The Naturalist Experience

Our Programs

At Florida Bay Forever, we are committed to getting folks of all ages involved in the world around them to help you nurture your inner naturalist! We offer a variety of programs developed by our naturalists to build community, bridge together art and science, and to foster a curiosity and love for the ecosystems around them. Check out the different programs we offer below! Programs will run on a cyclical basis. Check our calendar to see when the next program is running or request a specific program for a field trip or group activity. All programs are $10 per person, this fee helps us continue to keep these programs running! We can also organize a field trip for school groups or tour groups upon request with a minimum of 5 people and a maximum of 20. Please contact


Nature Inspired Art

Programs designed to foster your creativity! They will include classes with a variety of media from paints, pastels, and yarn, to creative writing. Guidance levels vary from projects with specific instructions to ones that allow for complete independence. Click here to see our list of art programs and keep an eye on our calendar for when programming is scheduled.

Nature Printing (Teens/Adults)

see program description

Take a nature walk along our trail and collect fallen leaves, textures, or fossils to use as a medium for bleach printing onto fabric guided by one of our naturalists. All printing supplies will be provided but you are responsible for bringing the fabric you would like to print. Details on what fabrics/colors work best are provided when you register for the program.

Nature Journaling (Teens/Adults)

see program description
Guided nature tours where a naturalist expert can point out interesting aspects of the nature preserve that can inspire reflection followed by mentored activities in writing, drawing, and a choice of visual art media. Art supplies provided.

Art Spa (Teens/Adults)

see program description
Create messy BAD art to silence that inner critic and enjoy your inner child. Explore mix-media with a fun new challenge every week.

Make Your Own Loom (Teens/Adults)

see program description
Have a peaceful start to your morning while working on your own handheld loom under the Gumbo Limbos. Art supplies provided.

Poetry Circle (Teens/Adults)

see program description
Find a spot by the water or walk the trails for some inspiration. Then write a short poem (in any style) about a creature or plant without revealing its name. Then we will share our work one at a time and try to guess the subject of each other’s poem.

Imagination Time (Family friendly)

see program description
Observe, draw and make up a tale about your favorite Hammock creature.

Adventure Ecologies

Close to home adventures designed to get you connected with the world around you! Learn about the unique Keys ecosystems in your own backyard and get up close to the organisms found nowhere else in the world. Programs typically include a guided hike or paddle paired with an interactive activity such as arthropod surveys, bird counts, or making recipes with local flora.

The Power of Plant Paste (Adults)

see program description
Join one of our naturalists on a guided stroll down one of our Hardwood Hammock trails while we learn about the relationship between the eye-catching Gumbo Limbo and the intimidating Florida Poisonwood trees! While Poisonwood can cause a serious rash, the bark of the Gumbo Limbo tree provides a nearby antidote that neutralizes the toxic urushiol oil. Learn how to identify each tree in its various life stages, their medicinal or toxic properties, and their role in the ecosystem. We will provide all materials, but participants should bring their own airtight container and expect to bring home roughly 3oz of paste.

Intro to Dendrology: Tree ID for Beginners (Adults)

see program description
Join one of our naturalists in an introductory class to dendrology, the study of trees. This class will review the basic structure of trees: trunk/bark, branches, and leaves. It will include a lesson on how to use a dichotomous key, a valuable tool for ecologists and hobbyists alike. We will also spend some time getting familiar with native hammock and mangrove species; participants are encouraged to walk the trails after the class to see some of the trees we have talked about.

Poisonwood: ID and Ecology (Adults)

see program description
Have you heard the dangers of poisonwood but not how to actually identify it? Interested to learn about its role in the ecosystem? This class will go in depth on how to identify Poisonwood, common harmless lookalikes, how to treat an exposure, and why this tree is an important member of a healthy hardwood hammock forest.

Caterpillars Count Survey (Family Friendly)

see program description
Join one of our naturalists in a community science initiative called the Caterpillars Count! This is a nationwide arthropod survey project run by the University of North Carolina. We will go out with our survey tools to measure the presence of different arthropods in our trees and shrubs on the property, record it on a data sheet and send the data to UNC. This program is a guided introduction on how to conduct the survey, but we also look for volunteers to regularly perform these surveys to submit data on a consistent basis.