Nature Center Programs

TGO Nature Center Programs


The TGO Nature Center hosts a speaker series from January to March each year whereby we invite speakers to educate us on different aspects of nature and other topics of interest to our community.  The presentations are held on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Plantation Manor.  These presentations are both educational and entertaining.  We ask for a small donation to defray the cost of inviting the speaker.  Listed below are some of the past and present topics and speakers we have enjoyed.


2018 Nature Center Programs

Sandy Juba has another great line-up of speakers. Below are the 2018 speaker topics and dates.

January 10 – Status Of Our Water Resources

Join Dr. Jennifer Mitchell to learn about the status of our water resources and how we can have a positive impact.

January 17 – Turtles And Tortoises

Ariel Horner, Naturalist, will be educating you with all turtles and tortoises that Florida has.

January 24 – TGO & Alligators

Join our very own Natalie Hoffman as she presents a very informative discussion about alligators.  She frequently does this same program at the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge.

February 7 – SJRWMD Presentation

Graham William is the current Land Manager for the St. Johns River Water Management District.  We are surrounded by the land managed by Graham.  Learn how we interact with them and what they actually do.

February 14 – Hummingbirds

Did you know we have hummingbirds in TGO. Reinier Munguia is a noted photographer and nature enthusiast.  He is well known for his speaking presentations and has been doing programs for us many times.  His wealth of knowledge on these tiny birds is extraordinary.

February 28 – Winter Birds Of Florida

Sam Fried is a noted photographer who has been all over the world.  He is a frequent speaker at the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival in January.

March 7 – Hiking The Appalachian Trail

TGO residents Roger and Gail Stairs just completed the whole route from Georgia to Mt. Katahdin in Maine.  Come hear all the ups and downs they had on this momentous trip.


2017 Nature Center Programs

Sandy Juba has been working her magic again to bring us an outstanding line-up of Wednesday night programs. Programs are held from 7 to 8 PM in the Plantation Manor. Be sure to put the dates below on your calendar as you do not want to miss any of these presentations!

January 4 – Bromeliads

Did you know that bromeliads are part of the pineapple family?  These “air plants” are unique in how they grow and at the same time endangered.  Theresa Cooper, PhD, is trying to save these beautiful plants. Come and hear her story.

January 18 – Galapagos Islands

Ed Swan, one of our own TGO residents will be enlightening us as to the history of the Galapagos Islands. It is nature at its best.  It is considered one of the world’s foremost destinations for wildlife viewing.

January 25 – Honeybees

Bill Matanis is a local beekeeper who also specializes in the removal of unwanted honeybees (without killing them). They are very endangered and without them, there would be no pollination of our plants. Come hear this very important topic.

February 15 – Florida Amphibians

Ariel Horner, Naturalist with Brevard County, will be educating you with all amphibians that nature has to offer in Florida. There are good ones and then there are the invasive species that are detrimental to our native wildlife.

February 22 – Eagles

Becky Bolt is a wildlife biologist at Kennedy Space Center. She has done a lot of studies and one of her specialties is eagles. Come and learn about our national emblem.

March 1 – Who Pooped In My Backyard???

Have you ever wondered who was wandering in your backyard and left a present?  TGO is full of wildlife, yet sometimes all you get to see are the hints they leave behind.  Scout Fretwell, MLIS, MS (TGO resident) will enlighten you with lots of information and visuals.


2016 Nature Center Programs

January 6—Sharks

Brandon Smith, Environmental Program Coordinator for Brevard County Parks & Recreation, will explain why sharks are decreasing in numbers.  You will learn about shark biology, behavior, and conservation.  Artifacts will be available to touch and feel.

January 13— Indian River Lagoon

“We have to stop before we start”.  Don George is an Environmental Consultant  for a Cocoa Company and also a Resource Manager for the Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral.  His focus is preserving the Indian River Lagoon.  Learn the many issues with the lagoon and what needs to be done.

January 20—Sea Beans

Margie Mitchell has been involved in the annual Sea-Bean Symposium and Beachcomers’ Festival for many years. Her wealth of knowledge will amaze you. Come see her collection of sea beans (will also have giveaway items).

February 3—The Bats Of TGO

Shari-Blissett Clark  —  Operates a privately-funded conservation organization dedicated to conserving Florida’s native bees and bats. We have lots of bats here in TGO.  She will educate us on how we can help these endangered animals. Each bat can eat 3,000 mosquitoes in one hour.

February 10—Kennedy Space Center — What’s Happening Now?

Kate Perez has worked as an educator and VIP Tour Guide at the Visitor Center.  She now works as a volunteer VIP and press escort for NASA.  She will inform us about the ISS, NASA’s SLS Rocket and Orion capsule, the Falcon 9 rocket and its Dragon capsule, amongst other things.

February 17—Fire Control In TGO

Join our very own Don Payne, along with the Division of Forestry, Brevard County Fire Department, and St. Johns Water Management District.  Learn the hazards surrounding our community and what we can do about it.  Everyone should attend this very important program.


 2015 Nature Center Programs

January 7 – Lion Fish

Brandon Smith, Environmental Program Coordinator for Brevard County Parks & Recreation, will explain how the lionfish is probably the worst environmental disaster the Atlantic will ever face.

January 21 – Sandhill Cranes

Noted photographer Reinier Munguia will enlighten you about the sandhill cranes.  They are currently experiencing a decline that could only get worse as climate change and development continues.

January 28 – Astronomy

Mark Femminineo brings a lot of knowledge as a member of both KSC and Orlando Astronomy Clubs.  It is an overview of astronomy as a hobby for all ages.  There is also a telescopic tour of the early spring sky highlights, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies.

February 11 – The Birds, The Bees …and The Beetles

Shari-Blissett Clark  operates a privately-funded conservation organization dedicated to conserving Florida’s native bees and bats. This program discusses the process of pollination andthe importance of native animals as pollinators.  Emphasis is placed on the role these pollinators play in the human food supply and overall health of ecosystems on the planet.

February 18 – Dinosaurs

Dr. Rod Villemaire, PhD, Oologist.  Nationally certified avian specialist, renowned exotic animal trainer & behaviorist, & published author. This lecture covers the similarities and differences between dinosaurs and birds of today.  It merges the sciences of paleontology and ornithology.

February 25 – Coyotes

Tom Shupe is the District Wildlife Biologist working out of the Tosohatchee WMA Field Office.  Coyotes have now been found in TGO, so Tom will inform us how to live with these wily animals.

March 4 – Alligators

We have our very own Mark Stever to inform us about alligators.  He was a former gator wrangler from Hilton Head Island.  Hear the inside stories on these ancient animals.


2014 Nature Center Programs

January 8 – Florida on Fire presented by Rachel Wentz

January 15 – Pelican Island NWR presented by Dave Brown

January 22 – Oology presented by Dr. Rod Villemaire

February 5 – Water Everywhere presented by Harley Means

February 12 –  Mollusks presented by Joel Wooster

February 19 – Florida Fossils presented by Dave Celli

March 5 – The Fungus Among Us presented by Jay Barnhart


2013 Nature Center Programs

January 9 – Primate Rescue Center presented by April/Clay Pruitt

January 16 – Computer Viruses Etc. presented by Dr. Richard Ford

January 23 – Trouper presented by Dot Lee

February 6 – Indian River Lagoon Biodiversity presented by Kathy Hill

February 13 – Bears, Alligators, and Panthers presented by Ed L’Heureux

February 20 – Monarch Butterfly presented by Linda Jones

March 6 – TGO Before TGO presented by Bob Gross


2012 Nature Center Programs

January 4 – Historical Titusville presented by Roz Foster

January 18 – Indigo Snakes presented by Becky Bolt

January 25 – Bats presented by Cyndi/Geo Marks

February 8 – Earth’s Water presented by Dr. George Maul

February 15 – NASA Past/Present/Future presented by Kaylee Derby

February 29 – Ostriches presented by Pay Payne

March 14 –Marine Mammals presented by Ron Thorstad


2011 Nature Center Programs

January 12 – Yard Lizards presented by Steve Isham

January 19 – Plankton presented by Chad Truxell

January 26 – Live Florida Reptiles presented by Reinier Munguia

February 9 – Critters/Cows/Cowboys presented by Bob Montanaro

February 16 – Nesting Sea Turtles presented by Jim Angy

February 23 – Scrub Jays presented by Mike Legare

March 9 – Canids & Exotic Species presented by Tim Graham


2010 Nature Center Programs

January 6 – AIS Indians presented by Dave McDonald

January 13 – Right Whales presented by Julie Albert

January 27 – Barn Owls presented by Dr. Richard Raid

February 3 – Prescribed Burns presented by Betty Salter

February 17 – History of Astronomy presented by Hakeem Oluseyi

February 24 – Florida Panthers presented by Deborah Ferraro

March 3 – Ospreys presented by Bob Montanaro


2009 Nature Center Programs

January 14 – Piracy in Florida presented by Dr. Matthew Ruane

January 21 – Nature Photography presented by Joanne Williams

January 28 – Fort Christmas presented by Shirley Truex

February 4 – Windover Digs presented by Rachel Wentz

February 11 – Wildlife Care Center presented by Paul/Jennifer Sypiens

February 25 – Alligators presented by Kathy Eichinger

March 4 – Butterfly Buddies presented by Sandee Natowich


2008 Nature Center Programs

January 16 – Florida Friendly Landscape presented by Maureen Phillips

January 23 – Gopher Tortoises presented by Ray Ashton

January 30 – Bio-Archeology presented by Rachel Wentz

February 6 – Lightning Stalker presented by David Stillings

February 13 – Wildlife Rehab Center presented by Ron/Carol Hardee

February 27 – Feral Hogs presented by Tom O’Neal

March 5 – Natural Hazards presented by George Maul


2007 Nature Center Programs

January 17 – Sea Turtles presented by Preservation Society

January 24 – Life of Birds presented by Reinier Munguia

January 31 – Bats presented by Sherry Blissett Clark

February 7 – Deer presented by Tom O’Neal

February 28 – Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge presented by Nancy Corona

March 7 – Next Generation Spaceships presented by Russ Romanella

March 14 – Nature Photography presented by Joel Reynolds


2006 Nature Center Programs

January 11 – Brevard County Indians presented by Tom Penders

January 25 – Bees presented by Alan Neiman

February 1 – Ghostly Crabs presented by Dr. Richard Turner

February 8 – Purple Martins presented by Chuck Blakey

February 22 – Florida Fossils presented by Brian Sherman

March 1 – Turtles and Reptiles presented by Paul Schlueb

March 8 – Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge presented by Ed

March 22 – Oyster Reefs-Indian River Lagoon presented by Anne Birch


2005 Nature Center Programs

January 12 – Florida Wildlife Hospital presented by Sue Smal

January 26 – Lightning Stalker presented by David Stillings

February 2 – Prehistory of Brevard presented by Tom Penders

February 9 – Medicine Thru History presented by Matthew Ruane

February 23 – Manatees of Indian River Lagoon presented by Anne Spellman

March 2 – Native Gardens presented by Eileen Szuchy

March 16 – Seabeans presented by Ed Perry

March 30 – Waterbirds presented by Eric Stolen

We will be offering other presentations in the future which will be listed in the TGO Nature Center section of the “The Happenings“.


TGO Nature Center – “Living in Harmony with Nature

Contact Us

To reserve the meeting room, contact:

Josiah Monk at Recreation Services for reservations on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

Loretta Anne’ for all other times.