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VISTE outing at Circle B Bar Reserve

May 5, 2012

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” John Muir.

While it is true that everybody needs beauty, not all have the means or resources to explore a wooded trail, watch wading birds at a lush wetland, or share a picnic lunch with friends when the soul is in need of nourishment.

The “clients” of Lakeland area Volunteers in Service to the Elderly (VISTE) enjoyed all of these soul-nourishing activities in an exclusive Ancient Islands Sierra outing at the Circle B Bar Reserve on April 27th. Because VISTE clients (age 70 and above) often struggle to live independently and safely in their own homes, this outing was designed to provide a rejuvenating experience punctuated with fresh air, wildlife, and comradery.

The Nature Center tram- with Janet Jackson as our narrating guide, Bob Hardy as driver, and Frances Coleman as assistant- took our group through lush oak hammock, across sandy uplands, and along the shoreline of Banana Creek. At various times, participants had their binoculars intently focused on an eagle’s nest, or a wading shorebird, or a soaring osprey, or an alligator cruising for his next meal.

Evidence of oppressive drought was seen in shriveled Resurrection Fern and areas of dried up wetlands. But the Banana Creek area was brimming with life: Spoonbill, Moorhen, Limpkin, Snowy Egret, Cormorant, Dowitcher, Sandhill Crane, Tricolored Heron, Whistling Duck, and even Black-Necked Stilt- all were fabulous, beautiful, and captivating.

Frances provided a helpful overview of Circle B Bar to the group and answered many nature questions on the tram tour. Outing Leader Gail Bagley told the group about John Muir’s conservation work and eventual launching of the Sierra Club. Participants enjoyed a delightful picnic lunch provided by the VISTE staff. Each received a unique John Muir quote to remember the “beauty as well as bread” and a lovely morning at Circle B Bar.


Photo of participants at Circle B Bar

The group enjoyed a fabulous tram tour, with numerous sitings of wildlife!










Circle B Bar Reserve and the Discovery Center is located at:

4399 Winter Lake Road-(SR 540-Lakeland, FL 33803

Location Link:

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