Perspectives in the Parks

Next date: Sunday, August 04, 2024 | 01:00 PM to 02:00 PM

Hogtown Creek Headwaters Nature Center

This monthly program features experts in their field sharing information on a variety of topics including science, nature, history and art.

Perspectives in the Park is typically offered on the first Sunday of each month, and is free and open to the public. Join us at Hogtown Creek Headwaters Nature Center.   

Sunday, July 7 at noon

Gainesville and Alachua County: From Frontier to Mid-Century

Gainesville Postcard courtesy of the Matheson History Museum

How did Gainesville evolve from a small settlement known as Hogtown to the bustling university city we know today? Using images from the Matheson History Museum’s collection, this presentation will explore Gainesville’s roots as a railroad town through the mid-century boom following WWII.

Kaitlyn Hof-Mahoney is the Executive Director of the Matheson History Museum

Image courtesy of the Matheson History Museum. 

Sunday, August 4

Why Garden with Native Plants?

New time: 1 - 2 p.m.

This presentation will be an overview of natural plant communities found in Alachua County, with some specific accessible species and tips for each area (Freshwater Marshes, Hydric Hammocks, Pine Flatwoods, Sandhills, Upland Mesic Hardwood Forests, Wetland Swamp Forests). Find out about native plant replacement options for commonly used ornamentals with a variety of bloom times and sun and soil preferences and tools for teaching and framing the importance of planting natives and encouraging awe in our natural world.  

Alexa Heilman is a registered Horticultural Therapist (HTR) and has worked at GROW HUB for three years with adults with disabilities in their vocational horticulture program. Alexa is a lifelong gardener thanks to her wonderful mom and the other women in her life with green thumbs. Her interest in native plants species comes from the need to support local fauna, and from working with the passionate folks at GROW HUB's natives program, specifically Cherice Smithers and Kathy Paterson! "I hope to share the things I've learned and encourage more people to ditch their lawns and plant native!"

Sunday, September 8

Native Groundcover

the foundation of wildlife habitats

New time: 1 - 2 p.m.

Learn about the importance of native groundcover plants to wildlife habitats. The following week, Joe Vaughn will host an ecology walk and field discussion at Morningside Nature Center.

Joe Vaughn is a private lands biologist with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. He has spent the last 40 years working for the conservation of various species of wildlife. He has worked on projects as diverse as the re-introductions of bobcats to de-horning black rhinos. Joe works with private landowners who want to improve the wildlife habitats on their properties.

Sunday, October 6

Shell Middens and Ceremonial Centers:

How the Indigenous people of Florida constructed our coastal environment

New time: 1 - 2 p.m.

The Nature Coast has supported thriving communities for thousands of years. Long before the arrival of condos and commercial fishermen, pre-colonial fisherfolk along Florida’s north-central Gulf Coast established vibrant, large communities, leaving behind some of Florida’s most significant archaeological sites. Archaeologists have discovered that these communities were not just oyster harvesters but cosmopolitan trade centers in a network that reached as far as the Great Lakes. From Chassahowitzka to the Big Bend, this presentation will explore how Indigenous people left behind evidence of their complex and dynamic cultures, which we can still observe today.

Nigel Rudolph is the Public Archaeology Coordinator at the Central Regional Center of the Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) in Gainesville. He earned a BA in cultural anthropology from the University of West Florida in 1998 and a BFA in fine arts ceramics from the University of Florida in 2002. Nigel worked as a full-time cultural resource management archaeologist for over a decade before joining FPAN in 2013. He is currently a graduate student in the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Florida, focusing on cemetery preservation. Nigel is also a husband, father, professional ceramic artist, and avid tattoo collector.



  • Sunday, November 05, 2023 | 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
  • Sunday, December 03, 2023 | 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
  • Sunday, January 07, 2024 | 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
  • Sunday, February 04, 2024 | 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
  • Sunday, March 03, 2024 | 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
  • Sunday, April 07, 2024 | 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
  • Sunday, May 05, 2024 | 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
  • Sunday, June 02, 2024 | 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
  • Sunday, July 07, 2024 | 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
  • Sunday, August 04, 2024 | 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
  • Sunday, September 08, 2024 | 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
  • Sunday, October 06, 2024 | 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM


Hogtown Creek Headwaters Nature Center, 1500 NW 45th Ave., 32605, View Map

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