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Florida Panhandle Creation Tour – Marianna, FL
November 8 - November 9
Florida Panhandle Creation Tour with Bill Clifton from Science Partners at Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna, FL.
WHEN: November 8-9, 2019
WHERE: Florida Caverns State Park
3345 Caverns Rd, Marianna, FL 32446
CONTACT: Merilee Clifton
Join Bill and Merilee Clifton – creationists, authors, Florida Master Naturalists, and science educators –
as we tour parts of the Florida Panhandle looking for evidence of our Creator. Families will drive their
own vehicles. (We’ll save on motor coach costs!)
On Friday, we’ll meet at Florida Caverns State Park (FCSP) in Marianna, FL at the gift shop between 1:00 and 1:30 PM Central Time (2:00 and 2:30 Eastern Time). We’ll spend the afternoon at FCSP. We’ll take a guided tour of Florida Cavern, the main tour cave in this cave system, and the only cave open for public tours in Florida. We’ll see cave formations such as stalactites, stalagmites, columns, soda straws, flowstones, draperies, and rimstone pools. We’ll learn how these formations develop. (Hint: It doesn’t take millions of years!)
We’ll look through the Visitor Center / Museum exhibits to learn about the park’s history and its unique plants and animals. We’ll drive to our hotel south of Tallahassee near St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (SMNWR), and have dinner there (provided). We’ll have a short group time after dinner to review our activities on Friday and look forward to our Saturday activities.
On Saturday our focus is on butterflies. Migrating monarch butterflies from across the eastern US gather at SMNWR in the fall before crossing the Gulf of Mexico on their migratory route to Mexico for the winter. We have confirmed with University of Florida biologist David Cook that we can meet him and join his Citizen Science Project, helping count and tag monarch butterflies early Saturday morning.
So, conditions permitting, we’ll meet near St. Marks lighthouse where we’ll experience butterfly tagging first hand! Then we’re off for the Visitor Center where we’ll discover more about the refuge from educational exhibits. We’ll also look in the nature-oriented gift shop / bookstore. After lunch (provided) we’ll leave for Gainesville where we’ll visit Florida Museum of Natural History’s Butterfly Rainforest and see hundreds of free-flying butterflies in a beautiful tropical setting. It also has thousands of butterfly and moth specimens and photographs. The “Rearing Lab” lets us observe the life cycle of the butterfly close up. We can also observe scientists and researchers through glass windows working in the world’s largest research facility devoted to Lepidoptera. The museum closes at 5:00 PM. It is approximately two hours from the Orlando area.