If you are a nature lover, the best way for learning about local flora and fauna is by visiting wildlife rescue or conservation centers. Here you can see local animals, learn about the wildlife of the region, and sometimes you even get to help them out! In this case, I gathered seven of my favorite nature centers in Florida, you should visit.
7 Nature Centers in South Florida
Gumbo Limbo Nature Center
This place focuses on sea turtles by researching and educating about them. They also raise awareness about marine eco systems and about how delicate they are by trying to show visitors how conservation works. Gumbo Limbo Nature Center also offers other exhibits like a container garden with herbs and local flora, a butterfly nursery, and a solar exhibit.
Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
Its full name is The Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. They protect the habitats of local, endangered wildlife offering walks along trails, bikes on trails, canoe rides, and an airboat virtual ride.
NOTE: To take better care of their refuge, no pets, camping, or picnicking are allowed.
Busch Wildlife Sanctuary
This is a two-in-one adventure for nature lovers. It is a nature center and a wildlife hospital. Here you get to explore the wetlands on foot, along the way you will find exhibits with crocodiles, snakes, and bears. Make sure to ask about their exciting night tour!
At the Busch wildlife Sanctuary hospital, they rehabilitate injured animals that they find or are taken to them by the authorities. Many had been held illegally as pets.
Loxahatchee River District
This is basically an aquarium in South Florida with many species of fish from the surrounding Loxahatchee River and waterways. The place has tons of salt and freshwater tanks. They also offer educative programs and are more than happy to organize birthday parties for the young ones.
Also I have a post about the Florida Aquarium, you can read it here.
Sandoway House Nature Center
This Florida wildlife conservation center is located in a historic house from 1936. It is a place where you can find animal exhibits, a huge shell collection, and a wide range of native plants. There are also educational exhibits that focus on marine life and adventures like shark feeding, nature walks, and summer camps.
McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary
This is a hospital for animals. In this place injured animals that are taken to them or found are treated, rehabilitated and released back into the wild. They also have around 170 permanent residents that have been given to them; most were illegally possessed or abused.
Aside from being able to explore the place you can ask about their volunteering and educational programs. You can help the McCarthy’s wildlife Sanctuary by visiting them and paying a small fee to be able to see the place and learn.
Loggerhead Marine Life Center
They are another organization that takes care of the local sea turtles and the surrounding coastal ecosystems. They research and rehabilitate animals to be able to educate their visitors.
The Loggerhead Marine Life Center offers educational beach walks as you look for animals, fish exhibits resembling coastal ecosystems, and other fun learning classes.
I truly love this sort of organization working to protect nature in different ways and teaching people about its importance. That’s why I recommend visiting them and supporting them by paying the small entrance fee they ask for. It is also a great way to learn.