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Service Learning: Wildlife Rehabilitation in Southern Florida

Program Number: 13107RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/21/2013 - 4/26/2013; 3/1/2015 - 3/6/2015; 4/19/2015 - 4/24/2015; 11/29/2015 - 12/4/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Okeechobee, Florida
Price starting at: $965.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Service Learning
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Assist the passionate efforts to rehabilitate exotic animals — large cats such as panthers and cougars, as well as birds and reptiles — at Arnold’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, a not-for-profit facility in southern Florida. Many of the animals have been rescued by state and federal agencies and handed over to the care of the dedicated staff at Arnold’s. Help with day-to-day maintenance, tasks such as feeding and landscaping, and learn about ongoing efforts to protect the Florida panther from extinction.




Highlights

• Hear the background story of each of the Arnold Wildlife Center’s rescued animals and learn about their general care needs.
• Learn about big-cat physiology and genetics from animal experts.
• During a boating field trip along Lake Okeechobee, view the restoration of Florida panther habitats.



Activity Particulars

Service labor is 3-4 hours a day. Hiking up to two miles; uneven terrain.




Date Specific Information

3-1-2015

Charter Program




Okeechobee

On the northern shore of Lake Okeechobee, not far from Big Cypress National Preserve and the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, the city of Okeechobee lies within the Research Coast, a four-county region in southeast Florida known for cutting-edge companies that push the frontiers of biotechnology, energy science and information technology.



Accommodations
Comfortable hotel with outdoor swimming pool.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hampton Inn Okeechobee
  Okeechobee, FL 5 nights
 Hampton Inn Okeechobee
Type: Inn
  Description: At the Hampton Inn® Okeechobee, Florida feels a little different. Our Okeechobee hotel is near scenic marshlands, world-class fishing and quaint historic downtown shopping districts. This scenic Florida area offers up sun-drenched mornings, lakeside picnics and moonlit horseback rides. Around here, Florida feels different, and you'll like the way it feels.
  Contact info: 1200 State Road 70 East
Okeechobee, FL 34972 USA
phone: 186-382-4000 x3
web: hamptoninn.hilton.com/en/hp/hotels/index.jhtml?ctyhocn=OBEFLHX
  Room amenities: Spacious non-smoking room features a king-size bed or two queen beds, 32 inch LCD television, easy to operate alarm clock/radio and large work desk. The high-speed internet access will help you stay connected while on the road. If you prefer not to work at the desk, you can use the convenient lap desk instead. You'll also enjoy the convenience of having a coffee maker and iron/ironing board in your room. In the bathroom you'll enjoy fluffy towels, a WaterPik showerhead and curved shower rod that allows more light and space in the shower.
  Facility amenities: A leader in Lake Okeechobee hotels, the Hampton features free high-speed wired and wireless internet, a 24-hour business center, fitness center, refreshing pool, on-site Suite Shop for snacks, magazines, and travel necessities like: Baggage Storage Coin Laundry Elevators Luggage Hold On-Site Convenience Store Safety Deposit Box
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call for prices Call the hotel directly for price and availability
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call for prices Call the hotel directly for price and availability
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:00 pm Shuttle leaves West Palm Beach Airport - 5:30 pm Orientation You will be staying at Hampton Inn Okeechobee that night.
  End of Program:
9:30 am depart to Airport You will be staying at Hampton Inn Okeechobee the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Program provider's Waiver and Travel forms. To be signed before the program start.
  Parking availability:
Free, with details given to hotel upon arrival.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Okeechobee, FL
  Nearest city or town:  Okeechobee
  Nearest highway: I-95
  Nearest airport:  West Palm Beach
  From End of Program
  Location: Okeechobee, FL
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

West Palm Beach

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
World Events LLC
phone: 800-971-3884
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Complimentary
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.5 hours 

 

Distance:

 

66.78 miles

   

Please complete the Travel Form for Shuttle Reservation. One time FREE shuttle from West Palm Beach airport provided on start date for flights arriving no later than 2:00 pm

 
Driving Directions
  I-95 West Palm Beach Take 95 North 7 miles to Exit #76 (State Route 708) turn left and follow 1 mile, stay to the right to take Beeline Highway/FL-710. Follow FL-710, 53 miles to FL-70. Turn left onto FL-70, hotel is 1 mile on the left.
  Orlando Airport Take the South Airport Exit, follow the road until it turns into Creek Road. Turn right onto Route 15 (Narcoossee Road). Turn left onto 192. Turn right onto 441. Turn left onto State Route 70 (Park Street). Hotel will be on your right.
  Vero Beach Take 95 South to State Route 70 (Okeechobee Road) Exit. Turn right and follow approximately 30 miles. Hotel will be on your left.
Elevation Note: No elevation exceeds 100 feet.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Hospitality and Orientation
(Sunday, April 21)
   
 Afternoon: Hospitality and Orientation at hotel prior to dinner. Meet at Hotel Lobby at 5:30 pm
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hampton Inn Okeechobee
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: At leisure/Facility Orientation/Service Work
(Monday, April 22)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet Breakfast at the Hotel
 Morning: Lecture about Florida Panther and Florida Wildlife at the hotel then drive to Arnold Rehab Center for a Guided walk around the facility to view and learn about each individual cat's story, how the center got started and what they provide for the animals. Also to learn the layout of the center.
 Lunch: Picnic style at rehab center.
 Afternoon: Work projects defined and assigned. Review of any special tools and/or materials needed for projects. Based upon needs of Refuge Center these may include basic gardening, clearing wood, cleaning animal cages, feeding animals, some office organization and other work projects. Please note that this is not a scientific study service project - it is hands on manual labor.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hampton Inn Okeechobee
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Special Lecture / Service Project Assignments
(Tuesday, April 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet at the Hotel
 Morning: Work projects as assigned.
 Lunch: Picnic style at rehab center.
 Afternoon: Work projects as assigned.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hampton Inn Okeechobee
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Work on projects/ Visit to Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Unit./ Special Guest
(Wednesday, April 24)

Note: Lecture and Field Trip to Water Restoration areas



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet at the Hotel
 Morning: Work on the assigned service project.
 Lunch: Picnic Style Lunch
 Afternoon: Depart for Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration unit for a field trip and a lecture about the restoration in the Everglades by one of the Watershed experts.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
 Evening: Special presentation by local representative of the Florida Wildlife.
   
Accommodations: Hampton Inn Okeechobee
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Airboat Ride/Service Work/Final Review/Farewell Dinner
(Thursday, April 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet at the Hotel
 Morning: Trip on an air boat to show the restoration of panther habitats and the restoration of the Okeechobee Lake for the environment. The wildlife is fantastic in the restored area. You never know what you will see.
 Lunch: Picnic style at rehab center.
 Afternoon: Review projects completed. Brainstorming session for ideas on how to help the center meet its financial and resource needs so that the center can continue its work saving animals from abuse and/or neglect, including the endangered Florida panther.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hampton Inn Okeechobee
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: FREE Shuttle to West Palm Beach Airport
(Friday, April 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet at the Hotel.
 Morning: Check out at 9:30 am, complimentary shuttle to West Palm Beach International Airport
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Cry of the Panther


Author: James Mc Mullen


Description: Interesting story about an ex-Marine Vietnam vet who discovers the wonder of the wilderness and in particular his rapport with one individual female panther called Tracker.



Swamp Screamer


Author: Charles Fergus


A Land Remembered


Author: Patrick Smith


Description: Excellent historical novel about Florida. Detail a family's history from 1868 to 1968. Areas visited on program's field trips are vividly described in this engrossing and educational book.



The Wild Heart of Florida


Author: Jeff Ripple & Susan Cerulean


Description: Beautifully photographed scenes of the "real" Florida. A coffee table book for the natural history enthusiast.





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