“LEARNING – JUST FOR THE FUN OF IT!” The 2018 Winter/Spring Learning Sessions are listed below in chronologic order by their beginning date for the months of March and April. Those beginning in January and February are on separate pages. Included with descriptions is biographical information on each instructor. Many sessions are one day sessions but others continue on the same day of the week for two to six weeks.
All learning sessions, except for walking and hiking ones, are held in classrooms on the Charlotte campus of Florida SouthWestern State College at 26300 Airport Road in Punta Gorda. 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 scheduled session.
NOTE: Additional sessions may be added as details are confirmed.
Now make your choices and learn — just for the fun of it!
Thursday, Apr. 5, 10:00 – 11:50 am (1 session), Classroom D108 “Useppa Island Uncovered: Archaeology” with Annette Snapp
This learning session is scheduled three weeks before the LLI trip to Useppa Island on April 24, 2018. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Useppa Island in Pine Island Sound holds immeasurable archaeological significance for the Southwest Florida region. This learning session introduces you to the archeological finds of Useppa Island going back over 10,000 years and the stories they reveal of pre-historic culture. Annette Snapp serves as Historian at the Charlotte County Historical Center. She received a PhD in anthropology from the University of Oxford and has taught museum studies at University College London as well as anthropology and sustainability courses at Florida Gulf Coast University. She has worked in the field of historic preservation in Southwest Florida for over 20 years.
Friday, Apr. 6, 9:30 – 11:30 am (1 session) "Punta Gorda Nature Park Walk" with Bob Bechtold
Come explore this gem of a park, located right in the middle of the Punta Gorda Isles residential community! This 24-acre miniature park, owned & operated by the City, is a natural conservation area for public outdoor recreation. It contains portions of all three of the primary Florida habitats: coastal, wetlands and uplands. We will walk the ½ mile nature trail through the park, passing through the different habitats & concluding our walk at the PGI Green Thumbs portion of the Park. There you will be introduced to different gardens by the volunteers who maintain them. These gardens include: butterfly, herb, spice & edibles, hummingbird, rock & wetland. This area has become a place of beauty, tranquility & education for our citizenry and visitors. Bob Bechtold will lead the nature walk through the park. Bob has been a resident of PGI for six years, and is 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 should wear comfortable clothing and footwear, and bring water and sunscreen.
Thursday, Apr. 12, 10:00 – 11:50 am (1 session), Classroom D108 "Useppa Island Uncovered: Legends and History" with Crystal Diff
This learning session is scheduled two weeks before the LLI trip to Useppa Island on April 24, 2018. As the history of Useppa Island grew, so did its outlandish legends. In this learning session, we will recount the legend of Gasparilla and uncover the truth of Useppa Island history lying in wait behind the fiction. Crystal Diff serves as Historical Coordinator at Charlotte County Historical Center. She has been creating local historical programs, presentations and traveling exhibits in Charlotte County for over three years. She received a BA in art from Florida Gulf Coast University, with a focus on museum studies and art history, and has over six years’ of experience in the field.
Friday, Apr. 13, 9:30 – 11:00 am (1 session) "Parks that Teach Nature Walk"
On this guided walk you will view the unique ecosystems of the mangroves, identify trees & shrubs, and learn how these plants can fit into your home landscape. Additionally, you will experience the habitats that support many different Florida creatures. 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. This guided walk along this special corridor is led by Charlotte Co. Extension Master Gardeners who have completed an extensive training course sponsored by the Univ. of Florida, as well as specialized training regarding the flora along this pathway. The walk 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 walk will last approximately 1 1/2 hours. Participants should wear comfortable clothing and footwear and it is recommended to bring water and sunscreen.