October’s regularly scheduled Tram Tour will not take place on the second Friday due to the Fall Bay Day Celebration which will be held on Saturday, Oct. 13. There will be four Tram Tours on Oct. 13 beginning at 9:30 am ET and continuing throughout the day at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. An extraordinary Low Country Boil with fresh-caught local shrimp, Kielbasa sausage, new potatoes, corn-on-the-cob, and onions are one of the highlights of the day. This delicious plate is served with coleslaw, garlic bread and sweet tea. All this for a $10 donation. Wonderful homemade sweet treats will be available for purchase also.
There is also the wonderful opportunity to get up early and catch a fantastic birding tour which departs from the deck of the Preserve Visitor Center and ends on St. Joseph Peninsula. Ron Houser of the Bay County Audubon Society is an excellent leader for this birding trip. Several stops allow for exciting sightings of different birds. Meet at the Visitor Center, travel in your own vehicle with the group and enjoy locating different birds at the stops. Your birding tour will be completed by 11am just in time to try the first batch of Low Country Shrimp Boil.
There will be a sign up for the Tram Tours at the registration table at the Visitor Center. You will sign up for the specific time (9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.) beginning at 8:30 a.m. At the time of your tour you will present your free ticket to the ticket taker at the Tram which will be located at the bottom of the stairs. Tickets reserved for each time slot can only be used for that specific time. See the heart of the Preserve and learn how the staff monitors, manages, and records the natural communities. You will see zones that have benefitted from prescribed burns, areas where the hydrology is being restored to its natural state, and how and why invasive plants and animals are being controlled.
Dylan Shoemaker, preserve manager said, “This is one of the two best days for the buffer preserve. Volunteers make the day extra special with great food, planning, and time invested in the event. Staff of the preserve spend many hours preparing for the event to insure it is extraordinary for our visitors. We hope everyone will come out and enjoy being outdoors, eating an excellent shrimp boil, and just relaxing and visiting. It is a great day!”
Bay Day is presented by the Friends of St. Joseph Bay Preserves. A recently added opportunity to help St. Joseph Bay Preserves is the Live Auction Thursday night before Saturday’s celebration. Some great items donated by awesome sponsors will be offered for a donation to the Friends. Charter Fishing, restaurant certificates, places to stay, and many services such as haircuts, facials, spa treatments, and many more opportunities to make your day and help the Buffer and Aquatic Preserves. Over 220 Sponsors have contributed items to make the Live Auction on Thursday, the Silent Auction and Raffle on Saturday, one of the best events in the area.
Lynda White, Board President hopes to see lots of faces at the Live Auction 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11. She said, “Volunteers have worked tirelessly to secure items for our auctions and raffle. This is a super opportunity to get started early for your Christmas shopping, or a birthday gift for a special person, or just get a great bargain while helping the St. Joseph Bay Aquatic and Buffer Preserves. There are lots of unusual and outstanding items which are looking for a home. Come on out and help the Preserves. Your donation makes it possible for the Friends to purchase property, provide needed equipment, sponsor events and other projects. See you on Oct. 11 and 13!”
Want more information? Call Sandra at 229-1787, Ext. 1 from 9a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.