By Nick Williams
LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Though many in attendance were in their 50s and 60s, it was back to elementary school for those attending the Lakewood Ranch Resident Orientation on Wednesday inside Town Hall.
While many were probably expecting a rundown of the ins and outs of their community, they were also given a history lesson about Florida, Manatee County and Schroeder-Manatee Ranch.
The orientation, which is held once a month, is geared toward new residents in Lakewood Ranch, but existing residents are invited as well.
Eva Rey, the executive director of the Lakewood Ranch Inter-District Authority, tested the room of nearly two dozen residents on their knowledge of Florida and Lakewood Ranch history with a "did you know" session.
"When did Florida become a state?" she asked. "How many cities are in Florida?" "How many districts in Manatee County."
Some residents excitedly responded and were given a treat if they answered correctly.
Considering the diverse background of the residents -- one couple moved to the area from Ottawa -- it serves a great purpose.
"Everyone is interested in different things," Rey said. "One resident has come to the last two orientations, just to learn everything. Residents see it as a refresher."
During the two-hour the orientation, residents also received a slideshow presentation informing them on general laws of the state, county and development, the districts in which they live and how they operate, the differences between home owner's associations and community development districts, emergency contacts and general maintenance of their property and all of Lakewood Ranch.
They were greeted by the Community Activities Director Lori Basilone, who briefly spoke about upcoming events and how to get involved in the community and residents were also made aware of Happy, an alligator that lives in a lake inside one of the subdivisions.Because there are many preserves inside Lakewood Ranch, residents were made aware of the natural inhabitants.
Residents were encouraged to ask questions and take notes during the orientation for future reference.
Bradenton Herald\ Lakewood Ranch Herald
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