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August 2010

Family:
Science
Written By: 
Bessie Gantt

Aquatic activities such as fishing, surfing, and exploring boggy places are second nature to Lowcountry children, yet there’s still plenty to learn about the creatures and plants that share our neck of the woods


Swamp Safari (Ages 3-5)

Photograph by Joe Felder


Prepare: Deep in the Swamp by Donna M. Bateman highlights plants and critters from the Okefenokee Swamp that also make their homes in our local cypress bogs and forests.

Go: Take a trip to Cypress Gardens. Visit the Swamparium with tanks and terrariums of swimming, crawling, and slithering fish, amphibians, and reptiles. Then paddle through the swamp in a flat-bottom boat to get an up-close view of turtles, birds, alligators, and other dwellers of the murky depths.

Continue: Go to www.audubon.org/educate/kids for games, coloring pages, and even jigsaw puzzles related to birds and other animals. Start your own bird count of feathered friends spotted in your backyard and on future adventures.

Cypress Gardens
3030 Cypress Gardens Rd.,
Moncks Corner
Cost: $10, $5 ages six - 12,
free for ages five & under
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
(843) 553-0515
www.cypressgardens.info


Sea Turtle Rescue (ages 6-9)

Photograph by Barbara Bergwerf


Prepare: Turtle Summer by local author Mary Alice Monroe tells the story of sea turtles from their journey up the dunes to the protection of their eggs to the final celebration of hatchlings scampering to the ocean. The information, photographs, and activities show readers the challenges facing sea turtles and stress the importance of the sea turtle hospital.

Go: Schedule a “Behind the Scenes” tour of the South Carolina Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital to talk to the veterinarians, meet injured and sick patients, and watch as doctors and caretakers work to get these creatures healthy and released back into the wild.

Continue: Go to www.scaquarium.org/kids to print the game- and info-packed Loggerhead Activity Book and to www.seaturtlehospital.blogspot.com to check on the status of the animals you met at the hospital.

Sea Turtle Hospital at the South Carolina Aquarium
100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston
Cost: $10, $5 ages two - 11, plus cost of admission ($17.95, $10.95 ages two - 11)
Times: Monday, Wednesday, Friday,
Saturday, & Sunday, 11:30 a.m. & 1 p.m.
(843) 577-FISH
www.scaquarium.org/STR


Salt Marsh Excursion (ages 10-12)

Photograph by Barrier Island Eco Tours

Prepare: Dive into Todd Ballantine’s Tideland Treasure for illustrations of the plants and animals that make our local marshes and barrier islands their home as well as some species you’re sure to meet at Capers Island. Ballantine also answers such mystifying questions as why oceans are salty and what makes waves break.

Go: Barrier Island Eco Tours Capers Island Exploration starts with a boat ride through the marshy creeks, filled with dolphin and birds aplenty. See what comes up when the guides use nets to introduce you to some underwater friends, then explore the undeveloped island and its Boneyard Beach.

Continue: Start a scrapbook of species you witness with pictures, illustrations, feathers, seashells, and leaves labeled with the date and location they were discovered. Go to online field guide www.enature.com to learn more and identify your findings.

Barrier Island Eco Tours
Isle of Palms Marina, 50 41st Ave., Isle of Palms
Cost: $36, $26 ages three - 11, free for ages two & under
Times: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday (until Labor Day), & Saturday, 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
(843) 886-5000 • www.nature-tours.com


Field Experiments

The Center for Birds of Prey
Meet owls, hawks, and eagles and witness their airborne talents.
4872 Seewee Rd., Awendaw
Cost: $12, $10 ages six - 18, free for ages five & under
Hours: Thursday - Saturday, 10 a.m. -
5 p.m., tours at 10:30 a.m. & 2 p.m.
followed by flight demonstrations
(843) 971-7474
www.thecenterforbirdsofprey.org

Edisto Island Serpentarium
Reptiles abound inside, outside, and around this facility devoted to the study of critters such as alligators, turtles, and snakes.
1374 Hwy. 174, Edisto Island
Cost: $12.95, $9.95 ages six - 12, $5.95 ages four & five, free for ages three & under
Hours: May 24 - August 14, Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; after August 19, Thursday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
(843) 869-1171
www.edistoserpentarium.com

Nocturnal Noisemakers at Caw Caw Interpretive Center
Identify spooky sounds of the swamp. A frog? An owl? A gator?
Or something else…
5200 Savannah Hwy., Ravenel
Cost: $9 ($7 Charleston County
resident) plus $7 parking
Time: August 20, 8 - 9:30 p.m.
(843) 889-8898 • www.ccprc.com

Surf Seining at Beachwalker Park
Discover what’s lurking under the waves.
Beachwalker Dr., Kiawah Island
Cost: $9 ($7 Charleston County
resident) plus $7 parking
Time: August 12, 5 - 6:30 p.m.
(843) 768-2395 • www.ccprc.com

Weather Station at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry
Learn about rain, hail, and other cool (and hot!) stuff.
25 Ann St., Charleston
Cost: $7
Times: Thursdays in August, 4 p.m.
(843) 853-8962
www.explorecml.org

 




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