The Sykes Creek Family Eco-Festival will take place on February 19 at Kiwanis Island Park.
Those attending the festival will be able to:
- Discover opportunities to explore and enjoy the natural areas of Brevard County.
- Meet people and organizations involved with the environmental aspects of Brevard County.
- Delve into the history and archaeology of the Indian River Lagoon region.
- Listen to music performed by outstanding local musicians.
- Make oyster mats to help restore the Indian River Lagoon.
- Take cruises on pontoon boats with Wildside Tours and Space Coast River Tours ($3 per adult, $2 per child). Two pontoon boats will operate continuously from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Experience a brief guided kayak trip in Sykes Creek with Village Outfitters. Join a group of paddlers for an approximately 30 minute trip around an island in Sykes Creek.
- Take part in a Hook Kids on Fishing – free clinic on casting, conservation and knot tying for kids ages 6 to 16. Adult accompaniment required.
- Enter the Student Nature Photo Contest
- Take part in games, crafts and other activities for children
Hook Kids on Fishing clinic
The Merritt Island Hook Kids on Fishing program will offer a free fishing clinic for children ages 6 – 16. Children will learn casting and knot-tying techniques, as well as catch-and-release safety and habitat restoration. The clinic will be taught by professional local fishing guides.
The first 100 children to register will receive a free rod, reel and tackle box. The event will run from 9 – 11 a.m. Pre-registration can be made by calling 321-455-1385.
History of Ulumay
The Ulumay Wildlife Sanctuary in Merritt Island was the site of several Native American villages from the Ais Tribe, that was mapped first in 1605, when the Spanish Governor Pedro de Ybarra sent Lt. Alvaro Mexia on a diplomatic mission. Ulumay was documented as a village of the Ais Indians who disappeared around 1720. The name Ulumay has survived as the name of the Ulumay Wildlife Sanctuary, named by naturalist and local historian Johnnie Johnson.
The first residence on Merritt Island, Sams House, was moved from Eau Gallie and occupied in 1878. This property is located approximately ten miles North of Ulumay, near the entrance to Kennedy Space Center. The population of Merritt Island grew slowly from 1878 until the 1950s when the space program began.
No records indicate that humans have occupied the Ulumay Wildlife Sanctuary since the departure of the Native Americans. However, the population of the surrounding areas grew rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s with the strong influence of the space
program. The Friends of Ulumay are co-sponsors for the festival. Their goal is to preserve and enhance the area by informing the public through eco-festivals such as this one.
This year’s event will be held at Kiwanis Island Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 19. Kiwanis Island Park is located on Sykes Creek, just north of S.R. 520. Admission is $1 per person.
For more activities taking place on the Space Coast, go to Space Coast Life.