Apalachicola Maritime Museum
The museum preserves, celebrates, and promotes the maritime heritage of Apalachicola and provides a glimpse into the rich and diverse history of the Flint, Chattahoochee, and Apalachicola River basins. The museum features educational programs that expand knowledge through experience with excursions to pristine barrier islands, kayak rentals, estuary cruises, wooden boat building school, and sail training. Visit their website for a list of daily activities, times, and fees. Picnics are welcome aboard the boats. For more information, please visit www.ammfl.org.
Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve & Visitor/Nature Center
Not to be missed, the Center richly interprets the diverse habitat found within this 246,000-acre reserve, which is one of 25 sites designated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to provide long-term estuarine research and monitoring, education and interpretation, and resource management, as a basis for more informed coastal management decisions. The 3,000-square-foot center features marine habitat displays, including three simulations of key aquatic habitats in the river, bay, and gulf. The Howell Building houses a 100-seat capacity auditorium, is equipped for slide and video presentations, and provides space for the Reserve’s monthly guest lecture series. These lectures are recorded on video and incorporated into the Reserve’s audio/video library which is available to the public.
E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center at Nokuse Plantation
The center honors the legacy of famed entomologist E. O. Wilson. Founded by local businessman and conservationist M.C. Davis, Nokuse Plantation comprises 50,000+ acres of Longleaf Pine ecosystem. Ranked as the 6th most biodiverse area in the continental United States, less than 2% of it remains intact today. As such, it’s an ideal place from which to educate students on the importance of biodiversity and to encourage conservation, preservation, and restoration. Designed by architect Anthony Vallee, this state-of-the-art learning center enables visitors to witness a working beehive, see rare bird species, observe several species of snakes and frogs, view wildlife dioramas, and learn from the organization’s wildlife experts. Though the Center’s focus is on 4th and 7th grade classroom education, it is open to the public the first Saturday of the month.
On the side of State Highway 77 in Wausau stands what may well be Florida’s most unique roadside memorial – the Possum Monument. Unveiled in August of 1982, the inscription reads: “Erected in grateful recognition of the role the North American possum, a magnificent survivor of the marsupial family pre-dating the ages of the mastodon and the dinosaur, has played in furnishing both food and fur for the early settlers and their successors. Their presence here has provided a source of nutritious and flavorful food in normal times and has been an important aid to human survival in times of distress and critical need.” The 1982 session of the Florida Legislature further recognized the possum by passing a joint resolution proclaiming the first Saturday in August as “Possum Day in the Great State of Florida.”
Seacrest Wolf Preserve
This is truly an unforgettable experience! Enter the large natural habitat enclosure that is home to Gray, Arctic, and British Columbia wolves, and be greeted by the pack. Nowhere else can one experience these majestic creatures one-on-one, up close, and personal. One can even test his or her howling skills and see how the pack responds. Founded in 1999 by Cynthia and Wayne Watkins, the work of Seacrest Wolf Preserve began as a quiet conservation effort and has evolved through the years into the largest wolf preserve in the Southeastern United States. This 430-acre facility is totally dedicated to wolf conservation and preservation. Public tours are on Saturday, from 1:00 – 4:00 PM. The facility includes a gift shop, restrooms, and concession stand. In addition to the wolves, visitors can have small animal encounters with Arctic, Silver, and Grey Fox, Coyotes, Raccoons, Skunks, and more. Group and VIP tours can be made by appointment. Visit www.seacrestwolfpreserve.org to see clothing restrictions and more details.