Ranger Programs at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
DAILY EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
Park rangers and volunteers present educational programs throughout the day, every day of the year.
Educational Program Schedule
Manatee Program - 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Wildlife Encounters - 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Alligator and Hippopotamus - 12:30 p.m.
Manatee programs are offered three times a day at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. A Park Ranger or Wildlife Care Volunteer presents an informative program on the history of this endangered marine mammal and general information on the wild manatee population. They also explain the State Park's role as a rehabilitation facility for injured and orphaned manatees in partnership with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Presenters show the audience manatee bones and tracking equipment to make the program more interesting and fun. Visitors may see the State Park's resident manatees in the spring, from the Fish Bowl underwater observatory or in the in-ground pool. Wild manatees can often be seen visiting the Blue Waters area off the Garden of the Springs.
Wildlife Encounter programs are held twice daily at 10:30 a.m. and at 2:30 p.m. at the Wildlife Encounter Pavilion. A Park Ranger or Wildlife Care Volunteer introduces an example of a native Florida species, which may be a bird of prey, an opossum, a gopher tortoise or a non-venomous snake. They discuss the species' range, diet and role in the eco-system and answer questions from the audience. Visitors are encouraged to preserve and protect Florida's native wildlife and natural resources.
Alligator and Hippopotamus Program
The alligator and hippopotamus program is presented daily at 12:30 p.m. A Park Ranger or Wildlife Care Volunteer discusses the history of the American alligator and its range, diet and role in the eco-system. After the alligator presentation, the ranger or volunteer introduces the Park's African hippopotamus, explaining why a Florida State Park has an example of this exotic species, how he came to be here, his history in television and film and why a Florida Governor made him an Honorary Florida citizen.
Transportation from the Visitor Center on U.S. 19 to the West Entrance is by boat or tram. Boats leave on a regular basis throughout the day with the last boat leaving the Visitor Center for the park at 3:15 p.m. The last returning boat departs the West Entrance at 3:45 p.m.; trams provide return transportation to the visitor center until 5:30 p.m. Boat trips are approximately 25 minutes in length and offer an introduction to the Florida Park Service and the wildlife park as you travel along Pepper Creek.