The Hedges Family Eco-Center
Here is your one-stop resource for information about the natural areas and the local history museums of Collier County. Our knowledgeable volunteer staff are more than willing to answer any quetions you might have about sightseeing advice, brochures, and local maps. While you are here, enjoy one our scheduled environmental programs or just relax with a book in our natural history resource library. You will enjoy what the Preserve and Eco-Center have to offer!
Directions to Naples Preserve
Features of the Preserve and Eco-Center
Free Nature Walk - The fully accesible boardwalk is open daily during daylight hours.
Free Visitor Info - Obtain from the Hedges Eco-Center
Nature Talk Series, Special Family Events, and "For Kids Only" Activities - Listed below.
A Geocaching and a Letterboxing Site
2015 Nature Talk Series
The nature talks are free and start at 10a.m.
Tuesday, January 6 - “A Gray Fox Family in The Naples Preserve”, Naples Preserve
A video presentation of a Gray Fox family growing-up in The Naples Preserve.
Tuesday, January 13 -”Who-o-o Ate the Vole?”, The Naples Zoo and The Naples Preserve
The Naples Zoo will be here with their owls for a short presentation followed
everyone having the opportunity to dissect their very own Barn Owl pellet.
Tuesday, January 20 - “Night Moves - the Nocturnal Ecology of Big Cypress National Preserve”
Luke Gommermann ( Big Cypress National Preserve)
Tuesday, January 27 - “Shorebirds”, Wendell Vaught (Eco-Quest)
Following the presentation, join Wendell Vaught at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park for some bird-watching. Remember to bring your binoculars!
Tuesday, February 3 - “How Know? How Old, How Far, How Fast, How Time, How Life”, Jack Berninger
Tuesday, February 10 - “Women in the Everglades”, Marya Repko
Tuesday, February 17 - “Scrub Jays”, Monica Folk, Ph.D.
Monica Folk has studied Scrub Jays for several years and is currently
populations in the Florida counties of Indian River and Marion.
Tuesday, February 24 - No talk.
Tuesday, March 3 - “Pollinators and Plants”, Jack Berninger
Tuesday, March 10 - “Fakahatchee - the Northernmost Island in the Caribbean”
Patrick Higgins (local Naturalist and Vice President of Friends of Fakahatchee)
Tuesday, March 17 - “Plant Microbial Fuel Cell (pMFC): A Tool for Innovators and Educators”
Dr. Anjali Misra (School of Pure and Applied Sciences, Florida SouthWestern
Tuesday, March 24 - “Wildfires in Florida”, Wendell Vaught (Eco-Quest)
First-hand account and photos of Florida wildfires from a retired, Senior Forest Ranger.
Tuesday, March 31 - “The Early Tamiami Trail in Naples and Western Collier County”
Ron Echols, Ph.D. (The Naples Preserve). The Trail has not always followed the same path that it does today.
Tuesday, April 7 - “Fabulous Insects Found in The Naples Preserve”, Naples Preserve
The Preserve is important for the survival of more than just mammals, reptiles and birds..
2015 Out & About Eco-Tours
Register at Fleischmann Park
Phone: (239) 213-3020
Must register one week in advance of tour.
All tours depart from the Community Center at Fleischmann Park, 1600 Fleischmann Blvd.
Thursday, January 8, 2015. Canoe Trip on the Turner River (Big Cypress National Preserve). Paddle the Turner River under towering cypress, through pond apple forests and mangrove tunnels, and across prairies to discover the diversity of plants and animals that call this area home. Required: Some canoeing experience and the ability to paddle for 4 hours. (There is no current or tide to fight.)
Depart Fleischmann Park at 9:00 a.m. and return at approximately 4:00 p.m.. Bring your own lunch and water bottle. Limited to 10 people. Cost: $10.00
Friday, January 30, 2015. Ghost Walk at Koreshan State Park. There is no better way to learn about the Koreshans. Walk along luminary-lit pathways and view a play in eight scenes that depicts the Koreshan people and their lives.
Register early as there is a limited number of tickets available.
Depart from Fleischmann Park at 6:15 p.m.. Cost: $25.00
Thursday, February 12, 2015. Hickey’s Creek Mitigation Park. Reach for the sky as we walk over the canopy bridge through several ecosystems to locate some unusual plants and to hopefully spot some nice animals - especially a Bobcat. Led by Jack Berninger.
Depart from Fleischmann Park at 8:30 a.m. and return at approximately 2:30 p.m. Bring your own lunch. Cost: $10.00
Tuesday, February 24, 2015. Marjory Stoneman Douglas Luncheon in Everglades City. The speaker will be Charlie Munroe, the grandson of Commodore Ralph Middleton Munroe. Commodore Munroe , one of Coconut Grove’s most charming and influential pioneers, was a friend of Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
Depart from Fleischmann Park at 9:30 a.m. and return at approximately
Cost $10.00 (Plus $25.00 at the door for the luncheon)
Thursday, March 12, 2015. Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. Step back in time for a unique adventure of rare ferns, bromeliads and orchids. We will stop to eat lunch at the old cabin turn-around. We should see plenty of gators, birds, butterflies with a chance Panther sighting. Led by jack Berninger.
Depart from Fleischmann Park at 8:30 a.m. and return at approximately 3:00 p.m. Bring your own lunch. Cost: $10.00
Friday, March 20, 2015. Night Sky and Astronomy Program at Big Cypress National Preserve. Join us for an evening of dark sky education and celebration! View one of the darkest night skies in the eastern United States. Presentations will include constellation tours that guide visitors through the night sky and telescope viewing of night sky objects, including stars, star clusters, planets, nebulae and galaxies.
There is no seating at the program, so bring your own lawn chair or blanket. Dress for the conditions - temperature and possible mosquitoes.
Depart from Fleischmann Park at 6:30pm Cost: $10.00
Parks and Recreation Current Program Guide
Partners of The Naples Preserve
Eagle Lakes Bird Sanctuary
Collier County Museum
Immokalee Pioneer Museum at Roberts Ranch
Museum of the Everglades
Naples Depot Museum
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park
Collier-Seminole State Park
Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve
Picayune Strand State Forest
Big Cypress National Preserve
Everglades National Park
Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge
Rookery Bay National Estuarine Reserch Reserve
Conservancy of SW Florida Nature Center
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
CREW Land and Water Trust
Naples Botanical Garden
Shy Wolf Sanctuary
Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens