SEBRING - Highlands Hammock State Park will host its first "Know Your Neighborhood" event 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb 22.
The Florida Forest Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Department of Environmental Protection's South District Regional Office and others will partner with the park to provide information and hands-on educational activities for families and children.
Visitors will be able to climb in a real Florida Forest Service helicopter and have an up-close look at brush trucks and fire equipment dating back to the 1940s. Youngsters can gear up and "touch the truck," hit the lights, deploy a fire hose in an interactive hose challenge and meet Smokey the Bear.
Park Rangers and staff from DEP, Forestry Service and FWC Law Enforcement, as well as those working in wildlife management, conservation and resource management will be available to answer questions and provide in-depth information concerning fire management, environmental permitting, hunting laws, fishing regulations, creating wildlife-friendly backyards and much more.
Safety issues such as "firewise" homes and black bear/human conflicts will be addressed.
The first 200 cars will receive a free goodie bag from the Florida Forest Service.
This event is free with paid park entry fee of $6 per vehicle (up to eight people per car) or $4 for single occupancy. Enjoy a picnic or a trail walk and come back for this month's Music in the Park Concert featuring the California Toe Jam Band, slated for 7-9 p.m. that night.
Park entry fees are good all day. Visitors may leave and return by showing their receipts.
Concert admission is $5 per person with accompanied children 12 years and under free of charge. Local vendors will provide food and drinks for both events.
Know Your Neighborhood and the Music in the Park are sponsored by the Friends of Highlands Hammock State Park. Concert proceeds benefit park improvements via the Friends.