The 2017 Spring Class schedule continues with the choices that are listed below in chronological order by their beginning date for the month of April. Included with class descriptions is biographical information on each instructor. Many classes are one day sessions but others continue on the same day of the week for two to six weeks.
All classes are held in classrooms on the Charlotte campus of Florida SouthWestern State College at 26300 Airport Road in Punta Gorda, unless specified otherwise. Each classroom has up-to-date audio-visual equipment and there is ample parking with short walks to the “D” building (the only two-story building on campus).
You can register online with your credit card by clicking on the appropriate payment button (FRIENDS member or non-member) or you can call the LLI office at 941-637-3533. Refunds must be requested either by email or in writing through the U.S. mail and will be granted only prior to the first class session.
NOTE: Additional classes may be added as details are confirmed.
Now make your choices and learn — just for the fun of it!
Friday, April 7, 9:00-11:00 am (ONE DAY ONLY) "The Punta Gorda Nature Park" - with Bob Bechtold and the "Green Thumbs" Volunteers Meet in the Nature Park at the intersection of Bal Harbor Blvd. and Aqui Esta Drive
Come explore this little known gem of a Park, located right in the middle of the Punta Gorda Isles residential community! This 24-acre miniature park, owned and operated by the City, is a natural conservation area for public outdoor recreation. The park contains portions all three of the primary Florida habitats: Coastal, Wetlands, and Uplands!
The west corner of the park, located at the intersection of Bal Harbor and Aqui Esta, has been landscaped and is maintained since 2012, by the PGI Green Thumbs, a 501c-3 non-profit all volunteer organization. The Green Thumbs are looking forward to working with the City to enhance the East side of the Park.
We will walk the ½ mile nature trail through the park, where we will pass thru Pine flatwoods, Palmetto forest, salt/high marsh, wetlands, and mangrove habitats, concluding our walk at the PGI Green Thumbs portion of the Park. There, you will be introduced to several gardens by the volunteers who maintain them. These gardens include: Butterfly, Herb, Spice and Edibles, Hummingbird, Rock, and Wetland. This area has become a place of beauty, tranquility and education for our citizenry and visitors.
Bob Bechtold will be your host for your visit, and lead you on the nature walk through the park. Bob has been a resident of PGI for six years, a Master Gardener and a Master Naturalist.
The entire tour is expected to last 2 hours. The walking areas are natural surfaces and level. Participants are recommended to wear comfortable clothing and footwear and bring water and sunscreen.
The individual garden tours will be conducted by the extremely knowledgeable and talented Green Thumbs volunteers who maintain each one.
Friday, April 21, 9:00-11:00 am (ONE DAY ONLY) "Punta Gorda Pathways" - with Bob Bechtold and UF Master Gardeners Meet in Fisherman's Village parking lot, in the north corner near the outdoor exercise equipment
Take a walk on the wild side, with UF Master Gardeners! Well, maybe not too wild - more of a leisurely walk along a section of Punta Gorda’s pathways designated as “Parks that Teach”.
This guided walk along this special corridor is led by Charlotte County Extension Master Gardeners who have completed an extensive training course sponsored by the University of Florida. On this walk, you will view the unique ecosystems of the mangroves, identify trees and shrubs, and learn how these plants can fit into your home landscape. Additionally, you will experience the habitats that support many different Florida creatures.
The Master Gardener Guides will introduce you to native and non-native Florida-friendly plants as well as invasive plants. Learn about the mangrove community, its ability to protect the shoreline, and its key function to provide a nursery for fish, birds, crustaceans, and other creatures.
The tour departs from the large star in the pathway, located in the north corner of the Fisherman’s Village parking lot, near the outdoor exercise equipment. The Tour will last approximately one and a half hours. Participants should wear comfortable clothing and footwear and it is recommended to bring water and sun screen.
Master Gardeners Guides for this walk have had extensive training regarding gardening in Southwest Florida, as well as specialized training regarding the flora along this pathway.