The Orlando Wetlands Festival is a free event the for the whole family. On Saturday, February 16, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Fort Christmas Park will host the festival celebrating Florida's outstanding wilderness and the Orlando Wetlands Park.
Orlando Wetlands Park is a 1,220-acre wetland water treatment system that polishes up to 35 million gallons of reclaimed wastewater each day. The seventeen cells were designed to remove excess nutrients from the water as it's filtered through three different communities - deep marsh, mixed marsh and hardwood swamp - all providing habitat for numerous species of birds and wildlife.
The Orlando Wetlands Park offers excellent bird and wildlife viewing within the 1,650 acres of hammocks, marshes and lakes. People can walk, jog or bicycle along the 20 miles of roads and woodland trails throughout the park.
Learn how to identify plants along trails by taking one of the plant identification hikes led by The Florida Native Plant Society or enjoy taking a walk in the wild with one of the Florida Trail Association led hikes. Professional nature and wildlife photographers will share their knowledge and offer tips on guided photo hikes. Guided hikes are scheduled for:
- Birding Hikes - 9:15 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 1:45 p.m.
- Wilderness Hikes - 10:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m.
- Native Plant Hikes - 10:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m.
- Photo Hikes - 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m.
- Wetland Exploration with Jim Hulbert - 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m.
For people who prefer not to hike, but still want to explore the the Orlando Wetlands Park hayrides and guided bus tours will run continuously throughout the day during festival hours.
From 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m bird-banding and mist-netting demonstrations will take place at Orlando Wetlands Park. Get up close with a variety of wildlife on display for educational opportunities from the Audubon Birds of Prey and Hands on Wildlife - Native Wildlife Show.
Enjoy live music, food and entertainment such as Out-On-A-Limb kids tree climbing, bounce house, face painting, raffles, free backyard tree give-away for Arbor Day and more.
For more information, a complete schedule of activities and directions to Fort Christmas Park visit the City of Orlando website.