Historic Burnap Cottage circa 1898
A favorite for many of our guests, the charming Sanibel Historical Museum & Village has re-opened for the season.
“We’re planning exciting programs this season,” said Executive Director Emilie Alfino. “We look forward to seeing old friends as well as welcoming return guests.”
Some of the events scheduled for this year include three Twilight Talks (All About Francis Bailey, Sanibel Restaurants of Yesteryear, and 55 Years After the Causeway). There is also a boat trip to historic Useppa on November 1. There will be a Luminary celebration in December and a Free Admission Day in June.
New volunteers are always needed at the village. Training begins on November 6 and 13. Interested people are encouraged to call 239-472-4648. “There are many different things for volunteers to do, so anyone can find a comfortable spot among our village family,” Alfino said.
The Sanibel Historical Village is located at 950 Dunlop Road (next to BIG ARTS) and there is handicap access to the buildings. Admission is $10 for adults over 18. Members and children are free. Hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm. Full guided tours take place at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm at no additional charge, depending on docent availability.
For more information, call 239-472-4648 during museum hours or visit sanibelmuseum.org.
It’s the best of the hometown fall festivals you remember: a pumpkin patch, pumpkin decorating, face painting and local musicians on stage. Punkin’ Palooza features family-friendly activities, flea market shopping and free entertainment at Fleamasters Fleamarket today.
If you’re in the area, stop by and adopt a pumpkin at the Pumpkin Patch to paint, personalize and take home!
Congratuations to Matt C., from Genoa IL, who scored this beautiful Horse Conch on his family’s most recent visit to Ocean’s Reach!
The horse conch — a snail that is known as the second largest gastropod in the world as it can grow up to two feet in size — has been Florida’s official state shell since 1969.
Did you know that 14 of the 23 coastal states of the United States have an officially designated state shell?
We’re delighted to announce that Good Morning Sanibel by author Kristi Kercher Paterson is now available at Ocean’s Reach as yet another treat for our guests.
This brightly illustrated, rhyming picture book is about everyone’s favorite places to see and things to do on Sanibel Island. It is sure to become one of your family’s favorites!
A former elementary school teacher, Kristi has written plays, poems and songs since she was a child. She has always been enthralled by the sea and its many wonders.
She and her husband have owned “a spot of paradise” on Sanibel for a number of years now, and consider it their “happy place” filled with numerous special family memories. They hope to make Sanibel their permanent residence one day soon!
The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife has announced that the LCEC Killa-Watts will be providing live entertainment for the 36th Taste of the Islands on Nov. 12 from noon to 5 p.m.
There’s a reason that fans get a charge out of the LCEC Killa-Watts. Each of the band’s members works for Lee County Electric Cooperative, one of the main utility companies for Southwest Florida. Started as a bit of fun for a small fundraiser a few years ago, the group now plays numerous benefit concerts to aid causes throughout the community.
“I have worked in the utility industry for many years and I love this work. At the same time, I love the joy that music brings to people’s lives. When an opportunity to bring the two together came about, I knew it was something that would make a difference,” said band leader Rusty Snider.
The core Killa-Watts members have been true to the mission of making music, having some fun, and helping those in need by sharing their talent at little, or no cost to help raise funds for worthy causes. In the past, they opened for Lee Greenwood for a Veterans fundraiser, played dozens of United Way and Chamber of Commerce events, and supported efforts to fight Cancer, Heart Disease, Diabetes, and many other worthy causes.
Admission to Taste of the Islands is $7 and children younger than 12 years of age are free. For more information about the 36th Taste of the Islands, please click here.
GOOSEHUG: The Blue Goose, a refuge system icon designed by “Ding” Darling himself, appears in the “flesh” at Family Fun Day.
Live wildlife presentations, demos, crafts highlights of free ‘Ding’ Family Fun Day 2017
Sunday Family Fun Day kicks off the weeklong “Ding” Darling Days at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, on Oct. 15, 2017.
The refuge, “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS), and Tarpon Bay Explorers (TBE) have planned a free day packed with activities for all ages from 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Following the 9:45 a.m. flag-raising ceremony presented by local Boy Scouts, the refuge will debut its new #LearningLav exhibits with a “toilet paper-cutting ceremony,” followed by a reusable goodie bag giveaway for kids in the Refuge Visitor & Education Center, while supplies last.
All-new presentations this year will take place outside under the tent and inside the center. They include a live birds of prey program by CROW outdoors and a concurrent story and fish craft inside, a People & Panthers program by Florida Wildlife Commission, and another CROW live wildlife program titled Do’s and Don’t’s of Animal Rescue. While it runs outside, Ambu Yoga and supervisory refuge ranger Toni Westland will lead a Kids Animal Yoga program inside.
Also new this year, WaterVentures Traveling Lab touring, photo ops with the Shell Love Bug, and fly fishing demos by Sanibel Fly Club will be available throughout the day. “Ding” Darling’s Monofilament Busters will also be exchanging environmentally friendly fishing weights for toxic lead weights that participants can bring that day.
Other Sunday highlights include all-free narrated TBE tram tours of Wildlife Drive (based on availability), archery skills clinics (for ages 10 and older), a butterfly house, face painting, hot dogs, and music by the Sanibel School Steel Drumming Band and the 97.7 Latino Hits Van.
“We estimate the value of this free event to be up to $75 for a family of four,” said “Ding” Days Committee co-chair, Ranger Toni Westland. “But the value of family- and nature-bonding? You can’t put a price tag on that.”
Continuous free shuttle service will run from the refuge’s Tram Parking Lot on Sanibel-Captiva Road (look for signs).
For a full schedule of all of the amazing events in store during the upcoming “Ding” Darling Days week, Oct. 15-21, click here!
Three North American river otters experienced a taste of freedom after nearly eight months at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife when they were released successfully in Punta Gorda on September 27.
The first North American river otter arrived at CROW in February, with others following through March. One was transferred from a rehabilitation facility in Fort Lauderdale and the other two were transferred from rehabilitation facilities near Tampa.
The otters spent the better part of the year at CROW to replicate the amount of time they would spend with their parent learning how to hunt for prey on their own. Due to these otters being orphaned at a young age, the staff of CROW made sure they duplicated those efforts through enrichment items and live prey offered on a regular basis.
“River otters are a very special species and rely on their family group to learn skills needed for survival,” CROW’s Hospital Director Dr. Heather Barron said in a prepared statement. “Often times, when a rehab center gets in one otter, other centers will send otters to them, so they can be raised together.”
The four otters had a soft release before Hurricane Irma touched Southwest Florida, resulting in them sticking around the property. The soft release entailed them opening the doors to the enclosure for shelter, and providing food within.
“They didn’t want to eat anything. They took shelter underneath the stairwell. When we were allowed on the island we found them just hanging out. They really didn’t eat,” CROW Rehabber Yvette Carrasco said. “They were distracted and they really didn’t eat when they were out and about.”
CROW staff ended up recapturing them, which Carrasco explained to be a stress free event because they walked into the crate.
Although four were recaptured, one remains at the hospital under a treatment plan due to a wound on the pad of one of its feet.
CROW had six otters under their care this season. Two had already been released at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
Thank you to Meghan McCoy at the Island Reporter for this excerpt from her article.
A new interpretive kiosk has been unveiled at Perry Tract, the only shoreline property that belongs to the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge complex on Sanibel Island.
The 4-plus-acre Perry Tract lies adjacent to Gulfside City Park, located right next door to Ocean’s Reach.
It is named for ophthalmologist and malacologist Dr. Louise Perry. Upon her passing in 1962, she donated her winter home property to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to maintain as a safe haven for wildlife.
With support from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge and a grant from the Lee County Tourist Development Council, and in partnership with the City of Sanibel, the interpretive kiosk’s three panels pay homage to Dr. Perry and identifies wildlife, shorebirds, and seashells found on the beach and around the property’s pond, which is closed to the public. Shell castings and a replicated sea turtle nest add a hands-on element to the exhibit.
“We are so grateful to our partners and Dr. Perry’s family for making possible this opportunity to educate beachgoers about seaside ecology and the importance of conserving it,” said supervisory refuge ranger Toni Westland.