Discover the Wildlife at Clearwater's Moccasin Lake Nature Park
Photos/text by Sandi Fahy
Moccasin Lake Nature Park programmer Becky Bassick, at right, moves an alligator snapping turtle to a holding pen so she and volunteer Ashley Fornshell (looking on at back), can clean the drained pond where the creature spends most of its time. Bassick, who is in charge of animal care, believes the turtle is about 20 years old. You can also find live non-venomous snakes (including a Florida banded water snake), birds of prey (including "Elvis" the vulture), amphibians (including a White's tree frog) and freshwater fish on display at the facility. Bald eagles, egrets, ospreys, butterflies, turtles and songbirds are among the wildlife you may encounter should you walk the mile-long nature trails. There is also an environmental and energy education center on the premises.
(from left) Aaron Rib, Jared Galaris, Sophie Benzarti, Angela Chay, Brendan Longe and Justice Galaris, binoculars in hand, are ready to explore the wonders of nature at Moccasin Lake Nature Park on a recent afternoon. They were among the some 25 youngsters taking part in the Science & Nature Explorers Camp directed by Lloyd Simmons. Children ages 6-11 who like animals, science and nature are invited to sign up for one or more of the remaining three camp sessions, July 23-27, July 30-Aug. 3, Aug. 13-17. For details, call 462-6024. Moccasin Lake Nature Park is located at 2750 Park Trail Lane.
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