D30. Rotary Park Environmental Center
Nearest City: Cape Coral
Phone Number: 239-549-4606
Features/Amenities: Restrooms, Birding by foot/hiking, Birding by bicycle, Best time of day: Both morning and evening, Recommended length of visit: a few hours br>
Habitats: Mangrove Swamp, Pines, River/Stream/Spring/Canal, Lake/Pond/Impoundment, Hardwoods/Mixed Forest, Mudflats
This site is predominantly mangrove estuary with a series of manmade wetlands, and is one of the only preserved green spaces in heavily-developed Cape Coral. As such, it is a magnet for species seeking out foraging areas during migration and even areas to nest during summer. The main park area offers about a mile of walking trails that loop through the mangroves around the wetlands, and pass by an observation tower that provides a commanding view of the surrounding estuary. These wetland ponds dry down at different rates, giving bird species a selection of habitat ranging from open water to mudflats. A disjunct parking area provides access to a beautiful boardwalk that takes you through mangroves and down to the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River. Be sure to call and ask about the annual burrowing owl festival!
Directions: From intersection of Del Prado Blvd. (SR 867 A) and Cape Coral Pkwy. in Cape Coral, drive 2.4 mi. west on Cape Coral Pkwy., turn left (S) on Pelican Blvd., continue 0.9 mi. to stop sign. Turn left (E) onto El Dorado Pkwy.; make an immediate right into main park. The disjunct boardwalk parking area is straight through the stop sign, 0.8 mi. down Rose Garden Rd. on the left.
Open all year, dawn to dusk.
Location: 26.549115, -81.982035