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Parks & Recreation

Nature / Environmental Rec at Home

In this section, you will find fun things that Cape Coral's Environmental Recreation staff recommends for you to do to stay connected with nature and the environment while at home.

All About Bald Eagles! NEW

Did you know the bald eagle is the only sea eagle native to North America? Bald eagles live near bodies of water ranging from Louisiana bayous to the coast of British Columbia. Check out more interesting facts about eagles here.  (Many thanks to our friends Chelsea, Sarah, Jarod, and Erin for sharing this page with us.)

Birds of Cape Coral 
Ever wonder what a particular kind of bird sounds like and/or want to learn more information about them? Below are some birds that are commonly found in Cape Coral - with three volumes of these flyers now available! 

--> Download interactive* PDF of "Common Birds of Cape Coral" flyer 
* (Note: Click on each bird image within the pdf to see the same links shown below)

--> OR
Click on each bird name on the chart below the photos to learn more about that bird and hear their call...then go outside and listen to the sounds around your neighborhood and see how many you can identify!

Common Birds of Cape Coral
--> Click each bird name below to get more information and hear that bird's call:

       - Blue Jay Cardinal           Grey Catbird   
       - Mockingbird
Purple Martin 
       - Bald Eagle            American Crow  Pine Warbler     
       - Red Shouldered Hawk    
Mourning Dove       Prarie Warbler  

Birds of Cape Coral - Vol. 2

--> Download interactive* PDF of "Common Birds of Cape Coral - Vol. 2" flyer 
* (Note: Click on each bird image within the PDF to get more information; Must download first)

--> ORClick on each bird name on the chart below the photos to learn more about that bird and hear their call.
Common Cape Coral Birds Vol 2 2020_Page_1

--> Click each bird name below to get more information and hear that bird's call:

       - Red Winged Blackbird   
- Brown Thrasher       - Killdeer 
       - Fish Crow - Boat Tailed Gackle     - American Crow 
       - Eurasian Collared Dove      - Burrowing Owl 
- White Ibis 
       - Great Blue Heron
- Green Heron      - Yellow Crowned Night Heron   

Birds of Cape Coral - Vol. 3

--> Download interactive* PDF of "Common Birds of Cape Coral - Vol. 3" flyer 
* (Note: Click on each bird image within the PDF to get more information; Must download first)

--> ORClick on each bird name on the chart below the photos to learn more about that bird and hear their call.
Common Cape Coral Birds Vol 3

--> Click each bird name below to get more information and hear that bird's call:

       - Loggerhead Shrike   
- Eastern Meadowlark      Palm Warbler
       - Red-Bellied Woodpecker   
- Downy Woodpecker     - Hairy Woodpecker  
       - Great Horned Owl     Blue Grey Gnatcatcher   
- European Starling
       - Limpkin
- Pileated Woodpecker Great Egret    

Whose Beak, Whose Feet Matching Game
Can you match the below birds with their correct beaks and feet? Click here to view this fun match-up game on the Audobon website(Note: Must click on link to access the interactive version of this activity.)
Whose beak

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Common Butterflies of Cape Coral
Below are 10 of the most common butterflies found in Cape Coral. Which ones can you spot in your backyard?

--> Download interactive* PDF of "Common Butterflies in Cape Coral" flyer 
* (Note: Click on each butterfly image within the PDF to see the same links shown above.)

--> OR - Click on each butterfly name below the chart to learn more!
Common Cape Coral Butterflies

--> Click each butterfly name below to learn more information:

       - Monarch Gulf Fritillary        Giant Swallowtail   
       - Cloudless Sulphur
- Zebra Longwing - Great Southern White   
       - White Peacock            - Black Swallowtail    Polydamus
       - Pipevine Swallowtail    - Malachite 
- Julia 


Butterfly Garden Design
Bored in the house? Get outside and plant a butterfly garden in your yard. Below are some ideas on what and how to plant your very own butterfly garden!Small Butterfly Garden

Large Butterfly Garden

Zebra Longwing Butterfly Coloring Page
Print out and color Florida's official state butterfly, then come find one at Rotary Park! 
butterfly coloring sheet

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Landscaping for Song Birds
Below are some ideas on what and how to plant your very own garden to attract song birds!

GArdening for birdsSlide1

DIY Bird Houses
Let’s feed some wildlife and have some fun doing it. Creating your own up-cycled bird feeder can be rewarding and fill an afternoon or two with family fun.

DIY birdfeeder ad

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The Back Ten Feet
The Back Ten Feet of any site is a starting point for converting water wasteful, boring, unproductive turf grass yards into drought tolerant, wildlife friendly, interesting and storm protective landscapes.

In "The Back Ten Feet," we learn that, by providing a balance in our yards that mimics natural systems, insects and other bugs are kept in check naturally. That means that a few plants with leaves that are chewed is nothing to get hysterical about - native plants are MEANT to be eaten. In fact, wherever you live, NATIVE shrubs and trees are utilized by native butterflies as larval host plants and, when humans spray with pesticides, it puts their species’ very existence at risk.

back 10 feet sheet

People Power 
Earth’s climate is changing, and people are taking action. Let’s change climate change!

people power

Replace and Avoid Tracker

How much plastic can you eliminate from your life? Find out with the Replace and Avoid Challenge from the Audobon Center!

reuse trackerCapture 

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Bug Finder
Get outside and look for bugs and spiders that live in your yard (like the Banana Spider in this picture!),  then check out the "Bug Finder Website" to help identify them!

Bananas Spider

Bug Bash Game
bug bash header

--> Click here to check out this fun and interactive bug game from the National Geographic Kids website. Match three bugs in a row to clear them, and get fun facts about bugs along the way!

How Bees Make Honey Coloring Pages
Click here to view/print the below pages and learn how bees make honey! 

how bees make honey 1    how bees make honey 2

How bees make honey 3      how bees make honey 4

Critter Coloring Sheets
Color some of nature’s cutest critters with fun coloring sheets from the Audobon Center like the one shown below. Pick your favorite or color all three! 


Neighborhood Safari Tic-Tac-Toe

Take a walk, observe what you see, and see if you can get three things in a row for Tic-Tac-Toe...or better yet, try to spot all nine!



I Spy Flowers Activity

Go for a walk by yourself or with loved ones around your neighborhood and take a photo and/or draw a picture of all the flowers you spy! This is a great opportunity for nature lovers of all ages to learn about different flower species in Southwest Florida while still practicing social distancing. 

--> See how many different flowers you can find that are on the chart below!

I Spy Flowers

--> Download PDF of "Common Flowers in Cape Coral" flyer 

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Wildflowers in Your Neighborhood
Ever wonder what the flowers in our front ditches are? Harry Phillips, a City of Cape Coral Environmental Biologist, talks about a few you’ll find in your neighborhood.

Meet Our Tortoises
Meet the Captain & Tennille! These two tortoises live in the Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly House at Rotary Park in Cape Coral. They were given to the park as owner surrenders. They’ve been fast friends ever since.

Nature Journaling for Children and Adults
If you are looking for an activity to take you outside, this is a simple idea that will give you a different perspective of your own yard and enjoyable for all ages.

Nature journaling is a combination of writing and recording what your senses discover in nature, but you can also get very creative by adding sketches and thoughts about what you are seeing, hearing or even feeling. You can make your own journal (directions provided below) or purchase a journal from the store or even just use a note book.

nature journalItems Needed to Make Your Own Journal:

  • Cardboard
  • Paper (any paper will do)
  • Sticks
  • Hole Punch 

Optional Items:

  • Glue
  • Paint
  • Magazine Clippings
  • Modge Podge
  • Crayons or Colored Pencils
  • Beads
  • Shells 

--> Assembly Instructions:

  • Cut cardboard to desired size.
  • Cut paper slightly smaller.
  • Use hole punch to punch three holes for binding (top, bottom and middle)
  • Use yarn and sticks for minding (see example picture)
  • Tie shells and beads to yarn ends.
  • Decorate cover using your imaginations with magazine clippings and glue, use colored pencils and crayons to draw pictures and write title. You can seal the cover using modge podge.

Journaling Instructions

  • Take 15-30 minutes to sit outside in your own yard.
  • What do you see, hear, or smell?
  • Can you find birds, insects, plants or even a bunny in your yard?
  • What do they look like?
  • If it is an animal, what is it doing?
  • Does the plant have a scent? What does it smell like?
  • Can you draw a picture of what you see?
  • Can you use words to describe it?
  • Describe what it looks like by using words or coloring in your sketches.
  • Try to use your descriptions to identify or find out more information and research your days findings. Also, write this information in your journal.

--> Feel free to share your nature journaling experiences on the Rotary Park Facebook Page and tag with #CCVirtualRec.

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Nature Scavenger Hunts 
Engage your family with our scavenger hunts! This is a great way to explore our community on a sunny day, and our scavenger hunts can be completed while social distancing. Complete them from your car or while walking through your neighborhood.   

Scavenger huntPicture 2

--> Download PDF of Nature Scavenger Hunt

Julies Scavenger hunt

--> Download PDF of Backyard Scavenger Hunt

Insect Word Search 
Check out one of our nature word search puzzles that features hidden insect words. Word searches are a great way to keep the mind strong! 
Insect Word Search

--> Download PDF of Insect Word Search


Calusa Blueway Kayak Trails 

kayakingThe Great Calusa Blueway is a set of paddling trails that meanders through the coastal waters of Lee County from the Pine Island Sound to Estero Bay, up the Caloosahatchee River and through it's tributaries.

The 190-mile trail guides canoeists and kayakers via easy-to-identify brown-and-white signs through shallow areas away from powerboat traffic.

--> Launch your own kayak! Parks with ADA accesible kayak ramps, including 
Saratoga Lake Park and Sirenia Vista Park are reopen as of 4/28/20. (Note: The Kayak Shack at Eco Preserve remains closed.)


Power of Nature Videos  
When you can't be at Rotary Park in person, enjoy some of the sights and sounds of the park from afar! 

Great Egrets & Roseate Spoonbills 

Introducing Rotary Park's Resident Lizards

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