Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
People repairing the boardwalk
Dodson Spur Repairs Underway
Our world-famous, 2.25-mile boardwalk was originally constructed in 1956. It was largely rebuilt in 1996 with Ipe lumber, chosen for its supreme resistance to weather and fire. At the time, our leadership worked to sustainably source this product from the Amazon rainforest. Since then, the boardwalk has withstood damage from falling trees associated with dozens of storms, including Hurricane Irma in 2017. The Dodson Spur has been closed since the storm, but thanks to generous support from a donor and the dedication of volunteers and staff, it is now under repair.

If you are skilled with a saw or handy with a hammer, we are looking for more volunteers to add to our crew. Complete a Volunteer Application today or let Kristina know of your interest. Read more about the boardwalk repairs.
Facilities staff Gio, Pete, and Joseph repairing a section of the Dodson Spur. Photo: David Korte
Allyson Webb
Senior Resource Manager Allyson Webb Honored
The Burl Long Award honors Dr. Burl Long, a founding member of the Florida Natural Resources Leadership Institute (NRLI). It is an annual award given to the NRLI Fellow who best exemplifies the program’s mission of seeking inclusive, collaborative solutions to Florida’s challenging natural resource issues. What makes the award so special is the fact that the awardee is chosen by their peers. Allyson Webb was selected by her class – Class 20 – to receive the 2021 Burl Long Award.
Allyson Webb.
Aerial view of Blair Center
Blair Center Update
With summer around the corner, we are excited to start thinking about creating new opportunities for visitors at the Blair Center. In the meantime, here are just a few updates and reminders:
• Advanced online reservations are required.
• Daily admissions 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The boardwalk closes at 3 p.m.
• Vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear masks on the boardwalk or inside the Center.
• Renew your membership online.
• No food or drink is permitted on the boardwalk. Picnic tables are available in the parking area in front of the Center.
Aerial image of the Blair Audubon Center.
Tom and Judy Maish
Board Member Spotlight: Tom Maish
Tom Maish is a dedicated and driven volunteer whose ties to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary run deep. Having started volunteering at the Sanctuary in 2013, he has been instrumental in repairing the boardwalk, both as a skilled worker and repair crew supervisor.  As a member of the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Sustainability Board, Tom provides sound and reliable advice in the best interest of the Sanctuary. In 2016, Tom was instrumental in creating the Sanctuary's Campus Host program, which invites folks to work and volunteer at the Sanctuary while living in their personal recreational vehicle.

Tom hails from Columbus, Ohio, and is a graduate of The Ohio State University.  Tom and Judy, his wife of 62 years, have two children and seven grandchildren.

In this photo from 1978, Tom and Judy visited the boardwalk for the first time. While reviewing some old photos recently, Tom and Judy encountered this one.

According to Tom: “I thought, ‘that Boardwalk looks like Corkscrew!’ Much to our amazement, the folks who had taken us there in 1978 had thoughtfully noted time and place. Guess that is why the Sanctuary is in our DNA.”

The Sanctuary can only meet its mission because of the dedication of donors and volunteers like Tom. 
Tom and Judy Maish on the boardwalk in 1977.
SOTE cover
State of the Everglades
In case you missed it, the State of the Everglades Spring 2021 report is out! As a critical part of the Western Everglades, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is highlighted, along with great news on progress being made on Everglades restoration, funding updates, and more. 
State of the Everglades publication cover.
Upcoming Events
We’re on Ghost Orchid watch! When will it bloom? We can’t put a date on it, but it could be soon. 

June 20 – Father’s Day and National Eagle Day Fundraiser. Join the fun at Ankrolab Brewing Company in Naples this Saturday, when you can enjoy a specialty brew and help support the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland. 

July 24 – Friends of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary members-only social! More details to come. Become a Friend today.

News header
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in the News
Outlet: Florida Unplugged
Headline: The Perils Of Corkscrew Swamp
Excerpt: One of Florida’s most protected pristine swamps is drying up, facing a water supply dilemma. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, northeast of Naples, has seen its water flow sharply diminish as development booms all around it. The swamp sits on 13,000 acres of undisturbed woodlands on the edge of the Big Cypress National Preserve. It contains over 700 acres of virgin Bald Cypress trees, the largest remaining concentration in the world.

Outlet: Naples Daily News
Headline:Summer fun: 10 things to do this summer in Collier County
Excerpt: Where the wild things are: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary offers a walk in nature that's unique. Saunter down the 2.5-mile boardwalk and see, well, what won't you see? 

Outlet: Miami Curated Travel
Headline: Things to Do in Naples + Best Restaurants
Excerpt: Journey into the heart of the Everglades ecosystem on Corkscrew’s famous boardwalk – a 2.5-mile adventure through pine flatwoods, wet prairie, around a marsh, and finally into the largest old growth Bald Cypress forest in North America. It is home to hundreds of alligators, otters, white-tailed deer, and red-bellied turtles. A wide variety of wading birds, songbirds, raptors can be seen year-round. Photo opportunities are available at every turn of the boardwalk trail. There’s also an environmental learning center and nature store with locally made and Fair Trade merchandise. — art, books, clothing, jewelry. 

Outlet: NPR

Headline: Once Nearly Extinct, The Florida Panther Is Making A Comeback
Excerpt: Kelly and Tampa-based photographer Carlton Ward, Jr. are featured in the April issue of National Geographic magazine. The article provides a glimpse into the life of the Florida panther, whose population once dwindled to below two dozen but has since rebounded to more than 200. A female and three kittens explore Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, a reserve of old-growth cypress forest surrounded by encroaching suburbs. Many of these camera trap images took years to capture...

Outlet: Getting On Travel
Excerpt: After spending a glorious month in winter as a snowbird in Naples, Florida, it’s easy to see why this Gulf Coast city in the Sunshine State ranks among the top four in U.S. News and World Report’s 2020-2021 list of “Best Places to Retire in the U.S.” Nature and bird lovers will enjoy a visit to Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Western Everglades. It’s popular with nature photographers as well. I spent a morning there as a guest of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
375 Sanctuary Rd., Naples, FL 34120 USA
(239) 348-9151 |

© 2024 National Audubon Society, Inc.

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