2021 Year in Review at CREW

River otter at CREW Flint Pen Strand

The CREW trails saw 51,664 people in 2021

Once in a lifetime panther pictures taken by guests at CREW Bird Rookery Swamp

Welcomed back third-graders, for the first time since 2019!

Florida Gulf Coast University students volunteered 2,012 hours

CREW Trust volunteers gave 4,425 hours in service

The NEW Purple Trail opened at CREW Flint Pen Strand

CREW Trust fundraiser began, Annual Trail Sponsors – look for signs at all trailheads

Register today for our weekly guided walks at the Marsh Trails

It’s the almost November, which means cooler temperatures, blooming wildflowers and time to register for our weekly guided walks!

Volunteer naturalist and spider enthusiast Janet Bunch returns for her second season leading our Marsh Trail interpretive hikes. Her walk takes guests through pine flatwoods and oak hammocks to the observation tower overlooking the 5,000-acre sawgrass marsh before traversing the short boardwalk and heading back to the trailhead.

Guests will learn about the plants and animals that call the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed their home and engage in lively, scholarly conversations with Janet and other CREW Trust Volunteers.

The walks are free but registration is required. Please visit our eventbrite page to register. Guided walks are held each Tuesday from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. November-March, excluding Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Check out what you can see today at the CREW Marsh Trails!

ACT NOW- Upcoming CREW Events

Pine lily

CREW kicks off this season with three great Saturday events:

Fungi/Mushroom Hunt with Ben “Mykes logos” Dion- September 26th 

Ben Dion leads mushroom walkThis walk will feature an in-depth introduction into the world of fungi, a discussion about fungi and their roles at CREW, and hands-on mushroom hunting and field identification. It takes place at the CREW Marsh Trails off Corkscrew Road. Benjamin Dion is the founder of the Southwest Florida Mycological Society. Known as “Mykes logos” in the mushroom world, Dion is a local expert on the identification, use, and ecological role of various fungi in the Southwest Florida area.

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fungimushroom-hunt-with-ben-mykes-logos-dion-


Fall Wildflower Walk with Brenda Thomas- October 3rd 

Join FGCU instructor and wildflower expert Brenda Thomas for this fabulous walk to identify fall-blooming flowers and grasses along the CREW Marsh Trails. The fall flowers are always spectacular after the wet growing season of summer. This is your chance to learn from someone whose passion for plants is unsurpassed!Pine lily

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fall-wildflower-walk-with-brenda-thomas-registration-18247392442




Florida’s Fabulous Spiders: A CREW Strolling Science Seminar- October 10th 

 This is CREW’s first Strolling Science Seminar- We are starting off the season with one of the top Spider Specialist, Dr. G.B. Edwards.

Do you know how many types of spiders are in the Florida and in world?  Do you know what the role of spiders are in nature?  Can you identify the few types of spiders that are medically important?  Do you know how to safely catch and release spiders in the home?  If the answer to any of these questions is NO, then this  program is for you.

We will go on a hike, looking for different kinds of spiders in their natural habitat.  In the fall, we should find many large orbweavers, but many other types of spiders as well.  Participants are encouraged to take photos, and in some cases, feed the spiders to observe their prey-capture behavior.  We will discuss do’s and don’ts of handling spiders!  Get all your questions about spiders answered!

CREW Guided Walks Begin in November

Bird Rookery Swamp TrailIt’s been a long, hot summer, but the cool fronts are moving through and the rains are getting scarce, and that means it’s time for us to crank up our regular Guided Walks at the CREW Trails. Starting in November – and running through April – regular guided walks will be held at the CREW Marsh Trails (led by Dr. David Cooper) and at Bird Rookery Swamp (led by George Luther, Bob Melin,  Chrissy Podos, and Jack Shine). This year, we’re adding a third “regular” walk at the CREW Cypress Dome Trails (led by Dick Brewer). Guided walks include some history of CREW and interpretation of the natural world found at each site.

Each trail is unique and each walk leader has his/her own special talents and stories to share. Come on out for one or all three. These CREW walks are free, but pre-registration is highly recommended since they often fill up, and registered participants get first dibs on space.

CREW Marsh Trail Walks with Dr. David Cooper
1st and 3rd Tuesdays and 2nd Saturdays (November – April)
9:00 AM – noon
Get more info and register here: http://2015crewmarshwalks.eventbrite.com
Bird Rookery Swamp Trail Walks
with George Luther & Bob Melin
Wednesdays (9 – 11:30 AM) – November through April
1st Sundays (1:30 – 4 PM) – November through April
4th Saturdays (9 – 11:30 AM) – November through August
with Chrissy Podos
1st and 4th Thursdays (9 – 11:30 AM) – February and March
with Jack Shine
2nd and 3rd Thursdays (9 – 11:30 AM) – February and March
Get more info and register here for all BRS walks: https://crewbrs2015.eventbrite.com
CREW Cypress Dome Trail Walks with Dick Brewer
3rd Fridays (November – March)
9:00 AM – noon
Get more info and register here: http://2015crewcdtwalks.eventbrite.com

CREW Marsh boardwalk
CREW Marsh boardwalk

Happy Trails – see you out there!



Sneak Peek: CREW Fall Schedule of Events

Sunflowers at Cypress Dome Trails

Fall is right around the corner and that means cooler weather (we hope) and more trail activity, including visitors and school groups coming to CREW to learn and play. We’ve got some fabulous programs planned for you this year. Here’s a sneak peek at our fall schedule. For full details and/or to register for CREW programs, check out our list of events on Eventbrite (or use the calendar on the CREW homepage to scroll through the months and see what’s coming).

September 2014

  • September 24 – 30 – National Take a Child Outside Week (why not bring them the CREW?)
  • September 26 – CREW Board of Trustees Meeting at Estero Community Center
  • September 27 – Mushroom Walk w/ Ben Dion (SOLD OUT – waiting list)

October 2014

  • October 4 – Sunflower Festival – Pepper Ranch (CREW will have a table there)
  • October 4 – Field Trip Specialist Teacher Training (for Collier 3rd grade teachers)
  • October 18 – Fall Wildflower Walk with Brenda Thomas
  • October 19 – Ding Darling Days – Family Fun Day (CREW will have a table there)
  • All month long – Lots of elementary, high school and college field trips 

November 2014

Raccoon (photo by George Luther)
Raccoon (photo by George Luther)

December 2014 – Bicycle tour at Bird Rookery, Geocaching, and more….

See you on the trails – let’s do this!

CREW Announces 4th Saturday Summer Walks at Bird Rookery Swamp

The CREW Land & Water Trust is pleased to announce new 4th Saturday Guided Walks at the Bird Rookery Swamp this summer. 4th Saturday Walks at Bird Rookery Swamp are offered FREE of charge on the 4th Saturday of each month, May through August. Join CREW Land & Water Trust volunteer naturalists, George Luther and Bob Melin, for an entertaining and informative 2.5-hour guided walk on a portion of the CREW Bird Rookery Swamp trails near Naples, FL. 

Walks are open to the first 24 people who register. Walk-ins are welcome if space is available on the day of the walk. Registration for 4th Saturday Walks is online at http://goo.gl/IHpbTA

Bird Rookery Swamp Trail
Bird Rookery Swamp Trail


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Celebrate Spring Wildflowers with Special Hikes at CREW


The CREW Trails are spectacular showcases for wildflowers in the springtime. The CREW Marsh Trails and the Cypress Dome Trails are particularly bountiful. We are already seeing a few grass pink orchids (Calapogon tuberosus) popping up along the trail edges, along with sneezeweed, shiny blueberries, marsh pinks, violets, a variety of milkworts, and much more.

To celebrate and help you enjoy these flowers, we have two special wildflower walks scheduled for early April:

glen stacell wf hike
Glen Stacell

Roger Hammer
Roger Hammer

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