Saturday, January 8, 2011

Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex, Boca Raton, FL

Hello again from sunny Florida.  This time I'm here at the Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex in Boca.  The first few times that Susan and Rob visited Florida, the complex was always closed, but when we finally got to see this remarkable facility, they keep going back.

It was known as the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center back then and is surrounded by two parks, Spanish River and Red Reef.  Gumbo Limbo started out in Spanish River, later moved to Red Reef as the master plans called for.  The Nature Center on the right, contains a butterfly nursery, gopher tortoise exhibit and a sea turtle garden to name a few.  While there, you can visit the gift shop, sign up for public programs and/or pick up some literature on nature and conservation.

You can also walk along their elevated boardwalk and visit the Hardwood Hammock, which will give you a glimpse of what Florida looked like back before modern civilization and climb the 40 foot observation tower where you can see for miles around you.  Discover what the state tree of Florida is and what a strangler fig is.    

The North Trail features a butterfly garden which is in full bloom in May and June. Relax in the Seminole chiki that overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway where, if you are lucky enough, you can spot a manatee.

Exhibits also include four seawater tanks where you are encouraged to touch and handle.  Included are the Mangrove Tank, the Reef Tank, the Shark and Ray tank and a Sea Turtle Tank. 

Their Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center is new having opened in January of 2010.  In the past, Gumbo Limbo saved sick and injured sea turtles, but always sent them to other facilities to be treated.  Of  5000 endangered green turtles,177 of them were treated here and released from this new facility due to a cold snap on January 1st.  

An endangered sea turtle in one of the four outdoor tanks .

I am including the official site of the Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex which includes pictures and a detailed history of the creation of the park.    It is worth looking at especially if you've never been there.  It will give you some idea of how important the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is to the area and what they are involved in.  I would also like to thank them for providing some of the pictures that you see on this blog.


  1. Another interesting place, Clyde! I'd love to climb up that observation tower! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Okay, Clyde...did you really walk to the top of that observation tower?? If you did, you are braver than I!!! The entire complex sounds wonderful...would enjoy a visit there!