Bartow, Fla. (March 27, 2017) – Journey into Polk history this month at the Polk County History Center. The following programs and events are open to the public and free of charge:
- April’s Family Program – Curators of Curiosity – All Month
o Did you know that the first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970? Begin the countdown to Earth Day by making an environmentally themed poster to commemorate Earth Day throughout the month of April.
· April 7 – 11 a.m. – Oak Hill Cemetery Tour
o Learn about the pioneer families and World War I veterans interred at this historic Bartow cemetery. The tour starts at the History Center with a short walk of about one mile and includes historic landmarks along the route to the cemetery. Those with mobility issues may drive to the Cemetery for the tour, located at West Parker Street and South Dudley Avenue. Oak Hill Cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003 with the earliest recorded burial dating to 1860. The cemetery tour begins at 11 a.m. the first Saturday of every month, November through April.
· April 17, 12:15 to 1 p.m. – Lunch and Learn – Natural Resources Restoration of Circle B Bar Reserve by Jeff Spence
o The Circle B Bar Reserve, on the northwest shore of Lake Hancock, is a former cattle ranch that boasts a wide variety of plants and animals. The presentation offers an overview of the wetlands restoration of this 1,267-acre property which has an amazing diversity of wildlife. The site receives hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and has obtained national recognition. Biologist and Polk County Parks and Natural Resources Director Jeff Spence has been with PolkCounty government for more than 34 years. In his present position, he is responsible for parks and recreation, water resources, mosquito control, the History Center, invasive plant control and the Environmental Lands Program.
· Book Club Recommended Reading is Priceless Florida: Natural Ecosystems and Native Species by authors, Ellie Whitney, D. Bruce Means, Anne Rudloe, and illustrator Eric Jadaszewski
o For students of Florida nature, this part reference book and part encyclopedia, includes colorful illustrations and photos that will appeal to all ages, both laypersons and scientists. The book contains details about every natural area found in the state and explains the important connections and interactions between plants and animals.
· April 21, 11 a.m. – Architectural Tour
o Join us for an architectural tour of the History Center and learn about neoclassical architecture, the construction of the building and the stories behind the iconic Old Polk County Courthouse. The architectural tour is on the third Saturday of each month at 11 a.m.
· April 28, 10 a.m. to noon – Research Workshop – Researching Revolutionary War Soldiers
o In the second of four diverse research workshops this year, hosted by the Historical and Genealogical Library, join Daughters of the American Revolution Regent Gayle Londeree who will model the process of Revolutionary War research. This two-hour workshop will cover DAR resources, their Genealogical Research System, other websites, sources and resources. She will also help guide the researcher on how to begin, document and organize their findings. Additionally, she will focus on the importance of cluster research, and how useful this process can be.
About the Polk County History Center: The Polk County History Center is located at 100 E. Main St. in Bartow and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Visitwww.polkhistorycenter.org or call (863) 534-4386 for more information on exhibits and programming. All events and programming are free and open to the public.