inn. Programs are scheduled throughout the day in the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum.

Highlands Hammock is at 5931 Hammock Road, Sebring. 863-386-6094, www.floridastateparks.org/events/earth-day and https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/highlands-hammock-state-park.

On Saturday, April 20, a new event, the 2019 Earth Day Trail Run/Walk 5K will be held at Highlands Hammock. Race start time is 7:30 a.m. Online registration is available at http://endurancesportstiming.com/race-calendar/. Entry forms are also available at the Ranger Station and the Hammock Inn concession. Race entry fees are $20 through April 15 and $25 after April 15 through race day, and includes a T-shirt for adult participants. There is $12 special entry fee for kids aged 13 and under, but shirts are not included. Adult shirts are HHSP designs in various colors to celebrate Earth Day.

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