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Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Wading birds in a wetland
Bringing Birds Back
Our Marsh and Prairie Restoration efforts are helping bring birds back to areas within the Sanctuary that had been overtaken by Carolina willow, a woody shrub. With 2,100 acres identified for restoration, we are nearing our first benchmark goal of 1,000 acres by 2023 with 867 acres under restoration to date. Nature’s response to our restoration process is rapid – as shown in this photo. In the past few days, water levels within one of the 2021 restoration units have been "just right" for Roseate Spoonbills, Snowy Egrets, and many others to find a plentiful buffet.
Roseate Spoonbills, Snowy Egrets, and other species. Photo: Allyson Webb
Children on a dock with a dip net
Corkscrew Sanctuary Launches Wild Florida Adventure Camp
Get ready for a summer to remember! Join us for our NEW and exciting nature-based summer camp for children ages 6-10 years at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Each week features a different theme with fun, interactive, hands-on activities for campers to explore the natural wonders of the Sanctuary. Each of our camp weeks focuses on a different theme. Sign up for one week or more. The fee for each camp week is $200, with scholarships and sibling discounts available. Registration opens soon. 
Campers explore the natural wonders of the Sanctuary. Photo: Luke Franke/Audubon
Collage of student images at the sanctuary
Youth Education Programs Have Resumed
Squeals of excitement, giggles while wearing insect-vision goggles, and the awe of touching a live alligator are special sounds that have been missed at the Sanctuary over the past 18 months. Thankfully, youth education programs resumed and the students are BACK at the Sanctuary! The boardwalk and our outdoor space offer unique opportunities for hands-on learning and immersive educational experiences. Above all, place-based learning at the Sanctuary gives kindergarteners through college students the opportunity to connect with nature. It costs approximately $46 per student to conduct these special experiences at the Sanctuary and our goal is to return to our pre-COVID reach of 3,000 students in the coming school year.
Top: Miss Parker's Second Grade Class from Sabal Palm Elementary. Bottom: Kindergarten students from First Baptist Academy. Photo: Sandra Williams
People with tools in a field.
Engaging College Students in Stewardship
Over the past few years, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary has hosted a group of students with Sharks and Service from Nova Southeastern University for service learning. In February, seven students spent a morning helping our land management team and capped it off with a naturalist-guided boardwalk tour. Groups like this not only provide valuable assistance but also help us foster a stewardship ethic among young adults.
Nova Southeastern University Students at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.
Oban and Carlton at the Sanctuary
Helping a Boy’s Wish Come True
In February, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary was honored to help make a young boy’s wish come true. Eight-year-old Oban Birmingham, a Lymphoma patient, has a big interest in nature and was especially enthralled by photographs of endangered Florida panthers he saw in National Geographic magazine. When Oban said he wished to be a wildlife photographer for a day, Make-a-Wish contacted photographer Carlton Ward, who offered to take Oban to the Sanctuary.
National Geographic photographer Carlton Ward with Oban. Photos: Zee Anna Photography
Person with drip torch.
Prescribed Fire Update
Well-executed prescribed fire is an essential management tool for ecosystem health. As of March 3, 2022, Sanctuary resource managers have successfully applied fire to 388 acres. Prescribed fire transforms dense, difficult-to-pass-through vegetation to a habitat full of small pockets of brush and grasses punctuated by newly open areas, colored grey and black by ash and burn-scarred trees. This landscape holds the promise of renewal and health. Fast forward six months and wildflowers bring pops of color to the lush new grass growth.
Igniting the prescribed fire. Photo: David Korte
Kids with docent on boardwalk.
Youth Education Volunteers Needed!
Volunteers play a vital role in our mission of natural resource protection, education, research, and advocacy. If you enjoy teaching and have spare time, we need you for second grade,  fifth grade, and summer camp adventures! We provide orientation and training.  Learn more and apply here.
Youth education volunteers are essential to our mission. Photo: Sandra Williams
Bird in the swamp
Upcoming Events
Looking for a guided experience? We have several coming up! Registration is required and space is limited to only ten guests. 
Ancient Forest Tour 3/24
Early Birding Walk 3/29
Early Birding Walk 4/5
Ancient Forest Tour 4/7
Early Birding Walk 4/12
Sunset Stroll 4/13
Early Birding Walk 4/19  Book a tour.
Great Blue Heron. Photo: David Korte
Membership promo
Members Get In Free
As a reminder, Friends of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary members receive free admission to the boardwalk all year long. Thanks to our online ticketing platform, members and visitors can appreciate shorter wait times at the admissions desk and less crowding on the boardwalk. With our new online system, members no longer need to carry their membership cards!   Read more
Members get free admission.
Bag with strap
Shop the Nature Store
Find books, photography, and wares by area artists, logo items like magnets and t-shirts produced by local businesses, there’s even hand-crafted jewelry, housewares, and more. We constantly receive new merchandise! Don’t forget to stop in on your next visit, or check out the offerings at our online store.   Check out our online store.
Environmentally-themed souvenirs and gifts.
in the news graphic
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary In the News
Outlet: Lonely Planet
Headline: Build the perfect Everglades adventure
Excerpt: There’s a spectacularly adventurous yet oddly soothing way to experience Southwest Florida – the Everglades. For the adventure-minded outdoor enthusiast, the Everglades is a paradise of adrenaline, and at the same time, a place to reconnect with your inner self and experience quiet solitude. At Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, transport yourself into old wild Florida on the 2.25-mile boardwalk through old-growth bald cypress forest, pinelands, and wetlands.

Outlet: WINK News Ft. Myers
Headline: Connecticut Boy Gets Wish Granted to be a Wildlife Photographer for a Day
Excerpt: A child fighting cancer got to live his dream for a day. 8-year-old Oban Birmingham made it all the way to Collier County from Connecticut. And, he was able to go behind the scenes as a wildlife photographer in the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Between alligators, hogs, and birds, Oban saw it all on Monday. He even was able to see a video of two Florida panthers, as captured by a camera along a trail. Monday, on the backroads of Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Oban just had to get as close as possible to the wildlife. “That is… oh my gosh, I have no idea oh my gosh, I have to get a closer look,” he said. Oban got to be an explorer and naturalist on Monday instead of a kid with cancer.

Outlet: FOX 4 News Fort. Myers
Headline: Connecticut boy gets wish granted in SWFL
Excerpt: A Connecticut boy got to live out his dream for a day in SWFL. 8-year-old Oban Birmingham was able to visit the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary on Monday, February 21st. Birmingham is battling cancer and his wish was granted by National Geographic Photographer Carlton Ward. He was able to see first-hand the wildlife living in the sanctuary and he got to photograph several species.

Outlet: ABC-7 News Ft. Myers
Headline: 8-year-old battling lymphoma gets exclusive trip through protected wetland area
Excerpt: An 8-year-old battling lymphoma has never lost sight of his desire to be a naturalist when he grows up. So Make-A-Wish in Collier County helped make the Connecticut boy’s wish come true. Oban Burmingham partnered with National Geographic explorer Carlton Ward, Jr. to get up close and personal with Florida’s wildlife on an exclusive trip through a protected wetlands area. Ward took Burmingham and his dad, Tom, through the marsh on a swamp buggy to private parts of the sanctuary the public never sees. The visit to the back country included the panther’s habitat [at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary].
Donations and memberships provide crucial support for conservation work at the Sanctuary. The Blair Audubon Center and boardwalk are open daily with timed admissions from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Online tickets are required at www.corkscrew.audubon.org/visit
Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
375 Sanctuary Rd., Naples, FL 34120 USA
(239) 348-9151 | corkscrew.audubon.org

© 2024 National Audubon Society, Inc.