Please join us at the 15th annual Charlotte Harbor Nature Festival

— a day to learn about and enjoy the natural environment of southwest Florida

Saturday, November 22, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Please note that there is no rain date. On the day of the festival, updates on the status of the festival due to weather conditions will be available by calling 866/835-5785 x 240.

Charlotte Sports Park ~ Directions

2300 El Jobean Rd./S.R. 776 ~ 2.5 miles west of U.S. 41

Free. Thanks to sponsors and proceeds from an onsite raffle, both admission and parking are free.

Festival tote bags will be given as gifts (1/car while supplies last).

Enjoy the day connecting with nature, exploring and learning about the natural environment of southwest Florida. The festival will once again be filled with activities and exhibits for people of all ages to enjoy, including more than 50 nature exhibits, local artists, and the Mote Marine Laboratory mobile exhibit with its touch tanks. The Children’s Discovery Zone will be packed with games and activities, including a fossil dig. Children (4 to 14) will also learn about fish and fishing and then receive a free fishing pole while supplies last! On Nov. 18 more exhibitor and activity details will be provided in the program. Refreshments and lunch will be available for purchase.
The festival is organized and supported by a dedicated group of volunteers representing a diverse number of organizations, associations, businesses and agencies. It has remained free to the public due to the generous support of sponsors and proceeds from a raffle held at the festival.

We hope that you will participate in the 15th annual Charlotte Harbor Regional Nature Festival, making it bigger and better than ever.

— Planning Committee Charlotte Harbor Nature Festival


Festival Program ~ Raffles and Silent Auction ~ Walks and Rides ~ Exhibitors and Activities


We've created short videos of the 2013, 2012 and 2011 festivals that are posted on YouTube.

2014 promotional material will soon be added. 2013 Flier (PDF, JPG). Radio PSA produced by WGCU Public Media. Watch for our ads in Charlotte Sun.

Exhibitors (from 2013, 2014 exhibitors to be added week of Nov. 3)

Entrance/Raffle: * Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program

Environmental Stewards: * Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife * CCA Florida * Charlotte County Community Services Department * Charlotte County Mosquito Control * Charlotte County Parks & Natural Resources * Charlotte County Utilities * Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau * City of North Port * City of Winter Haven Natural Resources Division * Coastal Wildlife Club * CREW Land & Water Trust * Florida Department of Environmental Protection * Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Division of Marine Fisheries * Florida Trail Association * Friends of Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves * Friends of Oscar Scherer Park * Friends of Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve * How to Read a Florida Gulf Coast Beach * Keep Charlotte Beautiful * King Fisher Fleet * Lemon Bay Conservancy * Peace River Audubon Society * Peace River Wildlife Center * Sarasota County Natural Resources * Sierra Club of Charlotte Harbor * Southwest Florida Water Management District * U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 9-2 * WGCU Public Media

Florida-Friendly Zone: * Beautiful Ponds * Calusa Heritage Trail at the Randell Research Center * CAPS and USDA-APHIS-PPQ * Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center * Chemwise Nutrients * Elizabeth Parker - L & B By The Sea * Florida Bat Conservancy * Florida Master Naturalist Program * Florida Native Plants, Inc. * Green Leaf Worm Farm * Historic Spanish Point * Mangrove Chapter, Florida Native Plant Society * Riverwood Community Association Audubon Committee  * The Back Ten Feet

Children’s Discovery Zone: * Aquatic Systems Mosquito Education * Babcock Wilderness Adventures * Barrier Island Parks Society, Inc. * Carol Mahler, Author and Storyteller, reading from Adventures in the Charlotte Harbor Watershed * CHNEP What’s an Estuary touch tank. Children will receive their own 3-power binoculars after learning about estuaries. * Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast * Face painting by Jahna * J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge * Kids Fishing Clinic: Fishing poles will be given to the first children who go through a short class and demonstration led by Charlotte County Parks & Natural Resources Dept and Fish Florida. The children must be between 4 and 14, able to read, able to cast after instruction. If a child received this gift at an earlier festival, please leave these for those who haven’t received one. * Littleton Elementary School watershed model * Miami Mining & Minerals * Mosaic Fossil Dig: Discover prehistoric fossils of native animals that lived in Florida millions of years ago! * Mote Marine Laboratory Charlotte Harbor Education Initiative * Nature On Wheels

Stand Alone Exhibits:
* Florida Forest Service Myakka District 15
* Angler Pocket Guides
* Mote Marine Laboratory Mobile Exhibit: See up close some of the animals that live in our waters!
* Councell Farms
* The Lee County Green Bus Experience 4 Rs of Sustainability: Reduce, ReUse, ReThink, and Recycle.
* WaterVentures Florida’s Learning Lab, a 53-foot traveling science center featuring enriching and engaging activities that offer a hands-on look at Florida’s diverse watersheds, water conservation and recycling.

Activities (see exhibitors for more fun)

Guided Walks

10:15 to 11: Birds, Blooms and Bugs led by Margaret and Bill Dunson

11:15 to noon: Birds, Blooms and Bugs led by Margaret and Bill Dunson

12:15 to 1: Native Plants led by Denny Girard and Al Squires

1:15 to 2: Native Plants led by Denny Girard and Al Squires

Wagon Rides begin at 10:15, 11:00, 11:45, 2:45, 1:30 and 2:15. The wagon rides are limited to 20 people per group.

Visit the native plant sale.

Raffles, Silent Auction and Magnets

Whether you have your eye on a pair of Mote Aquarium tickets or a piece of art, we are offering a wide range of gift certificates and unique items. Fabulous prizes will be given away at 11:00, noon and 1:00 so continue buying new raffle tickets throughout the day. Winners of each drawing must be present to win. Winners will pick an item from the prize table. A few items will be available through a silent auction that will end at 1:30. It's easy! Buy your tickets, win a gift and support the festival!

$1 for 1 chance * $2 for 3 chances * $5 for 10 chances

The festival is supported through the generosity of sponsors and you, when you purchase raffle tickets. Thanks to the exhibitors and others who generously donated items.

Linda Soderquist has donated artwork to help illustrate the 2012, 2013 and 2014 festivals. We've created magnets of this amazing donation that will be avialable for $2 each, 3 for $5 or one free when you redeem 10 unsuccessful raffle tickets!

Sponsors (2013, 2014 to be updated week of Nov. 3)

This regional festival is organized and sponsored by many partners. A very special thanks to our generous sponsors.

Eagle ($2,500+): * Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program * Charlotte County Community Services * Charlotte Sun * Mosaic

Florida Panther ($1,000+): * CF Industries * Tents & Events * WGCU Public Media

Osprey ($500+): * Fish Florida * Mote Marine Laboratory * Lemon Bay Conservancy

Sea Turtle ($250+): * CCA Florida * Coastal Wildlife Club * Janicki Environmental * Peace River Audubon Society * Peace River-Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority * Punta Gorda-Port Charlotte Association of Realtors

Dolphin ($100+): * Butwell Stone & Soil * Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast * Friends of the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves * Charlotte County Utilities * Linda Soderquist * Sierra Club Charlotte Harbor Chapter * Chemwise Nutrients * U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, North Port Flotilla 9-2 * Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau * 7-Eleven

Thanks to everyone who made the past festivals such great successes. Details about all the festivals are available as a PDF file as are the programs created for each event. The 2010 festival was dedicated to the memory of Joy Linn and the 2006 festival was dedicated to the memory of Betty Talburt.


From I-75 Southbound, take Exit 179 / Toledo Blade, travel approximately 6 miles south to SR 776, turn west/right and travel approximately 1.5 miles to Charlotte Sports Park on the left. From I-75 Northbound, take Exit 170 / Kings Hwy, turn left off the ramp, then turn right on Veterans Hwy at the first light, travel approximately seven miles to the stadium. (You’ll cross US 41 after traveling approximately 5 miles on Veterans Hwy.)

The 2010 festival was dedicated to Joy Linn. Joy devoted many years of volunteer service to several organizations, primarily Peace River Audubon Society, Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center, Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program and the Peace River Medical Center. For CHNEP, she helped plan the first four annual Charlotte Harbor Nature Festivals from 2001 to 2004. Many people looked up to Joy for her energy, intelligence, generosity, sense of humor and love of her husband. She passed away on March 24, 2009 from multiple myeloma.


The 2006 festival was dedicated to Betty Talburt. Betty (on right) was a champion for advocacy and the protection of our beautiful natural world. Betty was instrumental in making past Festivals a success. She was involved in many local environmental projects, including the CHNEP Citizens Advisory Committee, Keep Charlotte Beautiful, the Charlotte Harbor Audubon Society and the Charlotte Harbor Nature Festival. Fran Reimondo is shown on the left.

Betty Talburt and Fran.

We are seeking sponsors, volunteers and exhibitors for the 2014 festival.

Invitation to participate as an exhibitor: Guidance for Exhibitors
Would you please complete the online form? (If this link doesn't work for you, go to and search by the event name.)

Sponsors: Invitation to participate as a sponsor

Would you support the festival by becoming a sponsor?

All support is appreciated but acknowledgment is provided if more than $100 is provided. Sponsor donations are accepted at any time but your sponsorship will be acknowledged as soon as the funds are received. Because of this, it is to your advantage to provide sponsorship as soon as possible. To sponsor, please send an email to with the name as you would like to be acknowledged and the amount. Please then send a check payable to Friends of Charlotte Harbor Estuary, Inc., include "CHNF" in the subject line, and mail to Friends of Charlotte Harbor Estuary, PO Box 511422, Punta Gorda FL 33951. The Friends do accept credit cards through either their website or through the festival event page on The Friends, a 501(c) organization, serve as the fiscal host of the festival.




Exhibit Table

Name on Event Program as Sponsor

Name on Promotional Material (when possible)

Festival Area Named for Sponsor

Logo on Material



$0 + Gift for Raffle







































+$500 (total $1,500)

 Have your company name printed on a festival tote bag.


+$1,000 (total $2,000)

 Have your company logo printed on a festival tote bag.










Exhibitors are asked to donate item(s) for the onsite raffle. Additional exhibitor guidance is available. Donations are accepted from others who wish to support the festival in this way.