Florida Naturalist, Tony Mauriello, offers free 45-minute nature programs to clubs and other organizations in Lee and Collier Counties*.
Talks are currently available on the following topics and questions are welcome from the audience after each presentation:
Why Native Plants? – People are becoming more aware and better educated about our environment. There seems to be a sincere desire to live in such a way that our impact on the environment is lessened. Perceptions about nature and beauty are changing, too. While a green lawn was once thought of as beautiful, natural landscapes are now valued for their biodiversity as well as their beauty. In this program, Mr. Mauriello discusses the importance of native plants in the local ecosystem and shares information about resources for native plants.
Shelling and Beachcombing – What shells can you find on our beaches? How do clams reproduce? What’s the difference between a worm rock and coral? Is there really sea pork and beans on the beach? What did Herman Melville have to do with beachcombing? Mr. Mauriello answers these and other questions about shelling and beachcombing along the Florida Gulf Coast.
Shore Birds of Southwest Florida – Southwest Florida beaches are a wonderful place to observe shorebirds. In addition to resident Gulls and Ospreys, migration brings Sandpipers, Terns, Skimmers and many other interesting birds to our shores. Helpful hints will be provided on how to identify shorebirds and the various species you might see along the beaches and estuaries.
Butterflies of Southwest Florida – Butterflies inspire and amaze with their miraculous transformation from an earthbound caterpillar into a dazzling winged marvel. This metamorphosis will be explored, as well as the native food plants integral to the life cycle of these beautiful insects. Butterflies most common in Southwest Florida will be discussed.
Plant Propagation Techniques – Plant propagation is both a science and an art. The various sexual and asexual propagation techniques will be discussed including the various types of rooting media and required tools, as well as the use of common food containers as propagation tools.
Birds of Prey in Southwest Florida – Birds of prey often referred to as raptors, are carnivorous birds with strong bills, large talons, and exceptional flight capabilities. Many can be seen in southwest Florida. Helpful hints will be provided on how to identify the different species, as well as unique behaviors that make these birds so interesting.
Native Vines in Southwest Florida – A variety of vine species can become problem weeds in the landscape, especially non-native vines. When arranged on a trellis or used as a ground cover, many native vines can be a beautiful addition to one’s landscape. Recognizing the difference between the natives and non-natives can help in managing vines – knowing which to pull and which to train in your garden.
* Call for fees outside these Counties