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Hike topics: Geology of Florida, Night Hike, Prairie Hike or Sandhill Hike

This program may be scheduled for any age group and requires at least two weeks of advance notification due to limited center staff and volunteer availability. Participants in this program must be able to tolerate walking on loose sand soil for a distance of no less than one mile in the climate typical to the time of year the program is booked. Water, bug spray and sunblock are recommended. The length of this program is 1.5 hours.


Pre-visit recommendations:

  1. Review terms:
    • Geology:
      • Karst formation: landscape formation cause by dissolving of soluble rock (Florida limestone)
      • Sinkhole: a collapsed area of the earth’s surface
      • Erosion: removal of soil or rock from a location by natural forces
      • Weathering: break down of rocks and soils by natural forces
      • Aquifer: permeable rock with groundwater
    • Night Hike:
      • Tapetum Lucidum: "Bright Carpet", the light condensing layer of tissue in the eye
      • Nocturnal: active at night
      • Diurnal: active during the day
      • Crepuscular: active at dawn and dusk
    • Prairie or Sandhill:
      • Ecological succession: observable change in a natural area over time
      • Climax community: a natural area or community that is in a steady state, not changing significantly
      • Extirpation: local extinction, wiped out in certain area
      • Endemic: Only found in a specific range or location
      • Commensal: relationship where one animal benefits while the other is not harmed but gains no noticeable benefit
  2. Review "Leave-No-Trace" environmental ethics: “Take only pictures, leave only footprints”
  3. Create walking sticks
  4. For night hike create glow stick lanterns using cardboard tubes and glow sticks


  • Indoor overview of the general history of Chinsegut property
  • Night Hike only: PowerPoint review of how to identify animals at night
  • Geology Hike only: PowerPoint review of Florida’s formation and climatological forces
  • Distribution of easy ID guides (or bingo cards) and designation of “spotters” for prairie/sandhill hikes
  • Guided one-hour walk through instructor-selected route with no less than 10 stops to identify key habitat features and reinforce vocabulary
  • Review and evaluation

Post Visit:

  • Have students determine if any of the plants seen at Chinsegut are found in their school yard
  • Study the natural communities of Florida
  • Create a “forest in a jar” terrarium to watch succession in the classroom
  • Study Florida’s climatological history
  • Review the wildlife of Florida