| Our bald-cypress forest is an irreplaceable national treasure. Did you know that Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary protects the largest, old-growth cypress forest remaining in the U.S.?|
Related to the giant redwoods of the west coast, bald cypress trees can grow upwards of 100 feet tall. Sixty of the trees inside the Sanctuary have been growing long enough to reach at least 17 feet in circumference, with one measuring 24 feet around – the length of roughly five humans hugging this tree! Scientists estimate some of our giants at more than 535 years and among the oldest living things in our state.
If they could talk, our trees would tell some amazing stories. They’ve seen wars, hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, and birds hunted. In 1905, these trees witnessed the first Audubon wardens protecting the Wood Storks and other wading birds that were hunted for their feathers during the plume trade. These same trees would have been lost to loggers’ sawblades buzzing through nearby forests, if not for the community banding together to save this swamp nearly 70 years ago. Thanks to those caring individuals, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary today invites visitors to walk among these giants and “hear” their stories.
In honor of Arbor Day, we hope you will stand with this old-growth forest and admire its longevity, resilience, and generosity. These trees not only clean the air we breathe, but also remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, boosting our resilience against our changing climate.
Thank you for caring about our giants and for the wildlife that depends on them.