The natural world is under an ever-increasing threat, and in places like Florida, addressing that threat takes on a new urgency when you consider the sheer diversity of the flora and fauna of the area, and the number of unique species that populate the many different Florida ecosystems. It is essential that those organizations that support conservation efforts are supported by the public.
The Conservancy of Southwest Florida has been at the forefront of protecting the unique wildlife, waters, and land of the state for over 50 years. It has the mission of finding a balance between the ever-increasing requirements of the human population of the state and making sure that the unique natural resources of the state are there to be enjoyed by generations to come.
The Conservancy is focused on the Collier, Charlotte, Hendry, Lee, and Glades counties and takes a multidisciplinary approach to the important work that they are doing. Their focus areas include environmental science, policy advisory and influencer outreaches, education, and wildlife rehabilitation.
The research activities of the Conservancy are especially important. Without this research, it becomes extremely difficult to gauge the impact of the human population – and just what can be done to protect both species and delicate ecosystems. They work hand-in-hand with universities, state and federal agencies, and communities across counties in areas such as monitoring programs and restoration initiatives. They investigate the ever-increasing problem of invasive species and changes to coastal ecology, among many other initiatives.
For those who wish to learn more about the work of the Conservancy – and explore the natural wonders of Florida, a visit to the 21-acre Nature Center is an absolute must. It features a variety of indoor and outdoor exhibits that highlight the uniqueness of the Southwest Florida ecosystem.
The center is a valuable resource for birders and the electric boat tours of the Gordon river are a delight for visitors. The Rookery Bay eco-cruise is also a wonderful experience. During the tours, the unique flora and fauna of the area are revealed. It is the perfect compliment for lectures that cover such topics as birds of prey, reptiles, oceans, and the prevention of injury to wildlife. There are also a number of guided nature walks that will bring visitors face to face with the wonders of nature in this part of Florida.
The exhibits at the Conservancy are fascinating to both adults and children – and provide the perfect balance between education and simply having fun. The Dalton Discovery Center is especially interesting, with new attractions that use augmented reality to provide both information – and outline the importance of conservation. For the little ones, the Touch Tank and Little Explorer Play Zone are an absolute delight.
The Conservancy also has Kayaks available that allow visitors to explore the Mangrove regions of the Gordon River. Guided Kayak tours are also available.
The Conservancy of Southwest Florida provides not only an invaluable resource when it comes to protecting wildlife and educating the public but also a great day out for the whole family.