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Free, affordable ways to connect with nature, family during spring break

Loxahatchee River Center offers spring break fun
Posted at 8:40 AM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 08:46:40-05

JUPITER, Fla. — If you want to connect with nature in a safe and socially distance way over spring break, WPTV has some great options for your family, including free or affordable activities at the Loxahatchee River Center in Jupiter.

Jocelyn O'Neill, the environmental education manager of the River Center-Loxahatchee River District, took WPTV on a guided tour of the North Jupiter Flatwoods, a trail at the Jupiter Community Park.

"This is a great beginner trail," she said. "Really, we want to connect people with nature. The easiest way to do that is to actually take them outside."

That thought led to a host of family programs over spring break, including this nature hike.

"They tend to be an 1.5 to two hours," she said. "Long enough to see stuff and make a morning of it."

There are also kayaking tours that launch from Burt Reynolds Park in Jupiter. Sara Duggan, the community outreach coordinator at the Loxahatchee River Center, said expect to see plant life, birds and a few surprises when you hit the water.

"We try to mix it up," she said. "Whether it's a freshwater source or saltwater source, we are in the estuary, the Intracoastal. If we are lucky, we see manatees sometimes. We have seen sea turtles."

Finally, the staff is offering up story time around the camp fire behind the Loxahatchee River Center. It involves a bit of show and tell with live animals.

The cost to take part is minimal.

"The nature hike and story time are both free," O'Neill said. "You do have to preregister for them and the kayak tour does have a cost, but it's minimal."

All in all, there are some great affordable ways to connect with each other and nature. They're also a great way to fill up some time and burn some energy.

"Oh, absolutely, all of that sounds great. It's been so long,” South Florida mother Lisa Kasica said. "We like to be outdoors all the time."

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