Giving to
Bryn Mawr

Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center

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The Everglades:
An Adventure in
Subtropical Paradise

February 13 - 19, 2011

South Florida is home to the Everglades, a UNESCO World Heritage site (1979), and one of the most environmentally significant habitats in the world. The Everglades are a mosaic of habitats with expansive sawgrass plant communities, hardwood hammocks and sloughs in the southern tip of the Florida peninsula. Join us on this exciting adventure as we explore this elemental landscape, shaped by fire and water.

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Preliminary Itinerary
(please click on location to reveal details)


February 13 - Arrive Naples (Ft Myers airport) / Sanibel Island: Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge

After a late-morning/early afternoon arrival into Ft Myers, transfer to your Naples hotel before heading to lovely Sanibel Island and the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge for a sunset cruise and a festive welcome dinner.

February 14 - Naples Botanical Garden / Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Head out this morning to the newly-redesigned Naples Botanical Garden, where you will get a behind-the-scenes look at a gopher tortoise colony and learn about native and invasive species, orchids, and ethnobotany. After a picnic lunch and free time in the gardens, drive to the legendary Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, known for the alligators, wood storks, and other indigenous species that inhabit this soaring old-growth cypress forest.

February 15 - Everglades National Park: Anhinga Trail / Winery Tour

This morning drive to the eastern Everglades for a leisurely exploration of the famous Anhinga Trail. An astonishing number of species may be seen in this area during the dry season, when the water level recedes elsewhere in the park. In the early afternoon, head to Schnebly's Redlands Winery for lunch and a tour of the lovely facilities, where award-winning wines are produced from such diverse produce as kiwi, star fruit, and avocados.

February 16 - Rookery Bay: Calusa Archaeology / Mangrove Kayaking

This morning, meet up with a local archaeologist to investigate a well-preserved Calusa Indian shell-mound site, and learn more about this culturally complex hunting-fishing-gathering society. After lunch, kayak through leafy green tunnels into the secluded backwaters of Rookery Bay, one of the few remaining undisturbed mangrove estuaries in North America. Join fellow travelers for a farewell dinner at the hotel this evening.

February 17 - Everglades National Park: Airboat ride / Big Cypress Gallery Walk

Start out early this morning for a thrilling airboat ride deep into the Everglades National Park. The sweeping sawgrass prairies of this little-traveled area are dotted with old hunting camps and hardwood hammocks, and inhabited by alligators, egrets, kites, and purple gallinules. After exploring the preserve, head to the Big Cypress gallery of world-famous Everglades photographer Clyde Butcher, where you can enjoy lunch under the cypress trees before a gallery walk and discussion.

February 18 - Fakahatchee Strand Preserve

Spend the day at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve, where you will have a unique opportunity to help the senior biologist and a local conservationist while they gather data for a critical turtle research project in the sloughs of this former cypress logging camp. After lunch, wade into a dark-water swamp in search of “charismatic microflora” with wonderful names like ladies’ tresses, ghost orchid, and fuzzy-wuzzy air plant.

February 19 - Naples (Ft Myers airport) / Home

Transfer to the Ft. Myers airport for flights home.

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Cost and Program Inclusions

Cost (land portion only)

$3295 per person based on double occupancy
$3995 for singles


  • Take an exhilarating airboat ride into a seldom-visited area of Everglades National Park
  • Enjoy a special welcome cruise on Tarpon Bay, where you may see dolphins surfacing as the boat cruises by sandbars filled with hundreds of roosting pelicans, cormorants, and anhingas
  • Watch the march of the herons - and ibises - and roseate spoonbills - across the shallows at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island
  • Hike into a dark-water swamp with the park biologist from the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve, and assist in the collection of important conservation data for an ongoing research project
  • Document the iconic beauty of the moss-draped cypress trees at Corkscrew Swamp, where you may also see endangered wood storks on nest
  • Kayak through leafy green mangrove tunnels into the secluded backwaters of Rookery Bay
  • Marvel at the extraordinary amount of wildlife to be seen from the boardwalk of the world-famous Anhinga Trail in Everglades National Park
  • Join a local archaeologist for a close-up look at the famous shell mounds left by Calusa Indians hundreds of years ago
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Bryn Mawr Enrichment Leader

Doug Gaultieri – Expedition Leader

Doug received both his B.S. and M.S. in Biology at Central Michigan University, his degrees focused on ecology, animal behavior, and conservation biology. While working on his graduate degree, Doug spent nearly 3 months of each year on a Nature Conservancy preserve observing migratory behavior and habitat use of long distance migrants in Michigan’s wild Upper Peninsula. Graduate school offered the opportunity to work as a teaching and research assistant, where he discovered the joy of leading others into the field to share different aspects of the natural world. He has been working as a naturalist in Denali National Park since 1999. Doug considers Kantishna and Denali his summer home

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The Bellasera Hotel

The Bellasera Hotel, located at the gateway to 5th Avenue South, is where Naples’ tropical elegance, charm, and historical beauty are at their finest. Drawing its spirit and inspiration from the beautiful villages of Tuscany, the Bellasera Hotel offers a richly appointed setting and spacious, all-suite accommodations with full gourmet kitchens as well as luxury cabanas, heated outdoor pool, fitness center, concierge, fine cuisine, the Esterra Spa, and more

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