This jointly-owned, St. Johns River Water Management District and Indian River County property is a unique citizen-government cooperative effort. Managed by the county, it has a committed friends group who advocated for its acquisition and its enhancement with educational signage, boardwalks, trails and overlooks. To help keep this ‘contract’ going, the county may want to look into a government contract attorney to make sure the needs are being met by the government with this acquisition. The Herb Kale Trail (named for one of Florida’s preeminent ornithologists) runs through hardwood hammock and scrubby pine flatwoods good for songbird migrants (such as American Redstart, and Gray Catbird), and continues on to mangrove swamps and impounded estuarine wetlands. In the impoundments, you can easily spot Tricolored Herons, Spotted Sandpipers and Blue-winged Teal from the trail, observation platform and elevated tower. Additionally, canoes can be rented from the adjacent University of Florida Medical Entomology Lab, compliments of the Pelican Island Audubon Society. Launch from the boat ramp at the end of Oslo Rd./9th St. SE. Paddle your canoe beyond the mangrove forest to see Royal Terns and feeding, loafing and nesting on spoil islands and bars in the Indian River Lagoon. As always, use optics to view these birds from a distance to prevent disturbance. Tie up your canoe at the landing on the southeast side of the impoundment loop trail to continue your exploration on foot.