Home' Island Sun : ISN 102315 Contents 11
ISLAND SUN - OCTOBER 23, 2015
Photographer To Host Fundraiser
For Big Cypress National Preserve
Nationally acclaimed wilderness pho-
tographer Clyde Butcher, known
throughout Florida for his exquisite
black and white, large-format photo-
graphs of the state’s landscape, and his
wife Niki, are hosting a fundraiser to ben-
efit the Big Cypress National Preserve’s
environmental education program.
The fundraiser is scheduled for
Saturday, October 31 and Sunday,
November 1 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at
Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery in the Big
Cypress National Preserve in Ochopee,
Florida. The weekend’s activities will pro-
vide guests with the opportunity to meet
the husband and wife duo and hear stories
about their adventures photographing the
preserve, take ranger-guided swamp walks
and listen to ranger lectures. Butcher will
also be signing books for visitors.
“Big Cypress National Preserve and the
Everglades have always been at the heart
of my photography,” said Butcher. “During this weekend of events, I hope guests will
see for themselves the jewel we have in our midst and help maintain the vitality of the
Big Cypress National Preserve. It is a legacy we must pass on to our children and their
During the two-day event, a 1.5-hour guided classic swamp walk tour will be
offered to take participants in waist-deep water through the preserve. A 30- to 45-
minute introductory swamp walk tour is also available and caters to those who might
be apprehensive about the deeper preserve waters. For every paid adult on the $50
or $40 tours, a child can attend for free. All proceeds from the ranger-led swamp
walks and a portion of the gallery’s weekend sales will be donated to the Big Cypress
National Preserve’s environmental education program.
The funds contributed will be used to purchase equipment for the Swamp Water and
Me program, which allows Collier County sixth graders to be scientists for the day, col-
lecting data and doing experiments in the cypress, prairie and pine lands environments.
For the 2015-16 school season, the program will host about 2,800 sixth graders.
The science students do everything from performing water quality tests and study-
ing the weather to comparing soils in three different habitats and tracking Florida pan-
thers (aka Beanie Babies for this exercise) with radio telemetry.
“We are going on the 17th year of this program, and hopefully this experience will
make these students stewards for the environment and help them really understand the
importance of the Big Cypress National Preserve and the National Park Service,” said
Lisa Andrews, the outreach and education coordinator for the Big Cypress National
Preserve. “It’s wonderful when people like Clyde and Niki assist with our outreach
efforts. They have been unbelievable supporters for as long as this program has been
in existence, and these events will help us reach the public and bring awareness to the
National Park Service, which turns 100 on August 25, 2016.”
The Clyde Butcher Big Cypress Gallery is located at Highway 41 Tamiami
Trail (mile marker 54.5) in Ochopee, Florida. For more information, visit www.
ClydeButcher.com or call 239-695-2428.
Gator Hook in Big Cypress National Preserve
photo by Clyde Butcher
Clyde and Niki Butcher
New Playground Blocks Bought With
Grant Money From San-Cap Rotary
Students at the Children’s Education Center of the Islands were thrilled to be
able to play and create with their new playground blocks. These blocks are
made to withstand the wear and tear of outdoor play, especially by preschoolers.
These blocks were bought with grant money received by the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary
Club. Play blocks encourage problem solving skills as well as help children develop motor
skills and hand-eye coordination, spatial skills, creative thinking, social skills and language
skills. There is also evidence that block play is linked with advance math skills.
Charlee Armstrong, with the help of Max Brodeur, demonstrates how her milliped house
will allow the millipeds to come and go as they please
CECI students were ready to test out their new table by requesting lunch outside
Cooperation is key as many preschoolers work together to construct their design that
ended up being many different things... depending on which child you talked to
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