An Amazing Look at CREW Through Animals’ Eyes

This morning at the CREW Marsh Trails, twelve curious adults gathered around FGCU animal behavior professor Charles (billY) Gunnels as he spoke about animal behavior from the perspective of the animals at CREW. billY led a scholarly Strolling Science Seminar that wove together observations, evolution, epigenetics, and the ethics of scientific research. It was fascinating and engaging stuff  and gave everyone a reason to think deeper and look differently at the world around us. One participant was overheard saying, “This is the best guided hike I’ve ever been on!” One of our goals for this series is to provide engaging, in-depth, scholarly hikes that feed your mind and get you excited. We hope we hit the mark! Thanks to all who came out and participated. Thanks to billY for doing a fabulous job – as always – of teaching and inspiring us to learn more. Take a look below at some images from the day…

The next CREW Strolling Science Seminar is “The Fantastic World of Insects” with master teacher and NC State Alumni Distinguished Professor, Dr. Clyde Sorenson, on March 2nd. To sign up, go here.

New Marsh Trail Hikes added to CREW schedule

Due to popular demand, we have added three more guided hikes led by our fabulous volunteer Master Naturalist, Dr. David Cooper. These hikes are general natural history and interpretive hikes that stroll approximately 3 miles through pine flatwoods, oak hammock, popash slough and sawgrass marsh. Hikes run from 9 AM to noon.

In addition to his usual 3rd Tuesday hikes, the new hike dates are:
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Saturday March 17, 2012
and Saturday, April 21, 2012.

To register, click here: Register for More Guided Hikes @CREW Marsh on Eventbrite

CREW in Bonita & Estero Magazine

The CREW watershed is the subject of the cover article in this month’s Bonita & Estero magazine: “Back to Nature: Hiking the Watershed”. The article tells the story of Bird Rookery Swamp.

This issue also features on its cover a photo of a green tree frog taken at CREW by Kennedy Hanson, long-time CREW volunteer. Check it out at your local bookstore or news stand.

New Bird Rookery Guided Hikes Scheduled

Photo by Kathy Broyard

Do you want to hike the Bird Rookery Swamp trails with an expert naturalist and storyteller? Here’s your chance to learn all about the cultural and natural history of Bird Rookery Swamp. See bobcat and bear sign, find birds and butterflies, enjoy gorgeous scenery, and hike among the beautiful cypress and maple trees.

CREW volunteer, George Luther, will be leading hikes on most Wednesday mornings, January through March 2012 from 9:00 AM to noon. George’s sense of humor, extraordinary knowledge and outdoor skills will have you coming back for more.

Dates for the hikes are: January 4, 11, and 25; February 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29; March 7, 14, 21, and 28.

Space is limited. Register today! To register for a guided Wednesday Hike at Bird Rookery Swamp, go to or click here

Register for Guided Hike @ Bird Rookery Swamp in Naples, FL  on Eventbrite

Volunteer for Trail Clean Up Day – Nov. 5

Want to make a difference? Come on out to CREW for our annual Trail Clean Up Day on November 5, 2011 – 8:00!

Volunteers are needed to help clean up the CREW Trails for the winter/spring hiking season. Volunteers will weed whack, pull exotic plants, trim branches from trails, help install signs, remove debris, sweep boardwalk, repair signs and interpretive structures, pick up trash along Corkscrew Road, and more…

FGCU students can earn service-learning hours! Bring your forms with you….

We’ll organize into teams and divide up work. The CREW Trust will provide water and snacks.  Pre-registration is required so we can assign people to teams. To register, please call 239-657-2253 or email

Visit CREW

CREW Bird Rookery Swamp on the far northwestern portion. Photo by Brandon Stossel

The CREW Trust has worked diligently with the South Florida Water Management District and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to ensure public access and recreation opportunities on these public lands we call CREW.

There are exceptional recreational opportunities for people of all ages on over 36 miles of hiking trails, with more planned in the future. The CREW project now has four trail systems open to the public, two located off of Corkscrew Road (County Road 850), one off of Bonita Beach Road and one located off of Immokalee Road (see map above).

For more information about visiting each of the trails, click the links below.

CREW Marsh Trails

CREW Cypress Dome Trails

Bird Rookery Swamp Trails

CREW Flint Pen Strand Trails 

Caracara Prairie Preserve Trails

Free Downloadables: CREW Trail Guides & Education Materials

CREW Trail Use Guidelines

For more information about other recreational activities, click the following links:



Horseback Riding


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