Nature Center & Education
Nature Center Hours
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. October through May
8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. June through September
Nature Center & Trails, $5/adult, children under 17 free and members free
Nature Center is located at 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Road on Sanibel, near
mile marker 1 (about one mile west of Tarpon Bay Road). For info,
SCCF and Environmental Education
Environmental Education has always been part of SCCF’s core mission. Our 6,900+ square foot nature center houses a touch tank and exhibits teaching about the ecology of Sanibel and Captiva.
The environmental education department provides a wide variety of activities and programs to engage the community and visitors in experiences designed to increase their awareness and understanding of the natural world. A variety of venues for learning about the islands and the waters surrounding them are offered to people of all ages with an emphasis on utilizing the outdoors as a classroom.
The department has four staff members and an intern for much of the year. They work closely with other departments to integrate the many aspects of SCCF's work into environmental education. Staff reached more than 44,000 people in 2006-2007, whether it was in one of our preserves, on the water, in the classroom or in the yards of local homeowners. Audiences were wide-ranging, from adults to children of all ages.
The department is guided by a committee that provides a forum for discussion, brainstorming, and planning for the direction of the overall environmental education program.
A 6,900+ square foot nature center currently serves the needs of education, exhibition, and operations. Four miles of trails are available to take visitors through the various habitats on guided and self-guided tours. The Nature Shop and Bookstore offers a wide selection of nature-related merchandise and a variety of books ranging from children's selections to specialized guides. The nature center also has a digitized herbarium collection, and houses a library for use by staff, volunteers, and members. A native plant nursery provides sources for native plant landscaping to serve the needs of wildlife , minimize ecological disruption and to help conserve water.
An exhibit area houses a touch tank and play area for children in addition to visual displays of the island’s habitats. A recent addition to the exhibit room is a live video camera hooked to barn owl nesting box on the side of the main building. Cameras feed live video of nesting activity to a large screen television that is mounted inside the exhibit room. Planning is ongoing to develop more wildlife cams in other parts of the Nature Center.