Wekiva Park Volunteer Newsletter
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Wekiva Wilderness Trust

Wekiva River Basin State Parks Newsletter

Bear Awareness Class Held for Wekiva Elementary students 

On May 7th and 8th the fourth grade students from Wekiva Elementary School had an opportunity to become ambassadors for bears!  The students were welcomed led by ranger Jane Cummings, on their day of discovery. The camp included five learning stations for the students.

  • Habitat Hunt - Students looked for clues of other animals and learn about the plants that make up an ideal bear habitat. 
  • It’s a Bear’s Life – Students learned life cycle of bears through a board game, and artifacts that demonstrated the size and difficulties bears face during the stages of their life from cub to adult.
  • Good Grub – Students learned about healthy diet for bears.
  • Urban Interface area – Students learned about the challenges of living close to bears, what they can do every day to protect our bears, and had an opportunity to design an ideal urban interface using sand tables and mini props. 
  • Wekiva Rocks rock garden - To ensure that these students had an opportunity to create a meaningful memory to leave behind, the final station was to paint a rock for our Wekiva Rocks rock garden.

Many CSO volunteers helped make this day a success! This was an incredible program that we will continue to provide for our local schools. Read more about details of this awesome day!


Upcoming Events

Pint Night fund-raiser for Wekiva Wilderness Trust on Wednesday June 6th at Travel Country.

Note: The date (June 6th) is a correction from last newsletter.

The Meet and Greet will be from 6 pm until 7 pm, with finger foods, beer and Brats served to all attendees for a $10 donation. All proceeds will go to Wekiva Wilderness Trust. 

Attendees will get a Silipint to hold their beer, and can shop until 8 pm with 20% off all clothing, footwear and gear!

Date & Location: 
Wednesday, June 6th at 6pm.
Travel Country Outfitters
1101 E Altamonte Dr, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701

Interested? RSVP here.
See you there!

Upcoming Discovery Hour Schedule - Every Sunday at 2:00 pm
Discovery Hour starts at the Nature Center Interpretive Pavilion, unless otherwise specified.
Note: Discovery Hour will not be available during the summer months.

May 20 Mayflies, Dragonflies, Damselflies
May 27 FL Reptiles

Upcoming Free Family Hikes - First Sunday of each Month at 10:00AM
June 3 With Noreen - Start at Sand Lake
July 1 With Don B - Start at Interpretive Pavillion
Aug 5 With Jane - Start at Interpretive Pavillion
Sept 2 With Noreen - Start at Sand Lake

Did You Know? Fun Nature Facts!

  • Southeastern pocket gophers are solitary rodents, living in underground tunnels. They are only 10-12 inches long, but their tunnels can be as long as 500 feet!

May Flower of the Month

Blackroot (Pterocaulon pycnostachyum)

There are many flower species in full bloom throughout the park during the month of May. On a recent 4 mile hike following the Volksmarch and East-West trails through upland habitat—mixed hardwood, sandhill, high pine—we identified 24 different species, including the flower featured this month. Many flower species are blooming in other habitats as well.
This month we focus on Blackroot (Pterocaulon pycnostachyum), a plant with some distinctive and interesting features. Blackroot is a member of the aster family. Although it is quite common in sunny upland habitats throughout the state, it is often overlooked because the flowers are not showy. It gets its common name from its dark, thickened roots. The scientific name is descriptive of the above ground plant: ptero- (wing), -caulon (stem), pycno- (dense), -stachyum (spike). The stems and the undersides of the leaves are densely covered with downy silvery hairs.
Blackroot dies back to the ground in the winter and in spring forms a basal rosette of leaves followed by stems which are 1 to 2 feet tall. Look closely at the stems and you will find conspicuous wings continuous from the ground to the spike-shaped, dense flower cluster at the terminal end of the stem. The flowers are knobby, small and dull white. The leaves are lance shaped, clasp and alternate on the stem. The upper surface of the leaf is deep green and somewhat shiny with a silvery center vein. Turn the leaf over to view the silvery white underside. Slide your finger gently over the underside of a leaf to experience the sensation of soft downy velvet. Blackroot attracts a variety of small bees and butterflies such as hairstreaks and skippers. Look for Blackroot along trails in upland areas of the park.

You have expressed an interested in supporting the Wekiva River Basin State Parks. Thank you for being a champion for the environment!

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To Volunteer at Wekiwa State Park
Contact to complete an application, and get scheduled for orientation.

The Wekiva Wilderness Trust ( is a nonprofit, volunteer group that supports the work of the basin parks. We are dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the Wekiva parks. Contact us at 844-PARK-WWT (844-727-5998) or email at, to inquire about volunteer opportunities!


Join other volunteers that work to improve our parks! Call or email us Today!
844-727-5998 | | |
Copyright © 2018 Wekiva Wilderness Trust, All rights reserved.

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