FAVORite Events of the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges- Run with Deer 5K— Sheia Burghardt of Summerland Key trails an endangered Key deer at the finish line during a 5K in Big Pine Key last October. Another Big Pine Key race- the 3nd annual “Run with Deer” 5K run/walk is set for Saturday, March 18th, 2017, starting and ending at Big Pine Community Park on Sands Rd and wandering through rural roads located within the boundaries of the National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key in between.
Co-sponsored by the Southernmost Runners Club and FAVOR Florida Keys (Friends And Volunteers of Refuges), the race is part of the Florida Keys Wildlife Refuges’ Outdoor Fest, a week-long celebration of the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuge system that encourages people to get outside in a wildlife-friendly manner. “FAVOR’s Run With Deer 5K race course takes us along roads in the National Key Deer Refuge, it’s a fun route and a great way for people to get out in nature, get a little exercise, and contribute to the National Wildlife Refuges!” says Nancy Chatelaine, FAVOR Volunteer/Race Coordinator.
The Fest, which spans the four national wildlife refuges, features family-friendly, mostly free outdoor adventures and hands-on activities is set for Saturday, March 11th through Saturday, March 18th, and includes the Saturday “Run with Deer” 5K that starts at 8am, followed by an awards ceremony at the Park and a family-friendly Outdoor & Wildlife Fair from 9am-2pm, featuring exhibitors from local non-profit and environmental organizations, local artists, music, lots of kids’ activities including big bubbles, face-painting, t-shirt making, a giant memory game, and more.
Proceeds from the race benefit FAVOR Florida Keys and will be used to help support purchase of exhibits for the new refuge ranger center, habitat restoration, education and outreach, and many other projects in the four Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges that help protect our endangered wildlife. To register online:
www.runsignup.com/Race/FL/BigPineKey/RunWithDeer5K, or pickup a registration form at the National Key Deer Visitor Center on Big Pine Key. For more information on the race, visit www.favorfloridakeys.org or call Nancy 305-731-6362.
For more information about the refuges, FAVOR, and the list of events, visit www.favorfloridakeys.org/outdoor-fest or contact Kristie Killam at 305.304.9625 or email Nancy or Jan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Brought to you in part by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.