Phone: 941-322-1000 | Email: [email protected]
Jasper Crowley, grandson of pioneer settler John Crowley, donated Crowley lands to the community in 1974. Jasper was a teacher at the Old Miakka one-room Schoolhouse from 1931-1943. In those days, people lived on enough land to keep a garden and some chickens, and the children had chores to help run the farms.
Jasper believed that if children worked in the garden and took care of farm animals, they learned to understand and respect nature’s cycles and to be self-sufficient. Oral histories from some of the young men that worked with Jasper are testament to the notion that bringing kids to the farm and teaching them about food production helped them realize they could provide for themselves.
Keeping to the mission of Crowley, we bring children to Crowley to experience natural systems and observe where their food comes from. At Crowley, students have opportunities to explore nature, observe sustainable farm practices and discover Florida’s unique pioneer history. Crowley is experiential learning for creating future citizens.
Please go to individual program listings for more information about our youth programs. Contact Dixie Resnick – [email protected] or leave message at 941-322-1000
Note: Click the button below to fill out our School Program Form
Kid's Wilderness Survival Skills Training
If the unthinkable happened, would your child will be prepared? Kid’s Wilderness Survival Skills Training Participants will learn survival skills like:
- Planning for the outdoors
- Finding direction
- Signaling for help
- Hunting tools
- Primitive fishing
- Water purifying
- Fire starting
Program content varies based on the age of the group.
Each participant will make a survival kit to take home.
Kid’s Survival Skills training is $10.00 per child, $5.oo for teachers or chaperones.
Available onsite at Crowley or at your school or camp.
For the Crowley site field trip bring bag lunches and have lunch on our picnic tables..
To schedule this field trip, please fill out form below,
Please also sign and return by mail or bring with you this liability waiver. Thank you!
Who is Invader Terminator?
Florida is being invaded–by foreign fish, giant reptiles, bromeliad-chomping weevils, cannibal frogs, and forests of exotic trees that smother every other living thing out of existence. Invader Terminators are those brave souls who want to fight back and help Florida’s native plants and animals reclaim their place in the world.
Crowley has a new program to show kids how to identify and remove invasive plants from their yards, from their local parks and from Florida’s natural areas. In the beginning the nature center will take reservations for small groups such as Scouts, schools, church groups, and neighborhood groups. To schedule your group, or to get more information, call 941 322-1000. The cost is $10 per student.
How to earn an Invader Terminator badge
- Take the Invader Terminator Basic Training
- Earn 1 Plant Invader Certificate
How to Use the Invader Terminator Scorecard
- Get permission to remove invasive plants from your chosen area.
- Spend 1 hour removing invasive plants at your chosen location.
- Have someone fill out one line and sign the scorecard to verify your work
- If you earn additional Plant Invader Certificates, record one on each line.
- Contact Crowley Museum and Nature Center for a list of awards for scorecards
Call: 941 322-1000
Write: 16405 Myakka Road, Sarasota, FL 34240
Where to remove invasive plants
Crowley Museum & Nature Center—work for an hour and play all day for free.
Myakka River State Park—show your badge, score card, & plant certificates at the gate, spend an hour removing invasive plants that you have learned to identify from picnic areas, trails or road shoulders. Then you can play in the park the rest of the day with no entrance charge. Be sure to get your scorecard signed.
Oscar Scherer State Park– show your badge, score card, & plant certificates at the gate, spend an hour removing invasive plants that you have learned to identify from picnic areas, trails or road shoulders. Then you can play in the park the rest of the day with no entrance charge. Be sure to get your scorecard signed.
Lake Manatee State Park– show your badge, score card, & plant certificates at the gate, spend an hour removing invasive plants that you have learned to identify from picnic areas, trails or road shoulders. Then you can play in the park the rest of the day with no entrance charge. Be sure to get your scorecard signed.
City and County parks in your neighborhood—be sure to have your parents sign your scorecard.
Schools—Get permission from your teacher first, and then be sure to have your teacher sign your scorecard.
Your yard—It’s a good idea to start at home and remove the category 1 & 2 invasive plants that you have learned to identify. Be sure to have your parent sign your scorecard.
Who donated the funds for Invader terminator badges?
This project was funded by a micro-grant from Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program.
The Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program is a partnership that protects the estuaries from Venice to Estero Bay. This partnership gives citizens, elected officials, resource managers, and commercial and recreational resource users in the 4,400-square-mile study area a voice to address diverse resource management concerns, including fish and wildlife habitat loss, water quality and water flow. The watershed in the study area includes all or portions of Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Polk, Hardee and DeSoto counties.
Good Resources to check out
For information on Florida invasive plants—
http://www.MyakkaRiver.org (Select the Ecology menu)
For information Florida invasive animals–
http://www.myfwc.com (Select the Wildlife and Habitats category)
To sign up for Charlotte Harbor NEP newsletter “Harbor Happenings”
A Day in the Life of a Pioneer
On Site Field Trip
Students studying life of early Florida pioneers will delight in this experiential learning program. Hands-on activities allow students to imagine what it would be like to live in Florida during 1830-1930 when pioneers homesteaded land.
A Day in the Life of a Florida Pioneer
Students will be met by period costumed, living history facilitators who will divide the students into groups for their pioneer experience. They will experience daily pioneer life on the farm, in the home, and social life. Artifacts and tools will be available for the children to handle and crafts will be demonstrated. They may shoot archery, watch and participate in blacksmithing, interact with farm animals and learn about their role on the farmstead, wash clothes in a cauldron and wring them out in the washhouse, take a history tour, make candles and learn about cooking on an open fire, make a pioneer toy, learn about and use pioneer tools and many more activities, depending on availability of docents.
Minimum for staff-led programs is 15 students. Multiple days may be scheduled for large groups.
Program starts at 10 am and goes to 11:30 am. Picnic tables are available for bagged lunches.
COST: $10 per student, $5 per adult
REMINDERS: Dress comfortably and wear appropriate clothing (closed-toed shoes and hats, etc.). Natural bug repellant and sunscreen available for purchase in shop. Refillable water bottles are ideal, water cooler on site.
CONTACT: Call 941-322-1000 or email: [email protected]
Please sign and return by mail or bring with you this liability waiver. Thank you!
Guided History Tour
Take a guided history tour through a homestead cabin, the historic Tatum house, the pioneer museum, blacksmith shop, sawmill, and Tatum Ridge one-room schoolhouse. Learn details about early settlers to the Old Miakka community. Approximately 90 minutes. Don’t have a group? Enjoy our self guided tour. Reservations required, group tour available by appointment minimum 8 participants. COST: $10 adults; $8.00 seniors, $5 kids 5-12, under 5 free. RESERVATIONS: Call 941-322-1000 or email [email protected]
Guided Nature Walk
Take a guided nature walk through a rare piece of undisturbed native Florida land and learn about the plants, birds, animals and bugs of five habitats including Pine Flatwoods, Oak Hammock, Maple Branch Swamp, Tatum Sawgrass marsh and the Myakka River. Approximately 90 minutes. Reservations required, group tour available by appointment minimum 8 participants. COST: $10 adults; $8.00 seniors, $5 kids 5-12, under 5 free. RESERVATIONS: Call 941-322-1000 or email: [email protected].