Gumbo Limbo Nature Center
is “located in the city of Boca Raton’s Red Reef Park on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway”. Gumbo Limbo is the name of one of the dominant tree species found there. You can walk the well-marked paths to several seawater tanks to observe sharks, sea turtles, stingrays and native fish (feeding times are posted), or take the boardwalk trail which includes a 40-ft. observation tower. Visit the Nature Center for its exhibits, brochures, maps, and knowledgeable, friendly volunteers. There is a Butterfly Garden, authentic Seminole Chiki (hut) example, and a gallery view of the Florida Atlantic University Research Lab. “The Center has been home to the Boca Raton Sea Turtle Conservaton and Research Program since 1988”.
We were lucky to have beautiful weather for our visit, and if we had planned in advance, we would have taken a picnic lunch to enjoy in the Red Reef Park picnic area. I especially like the fact that a partnership with the county school system provides programs in coastal and marine ecology to local students. Admission is by optional donation; $3 is suggested. There is
a nice gift shop, too, which also includes educational displays.
(Quoted passages are from Nature Center literature; also visit www.gumbolimbo.org for more information)
Milton and Feebee, two loggerhead turtles released in November 2008, can be tracked via the “News” section on the website, and we were told to watch for “The Turtle’s Song” , a documentary that Feebee stars in!
Date of our visit: February 13, 2009
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