Bring your family to Camp Bayou’s 20th anniversary celebration event being held on Saturday, March 23. The Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center is a public-private partnership between Bayou Outdoor Learning and Discovery, Inc. (B.O.L.D.) and Hillsborough County Conservation and Environmental Lands Management.

The Florida Aquarium, Little Manatee River State Park, Hillsborough County Parks – Recreation and Conservation and Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful are just some of the organizations that will be there with activities and displays.

Volunteers at Camp Bayou will showcase the many options at the Center, which include youth programs, trail amenities and exhibits.

A presentation showcasing 20 years will be followed by lunch. You can purchase raffle tickets and, during the lunch, prizes will be announced.

Dolly Cummings, Director of Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center, said, “We are happiest when folks can see that the outdoors is a wondrous place. Don’t hide inside; come out and enjoy the wonders of nature.”

Camp Bayou Guided Cart Tours will resume on Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. thanks to a generous donation from Sun City Golf Carts, Inc. The carts hold seven passengers (first come, first serve) and will let you experience the trails if you have difficulty getting around.

On Friday, March 15, there will be a Guided Moonlight Paddle starting at 7:30 p.m. Night paddles are a totally different experience. Listen to the sounds of the night and watch for nocturnal critters like owls and bats. The cost is $25 to rent a three-person canoe or single-person kayak. If you bring your own, a $5 donation is still requested. Reservations are required. Call 641-8545.

Camp Bayou is looking for volunteers who love the outdoors and want to pass along that passion to others through hands-on activities, walks and canoe tours. Call 641-8545 or email Volunteers are mainly to help teach school groups K-6, but other opportunities are available as well.

“We are always planning new and different activities of interest to folks that gets them outdoors. If we don’t encourage a love of the environment, who will care enough to protect it in the future?”

The Center is open Thursday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. for passive recreational pursuits such as wildlife watching, nature photography and trail walks. Admission is free.

Camp Bayou is located three miles south of SR674 at the end of 24th St SE in Ruskin. Visit, or call 641-8545.

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Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.