Eco Dawgs Youth Paddling and Ecology program aims to get students outdoors, teaching them valuable life skills focused around the biodiversity and history of Port Richey. Eco Dawgs is a new community outreach of Gill Dawg, a dining and recreation facility located on the Pithlachascotee River in Port Richey. The inaugural program targets middle school aged students; taking them out on kayaks into the beautiful mangroves to explore the biological and historical gems on the Nature Coast. Gill Dawg has future plans to expand the programming to include grade school students and adults. Through this program students will gain an appreciation for the environment through hands-on presentations and learning experiences. Eco Dawgs Youth Paddling and Ecology program includes a water safety portion, kayak adventure, biology and history component, along with a healthy lunch.

The coordinator of the Eco Dawgs program is Dominique O’Connor, a graduate of University of South Florida, with a degree in Environmental Science and Policy and minor in Public Health. Dominique brings her love of the outdoors, plus her experience working on conservation and environmental education projects with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and AmeriCorps to the Eco Dawgs program.


Eco Dawgs Youth Paddling & Ecology Program

eco-dawgs-logo-finalThrough the Eco Dawgs Youth Paddling and Ecology program, students will learn valuable life skills focused on the biodiversity and history of Port Richey and will gain an appreciation for their environment through hands-on presentations and learning experiences.

We invite you to sponsor a child to learn healthy life skills!

We invite you to be part of helping inspire our local youth to lead a healthy lifestyle through Eco Dawgs programs. Eco Dawgs is an community outreach initiative of Gill Dawg, a dining and recreation facility focusing on eco-friendly, healthy activities with a strong emphasis on paddling and watersports.

We are seeking community members to sponsor students for this program. Click on the buttons below to download more information.

Download Program Description    Download Sponsor Information

Program Details

Through this program, students will learn valuable life skills focused on the biodiversity and history of Port Richey and will gain an appreciation for their environment through hands-on presentations and learning experiences.

Paddling & Water Safety
Students will lean the essentials of kayaking, starting with an introduction to paddling and water safety, and ending with a guided kayak trip through the beautiful mangroves of Port Richey.

History and Geology
Students will have the opportunity to explore an ancient ceremonial mound built by native peoples and learn the significance of the salt springs at Werner-Boyce State Park.

Ecology
Students will gain an understanding of the importance of our watershed, including wetlands and mangroves systems, identify native species, and recognize human impact on such a vital ecosystem.

Stewardship
Through the program, students will gain life experiences and skills that will  help them be better stewards of the land and have a deeper appreciation of their community.

Lifetime Skills Gained: 

  • Water safety
  • Basic paddling skills
  • Wildlife identification
  • Leadership skills
  • Education on:
    • Our watershed
    • The wetlands and mangrove system
    • The human impact on our ecosystem

Personal Growth and Development:

  • Gain an appreciation for the natural and historical significance of their community
  • Learn healthy ways to become active and explore nature
  • Technical and Educational Development

For Students Grades 6-8
Program includes: Program leader, kayak rental, guided kayak trip, lunch at Gill Dawg
Program Length: 3.5 hours
Program Cost Per Student: $45
Contact Email: [email protected]