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Department to offer classes about ecology

Whether you are new to Florida or have lived here several years, there is a lot to learn about the state's unique ecology. The Department of Environmental Protection wants to help.

Starting Nov. 14, the department will begin offering a series of free classes under the heading of "A Newcomer's Field Guide to Florida."

The classes will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. the second Friday of each month at the Crystal River State Buffer Preserve Visitor Center, 3266 N Sailboat Ave. (Sailboat is north of the Crystal River Mall off W State Park Street.)

The classes will cover such topics as plants, animals and weather cycles. The public is invited to attend. Here's the schedule:

Nov. 14: Ecology and the two American River Journal videos: Crystal River and Manatees.

Dec. 12: The Geology and Hydrology of Florida: The Politics of Water.

Jan. 9: Florida's Weather Cycles: Flood and Fire, and Wildfire Prevention Landscaping.

Feb. 13: Getting to Know Your Neighbors: Plant Communities, Flora and Beginning Xeriscaping.

March 12: Getting to Know Your Neighbors: Mammals, Birds and Attracting Birds to Your Yard.

April 9: Getting to Know Your Neighbors: Reptiles and Amphibians, Invertebrates and Fish.

May 14: Exotics: The Silent Invasion.

June 11: Environmental Ethics and Citizenship.

Call J.D. or Vicky Mendenhall at 563-0450.