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Q&A with Dexter Norris, Mound House Environmental Educator

May 10, 2017
Jessica Salmond - News Editor (jsalmond@breezenewspapers.com) , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Dexter Norris, 28, is a native Ohioan who has been in Lee County for the last three and a half years. He's been working as the Mound House educator since December and has been developing new programming to bring in the masses to Fort Myers Beach's historical gem. Norris lives in Bonita Springs.

With a few months under your belt, what do you think about the Mound House?

It's really nice. I'm happy here. It's a small organization, so we can easily help out and talk to each other. It's good that it's still new - just over a year since it's opened - because we can still play with programming. We get to experiment. This position has allowed me to be more creative and collaborative with my ideas. I've always wanted to be an experiential educator, anything where I'd get muddy is my jam.

Article Photos

In his spare time, Dexter Norris likes to run and read.

What are some of the new programs you've launched?

Breakfast on the Beach with a Biologist, the first one is May 12 at Newton Beach Park. The idea is to be academic, not stuffy, but to have breakfast and go experience whatever the topic is. The first one is about sea turtles. We'll have breakfast and then go out on the beach and look for environmental signs of them. Since it's during the day we won't see the turtles. We'll talk about Turtle Time and how people can get involved.

Penny Jarrett (Education Programs Coordinator) will do one on shorebirds soon.

Fact Box

Summer hours

The Mound House museum has resumed its summer hours and is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday from 9 a.m. To 4 p.m.from May 1 to Dec. 31.

We've also started a sunset kayak tour. Those are fun. We see a lot of birds getting ready to roost. We cover about two or three miles of paddling, but it's a lot of drifting. It's more about enjoying the scenery. People come here for the beach and don't the Bay is back there, but we'll get back into the mangroves and feel like you're hundreds of miles away.

What's next at the Mound House?

We still get people who come to the museum who live here and didn't even know it was here. We're getting a new website and we have a Facebook page now. We're adding more school groups, mainly fourth-graders who are covering American cultural history. We had our first family movie night during the Fort Myers Beach Film Festival, which was successful. We're trying to get our name out there, making sure people who about us. We're Fort Myers Beach's hidden gem but we want to make sure we're not that hidden.

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Upcoming events at the Mound House

What: Mound House Sunset Kayak Tour

When: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 11

Where: The Mound House, 451 Connecticut St., Fort Myers Beach

Cost: $50 per person, all paddling equipment provided. Reservations required, call 239-765-0865.

What: Breakfast on the Beach with a Biologist

When: 8:30 a.m. Friday, May 12

Where: Newton Beach Park, 4650 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach

Cost: $15 per person. Reservations required, call 239-765-0865.

To keep up with future Mound House events, go to moundhouse.org.

 
 

 

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