Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ponce de' Leon- Peace River Wildlife Center

Peace River Wildlife Refuge located at Ponce de'Leon Park in Punta Gorda Florida is a great place for both young and young at heart!

Walk along the boardwalk and watch for birds and wildlife. There are signs posted along the path that teach visitors about the local flora and fauna in the mangrove flats. There is a fishing pier at the end of the board walk that is a perfect spot to land a fresh catch of mangrove snapper to cook up on one of the park grills!
Tour the Peace River Wildlife Center where you can meet interesting characters- like the White Pelican above- who is a permanent resident at the center. Although it is the goal of the rescue center to nurture and then release wildlife back into their natural environment-sadly, it is not always possible. Fortunately for those who have been so badly injured, Peace River Wildlife provides a safe home where they are fed and taken care of by a staff of mostly volunteers.
Feeding time takes place between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. and is a wonderful opportunity to get an up close and personal look at a variety of animals and birds interacting with each other. It is a popular place during those times for local birds who have not been injured as well- it seems that every species imaginable "stops by" around that time of the day- anything for a free meal! It is a great time to get pictures of a wide array of Florida birds!
There is a terrific playground and a field for games at the park. Picnic tables are spread around Ponce de' Leon for your enjoyment. Larger parties can use the covered pavillion for group gatherings. Catch a beautiful Florida sunset while you cook out on the grills provided by the park.
If you don't live in the area- I recommend that you check out your own local parks systems. So many of them have gone through improvements over the last few years and can be a great way to spend an affordable and fun day in the great outdoors!

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