During the sizzling days of summer, things might slow down around here — but there is still plenty to see and do at Cedar Point Environmental Park.

With 115 bucolic acres and a nature’s center filled with interesting things, there is much that invites exploring.

Located at 2300 Placida Road across from Lemon Bay High School, Cedar Point has plenty to offer locals and tourists alike.

“There’s always something doing at Cedar Point,” said resource manager Bobbi Rodgers. “While our activities peak during fall and winter, we still have much to offer during the summer.”

This year in particular has been especially rewarding for local residents. Thanks to a grant, Cedar Point has been able to offer a wildly popular kayaking program that combines recreation along with an informative nature presentation.

“These kayak trips fill up as soon as they are announced. Locals can sign up for the trips now before the busier season,” Bobbi says.

The next kayak nature adventure will take place Wednesday, Sept. 18. They will continue twice a month through the fall and winter.

Kayaks and all equipment is supplied free of charge. Because trips are limited to 15 participants and there is great demand, participants can only go once.

“We’ve had such a great response to the kayaking program. We’re hoping the grant is renewed so we can continue doing them,” says Bobbi.

The wading trips, popular with all ages, will also begin in October. Again, they fill up fast, so it’s advisable to call early to reserve a spot.

“The coolest thing for me is to see parents who did the wading trip years ago return with their children.

“Little kids get a kick out of exploring what’s in the water,” she adds.

So do big kids, as a matter of fact.

During prime winter season, 2,000 visitors come each month.

Summer offers nature lovers a chance to explore the visitor’s center and the walking trails during the less crowded months.

Bob Friend is one of the frequent visitors that enjoy Cedar Point year round. “There’s always something to see,” he says.

“It’s rewarding to just sit here in such a beautiful setting and enjoy nature,” he says.

He especially enjoys watching the eagle’s nest, waiting for bald eagles to return.

Nature lovers rave about the soft walking trails that are kept in excellent condition.

That’s because there’s a party at Cedar Point every Thursday — a work party, that is.

“Regardless of how hot it is, we have a dedicated crew of volunteers that mow and maintain the trails,” said Bobbi.

Among those volunteers are Steve Bell, David Evans and Tony Dunbar.

“It’s such a nice park and we work to keep it that way,” says David Evans.

Tony calls the weekly work party a chance for outdoor activity in a beautiful setting.

All the trails are especially nice to walk, even during the warmer months. Each trail offers relaxing water views so walkers are treated to a tranquil setting at the end of the trail.

“Those who aren’t familiar with the trails should stop at the nature center to pick up a map,” Bobbi recommends.

The nature center itself makes a refreshing stop on a warm day and offers learning opportunities for all ages.

Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center is gearing up for a full program of guided walks starting Oct. 16 and continuing through February. Watch the newspaper for specific dates or stop in at Cedar Point Environment Center for a list.

This is also the time to register to help during the Coastal Clean-up at Cedar Point.

Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. Sept. 21, and will be assigned an area.

“Volunteers are always needed,” says Bobbi.

To register for the clean-up or sign up for an upcoming event, call Cedar Point at 941-475-0769.

More information can be found at www.checflorida.org.

Pattie Mihalik is a regular columnist for the Sun. Contact her at newsgirl@comcast.net.


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