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Contact: Gary Bremen, 305-230-1144, x007
On April 30 and May 1, 2010, Biscayne National Park and National Geographic are partnering on BioBlitz, a 24-hour effort to count as many species as possible inside park boundaries. The effort will be conducted by average citizens working closely in small teams with scientists from many fields. To get kids ready for this giant event, the February installment of the park’s popular Family Fun Fest series will take a look at the importance of biological diversity, provide some practice in counting and identifying species, and learn how global climate change is impacting park wildlife. The free event takes place on Valentine’s Day, Sunday, February 14, 2010 at the park's Dante Fascell Visitor Center from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Stations located around the visitor center provide a variety of interactive and hands-on activities, including:
- Key to My Heart — Learn to use a dichotomous key to identify fish.
- Love You to Pieces — Using a plant field guide means knowing your petals from your pistils!
- Box of Chocolates — With biodiversity, you never know what you’re going to get!
- Let Me Count the Ways — How do scientists count animals and discover new species?
- Climate: 911! — Hang out in the Superhero Waiting Room to discover how climate change is affecting Biscayne’s wildlife.” Episode 3 of a four-part series!
Participants will receive a paper passport to be punched at each station as they complete the activities. Those who complete all five activities will earn a special button to help remember the day, and those who earn five buttons in a season will receive a Family Fun Fest Fanatic award in April.
Family Fun Fest attendees will also be among the very first to see the largest art installation in park history. Miami artists Xavier Cortada and Arielle Angel, in collaboration with hundreds of South Floridians, have facilitated the creation of Endangered World, a collection of 360 flags representing the planet’s 360 degrees of longitude. Cortada has chosen 360 threatened and endangered animals, one from each longitude, and Angel has worked with individuals who have adopted each animal, created an image of that animal on a flag, and committed to some action in their own lives that mitigates human impacts on that animal. The flags are on display along park roads and trails, from the park entrance to the end of the Convoy Point Jetty — a distance of over one mile. More details on the Endangered World project are available at www.EndangeredWorld.org.
Family Fun Fest takes place on the second Sunday of every month from December through April. The series is made possible through a grant from the Captain Bob Lewis Boat Center Yamaha Billfish Challenge and the Bobby Duryea Memorial Fund at the South Florida National Parks Trust. Additional support this month comes from Trash-to-Treasure Creative Re-use Center, the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves and a host of dedicated volunteers.
Future Family Fun Fest events in the 2010 season are:
- Liter-a-Sea: Oceans of Knowledge — March 14
The ocean is the lifeblood of both the park and the planet — are you “ocean-literate?”
- The Best Family Fun Fest EVER! — April 11
The 50th Family Fun Fest features the best activities of the first 10 years…selected by YOU the participants!
The Dante Fascell Visitor Center is located at 9700 SW 328 Street, nine miles east of Homestead, Florida. Call 305-230-7275, extension 555 for more information.