Big Bend Biodiversity Tours

This series of ecotours is designed to explore the plants and animals that make Florida’s Big Bend region a biodiversity hotspot.

Upcoming Tours

Secrets of the Savanna – June 20th 9 am

Please join CPI President Ryan Means exploring every corner of our very own Rowlett’s Creek Preserve.  The property is located in the western Apalachicola National Forest, near Sumatra and inside one of the world’s finest and largest remaining intact longleaf pine savannah ecosystems.  We’ll walk gently along discovering plants, animals, and discussing the delicate ecological relationships that make the Longleaf Pine savannah so biologically diverse.  We’ll also learn about the many management techniques that CPI uses to restore our property back to a healthy, diverse longleaf pine ecosystem and maintain it in that state forever.  We’ll probably get wet in a few creeks, slog in a bit of muck, and handle a few creatures while we are at it….Don’t forget your cameras.  We’ll spend some time photographing flowers, pollinators, and breathlessly beautiful landscapes.  Ryan will be out there at 9 a.m. to meet and greet and get started shortly thereafter.  Please bring a lunch and water in a day pack, along with hats, camera, and sunscreen.   You may want to bring yourself a change of clothes depending on how wet and soiled you get.

We ask that you bring masks to wear during initial orientation and other times when we may be closer together but masks will not be required the whole time. We can easily space ourselves out by 10 feet during our experiences.

Cost $25 per person, proceeds go towards helping us maintaining the preserve through regular, prescribed fire and sharing the conservation work we do with others.

To register, click Buy Now below. Detailed directions and other info will be sent upon registration.

Registration

If you are interested in booking a private tour, please contact us with possible dates and general interests (wildflowers, restoration, photography, amphibians, birds, etc.) and we can design a tour specifically for your group.

Past Tours 

Secrets of the Savanna – October 2019

This all day tour was focused on exploring every corner of our Rowlett’s Creek Preserve.  The property is located smack in the middle of the western Apalachicola National Forest inside one of the world’s finest and largest remaining intact longleaf pine savannah ecosystems.  We talked about the many management techniques that CPI uses to restore our property back to a healthy, diverse longleaf pine ecosystem and maintain it in that state forever, got wet in a few creeks, slogged in a bit of muck, and spent time photographing flowers, pollinators, and breathlessly beautiful landscapes.

Fire in the Forest – July 2019


This all-day foray to Rowlett’s Creek Preserve, occurred just less than a month after a prescribed burn. The goal was to see the ecological impacts of a fire conducted during the natural fire season. We searched for the many flowered-grass pink, a state-threatened orchid, Chapman’s crownbeard, and other endemic/rare species that require summer burns to survive.  Participants saw first-hand why we make such an effort to mimic the natural fire regime.

Apalachicola Lowlands – October 2018

This first in our series of tours was an intimate driving and walking tour of the Apalachicola Lowlands. We traveled  to our own Rowlett’s Creek Preserve, an 80-acre inholding within the western Apalachicola National Forest. While the longleaf pine ecosystem was our overall focus, we also zoomed in on unique habitats such as pitcher plant bogs, ephemeral wetlands, and blackwater streams. Participants got up close and personal with amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates, and wildflowers galore!