Things To Do in Jupiter – Future Palm Beach County Leaders Take JOC Tour
Things To Do in Jupiter
Wildlife, history, botany and just plain fun were all part of Thursday’s bicycle tour through the shady, windy trails of Riverbend Park with about 30 high school juniors from Leadership Palm Beach County.
The students are recommended to the program by their schools. Each month, they spend a day with supervisors visiting different locations on different subjects. On Thursday, they went to JUPITER OUTDOOR CENTER, the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and the Loggerhead Marinelife Center.
The weather was cool and clear when we started out from the chickee hut at JUPITER OUTDOOR CENTER for our things to do in Jupiter bicycle adventure.
After picking out their bicycles, we headed out onto the shady trails.
TREE OF TEARS
A short pedal across the Loxahatchee River is the historic Tree of Tears.
Riverbend Park Naturalist Marti Welch told the story about the 300-year-old tree.
It is a living reminder of the tragedy encountered by members of the Seminole Tribe who died during the last battle of the Second Seminole War on January 24, 1838.
Stopping at the Tree of Tears is an important way to understand Riverbend Park’s role in history during the things to do in Jupiter tour.
WHAT’S A PRESCRIBED BURN?
Ever see smoke in the distant forest and wonder why you never heard about a fire in the news later that day?
It likely was a prescribed burn.
The fires are held regularly in Riverbend and other Palm Beach County parks to make them a safer place for wildlife and native plants.
Lit, supervised and put out by wildfire experts, they burn leaf litter, pine needles, shrubs and other fuels that could spark a blaze.
The clearing of the forest floor encourages the new growth of native vegetation. That reduces the risk of catastrophic wildfires, like the ones in the western United States.
Prescribed burns increase the biodiversity of plant species, minimizes the spread of pest insects and disease, and recycles nutrients back into the soil.
Guides explains the importance of prescribed burns during the things to do in Jupiter tour.
WIDE, SHADY TRAILS MAKE EASY PEDALLING
Cruising under the shady, crushed shell trails, we saw lots of wildlife.
Woodpeckers, deer, a turkey and lots of other animals were spotted during our two-hour adventure.
We stopped under shaded gazebos for rest stops during our things to do in Jupiter adventure..
CHECK OUT THE NATIVE WILDLIFE
A few crinkled noses came from the students when Riverbend Park Palm Beach County Naturalist John Welch brought out this three-foot-long corn snake.
John explained the fragility of the native Riverbend Park and South Florida environment by showing students salamanders, turtles and other local plants and animals.
Their discomfort vanishing as John spoke, the students asked questions about the local waterways, chemical runoff and wildlife.
BACK ON THE BUS
Their Riverbend Park tour complete, the Leadership Palm Beach County students hopped back on their bus at the Picnic Island Pavilion.
Their next stop on their things to do in Jupiter tour was Loggerhead Marinelife Center.
“Everybody had a great time,” said Greg Quattlebaum, executive director of Leadership Palm Beach County.