■ BY SUE ERWIN
Explorers of secluded parks are invited to come and celebrate Cayo Costa Day from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3. This annual event is held on the northern end of Cayo Costa Island and is intended to spread awareness about the beauty of our barrier islands.
Free activities will include palm weaving, nature crafts, and a guided beach/trail walk. Historical cemetery walks around the island are also planned.
Guests will enjoy demonstrations by the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife Center (CROW) and the Randall Research Center.
Bubba’s Roadhouse will cater a barbecue lunch during which local songwriter and singer Sheena Brook will perform.
The Friends of Cayo Costa will be selling memberships, T-shirts, water and providing information about the group’s initiatives such as the adopt-a-nest program and upcoming fundraisers for park projects.
The meaning of Cayo Costa is “Key by the Coast,” or barrier island. This beautiful island is isolated from the mainland, reachable only by boat.
With no road access, Cayo Costa’s greatest gift is its seclusion. Once inhabited by the Native American Calusa Indians, two archaeological sites remain visible. Park tour guides can lead visitors to them and share historical facts about them.
Experience a fun island day and explore all the beauty this state park has to offer. The 2,400-acre nature preserve fronted by nine spectacular miles of beaches is the perfect place to enjoy swimming, shelling, fishing, hiking and fossil hunting.
Visitors to the park can even choose to camp out for a night or two. Primitive cabins and tent sites are available for reservation for overnight stays. Each site has a picnic table, a ground grill and access to potable water. There are no sites with electricity. Restroom facilities are available and have cold showers and flush toilets.
The cost to attend is $40 for adults and $30 for children under 12.
Price includes a barbecue lunch, boat ride and all activities.
Departures will be available from Captiva, Punta Gorda, Boca Grande and Pine Island.
The Friends of Cayo Costa State Park is based in Pine Island, Florida. FOCC is a division of Barrier Island Parks Society. A 501c3 organization, which is the official citizens support organization for Cayo Costa, Gasparilla, Stump Pass, Don Pedro State Parks and the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse and Museum. All funds raised by FOCC will be used exclusively for the park.
Reservations are required.
For more information, visit friendsofcayocosta.org.