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Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Monthly eNewsletter
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"Flight of the Wood Stork" Provides a Bird's View of Restoration
Throughout the twentieth century, Wood Storks were synonymous with Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, which served as the birthplace for thousands of these prehistoric-looking birds. However, in recent decades, Wood Storks are frequently choosing not to nest at the Sanctuary, or their nests are failing. The timing of this change coincides with a number of alterations to the landscape, particularly a widespread loss of shallow wetlands and changes in seasonal water levels due to flood control for nearby development. Learn more about how Wood Storks are responding and ways our staff is working to help, through a brand new short film produced by National Audubon Society’s Senior Producer, Visual Storytelling,
Christine Lin.
 Read more.
Screen shot of new video.
Barred owl in a tree.
Celebrate Summer Solstice on the Boardwalk
Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is hosting a Summer Solstice Evening on June 21. Visitors are invited to stroll the boardwalk, talk to our Boardwalk Naturalists, and get a fascinating glimpse of life in the swamp as the sun is setting. Discounted admissions are $8 for adults, $3 for youth and FREE for children 5 and under, US military/veterans (with ID) and Friends of Corkscrew Members. Doors open at 5 p.m. with last admission at 7 p.m. Sunset that evening is 8:21 p.m., and the boardwalk will close at 8:30 p.m. The Blair Visitor Center Nature Store will also be open from 5 – 8:45 p.m.
Barred Owls are common sights on the boardwalk any time of day. Photo: Brenda Stelzer.
A boy writing on a chalkboard, a flower, and a graphic logo.
Free Day Welcomes Nearly 800 Visitors
The Sanctuary welcomed nearly 800 visitors to our free admission day on May 18 in honor of our National Natural Landmark designation. Visitors met our animal ambassadors, kids filled out scavenger hunts, and everyone viewed wildlife along the boardwalk. 

Some comments shared by attendees:
  • Stefani L: It was a great opportunity to enjoy the day. Thank you!
  • Fay Andrea R: Visited yesterday and had a wonderful time enjoying our walk. Thanks so much for making this free opportunity available to young families and retirees who couldn't have afforded it, otherwise. Your kindness and generosity were appreciated.
Keep an eye out for other special events throughout the summer and fall.
Our Free Day welcomed many new visitors to the Sanctuary.
Aerial view of observation deck and tower.
Bird Tracking Station Installed at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
We recently installed a Motus Wildlife Tracking System station in the Sanctuary’s backcountry as part of the Audubon Migratory Bird Initiative. The antenna picks up radio signals emitted from birds outfitted with tracking devices if their flight path takes them within about seven miles of the tower. The tower joins a growing network of 16 towers in the Audubon network and hundreds of others around the world.
An aerial view of the Motus station at the back-country observation deck.
Supporter Spotlight: Community Partners
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary relies on philanthropy for roughly half of its annual operating budget, which supports stewardship of 13,450 acres, wildlife and watershed research, and immersive nature experiences for visitors and students. This month, we would like to recognize a few of our community partners for their unwavering support:
  • Lee County Electric Cooperative has provided nearly $20,000 in grant support for our land management program since 2020 and has enabled our team to purchase specialized equipment to effectively manage healthy wildlife habitat.
  • The Big Cypress Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution has been a staunch supporter of the Marsh and Prairie Restoration effort since its inception in 2018 and this year marked their 5th year of continued support, totaling nearly $15,000.
  • The Naples Garden Club has been a valued partner in fulfilling our shared vision of creating opportunities for learning about native plants through their support of our Native Plant and Pollinator Garden, wetlands restoration, and, this year, our partnership grows again with grant support toward a new Ghost Orchid Exhibit.
If you’d like to learn more about ways to support the Sanctuary please contact development manager Sarah Lathrop.
Bobcat. Photo: Brenda Stelzer
Boardwalk view.
Guided Walks on the Horizon
This summer, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is featuring a range of guided walks for visitors to learn more about the animals and plants that make the Sanctuary their home. From June 17 to August 12, a Sanctuary Naturalist will be hosting a one-hour guided walk each Friday at 9:30 a.m. Space is limited to 12 participants, so reservations are a must. Discounted prices are available for Friends of Corkscrew Members. Longer guided walks will also be offered. 
The boardwalk. Photo: R J Wiley
Scroll past the news for more information and events!
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Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in the News
Headline: A Cathedral of Wetlands: Immerse Yourself in Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Excerpt: Close your eyes and imagine a place where birdsong fills the air instead of traffic noise. Where giant trees that have been growing since before America was born surround you. A pristine landscape where Florida panthers, river otters, and wading birds thrive. Southwest Florida has such an untouched place, roughly midway between Fort Myers and Naples. Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary has a history extending back more than 100 years.

Outlet: Naples Florida Weekly
Headline: Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary to hold Wild Florida Adventure Camp
Excerpt: Get ready for a summer to remember — a new, nature-based summer camp is available for children ages 6 to 10 years at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Each week includes fun, interactive, hands on activities for campers to explore the natural wonders of the Sanctuary. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, campers will discover the ancient forest and animals along the boardwalk through activities that integrate science, arts, music, movement, drama, and more. Sports and water play will also be part of each fun-filled week.

Outlet: Bonita Springs Florida Weekly
Headline: Take a peek at some Great Local TREES for National Arbor Day
Excerpt: As the country celebrates the 150th anniversary of National Arbor Day on April 29, we take a look at noteworthy trees around Collier County. Corkscrew conserves more than 13,000 acres, including the world’s largest remaining old-growth bald cypress forest. These trees are estimated to be more than 500 years old, with 60 “giants” having a circumference of 17 to 24 feet. “Bald cypress are amazing trees,” says Sally Stein, director of programs. 

Outlet: Islander News
Headline: New order will catalog and conserve old-growth forests - like Florida's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary - and boost wildfire resilience
Excerpt: Friday, on Earth Day, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to establish a federal strategy to protect old-growth forests, a move the administration says will help curb destructive wildfires and fight climate change. The boardwalk throughout Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary winds each guest through the largest ancient virgin bald cypress forest in the entire world.

Outlet: RSW Living
Headline: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary - A Refuge For Wildlife, A Resource For The Community
Excerpt: Lisa Korte, PhD, Sanctuary Director explains the necessity of these wetlands to the overall health of the ecosystem. “Without functioning wetlands such as those at the Sanctuary, more nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen would flow directly into the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in harmful algal blooms: blue-green algae in freshwater and a significant increase in red tide in coastal waters.” 

Outlet: Naples Florida Weekly
Headline: Flamingo Award – Best Place to See a Ghost
Excerpt: Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary soothes the soul. Part of the Western Everglades ecosystem, the 13,450-acre sanctuary has the only remaining virgin bald cypress forest in the world, with trees nearly 600 years old. It is also the home of the ethereal ghost orchid, a rare orchid that only grows in South Florida and Cuba. The Corkscrew Swamp orchid is known internationally because it is the largest ever discovered. Dubbed the “Super” ghost, it blooms annually in June or July, but has been known to bloom every month of the year.

Outlet: Travel Awaits
Headline: 9 Best Florida State Parks For Families With Small Children
Excerpt: Bonus: Corkscrew Swamp And Its Family-Friendly Boardwalk. This is not a state park, but rather a private preserve northeast of Naples. The National Audubon Society’s Corkscrew Swamp is home to the largest Bald Cypress forest in North America. These huge trees, some of which are more than 600-years-old, soar 130 feet high, and some of the oldest are 25 feet around. 

Outlet: Naples Florida Weekly
Headline: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary to hold free admission day
Excerpt: Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is inviting all ages for a free visit on Wednesday, May 18 in honor of the 60th anniversary of the National Natural Landmark Program. On May 18, 1962, Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall established this program that recognizes outstanding and remarkable natural sites like Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, which was designated in 1964.

Outlet: The Hour
Headline: After battle with lymphoma, Darien boy’s wish fulfilled to be National Geographic photographer
Excerpt: That’s when Make-a-Wish called. When they asked Birmingham what he wanted to experience, he pondered before asking for a trip out into the field with a National Geographic photographer. The organization’s Connecticut chapter started scrambling to fulfill that wish — it was a rare enough request that Make-a-Wish had to hunt down the right person, Tom Birmingham said. They managed to find Carlton Ward, a longtime National Geographic wildlife photographer and preservationist based in Florida. 

Outlet: Southwest Florida Spotlight Magazine
Headline: Corkscrew SIGHTINGS: American white pelicans flock to restored wetland
Excerpt: The marsh and prairie restoration is bringing birds back to areas within the sanctuary that had been overtaken by Carolina willow, a nuisance woody shrub. The team has completed mulching (phase 1) on more than 850 acres, and 70 of those acres are fully restored through our three-phase process. Our goal is to complete restoration on 1,000 acres in 2023. In addition to improving wildlife habitat, restoring these wetlands will also reduce wetland water loss and reduce risk of catastrophic wildfire, providing tremendous benefit to local communities. 

Outlet: Fort Myers Florida Weekly
Headline: Swamp Tours
Excerpt: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary offers Ancient Forest Tours from 9 a.m.-noon today and June 16. Corkscrew’s ancient bald cypress forest is the world’s largest remaining old growth bald cypress forest and was protected from logging in 1954. $30 for adults, discounts available for members. To register: corkscrew.audubon.org/ programs/guided-walks. 375 Sanctuary Road West, Naples.

Outlet: Luxury Travel Advisor
Headline: The Wild Side of Florida, With Kids
Excerpt: When you’re in Southwest Florida, the Fort Myers area provides a number of remarkable, uncrowded beaches, but before you hit the sun and sand, we suggest a day at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. The Paradise Coast region also has a number of birding hot spots with more than 200 species that can be found in Everglades National Park, Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Outlet: Naples Daily News
Headline: 75-plus things to do in June: Free Naples Zoo day, final weeks of Toulouse-Lautrec
Excerpt: Summer camp registration now: Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Announces Wild Florida Adventure Camp registration, with weeklong programs for kids aged 6 to 10 running June 6-Aug. 26 with themes from swamp sleuthing to "insect investigators" to "Wild Wings and Bird Nerds" to "Animal Architects." Rates, times and availability of before- and after-care at corkscrew.audubon.org/summer-camp-22.
Morning view of boardwalk.
NEW! Early Access Days for Friends of Corkscrew Members
Friends of Corkscrew membership has its privileges. In addition to free admission to the boardwalk all year, members can now access the boardwalk at 7 a.m. one day a month! From May to September, members have an opportunity to observe early morning wildlife activity and enjoy this magical early hour on the boardwalk. See dates and details.
Morning view of the boardwalk.
People on the boardwalk
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 June 16
Early Birding Walk June 18, July 12
Sunset Stroll June 15, July 6
Night Walk June 22, June 29, July 25
  Details and registration.
People enjoying the boardwalk. Photo: Luke Franke/Audubon
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Wild Florida Adventure Camp in Late August
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is offering summer camp the weeks of August 8, August 15 and August 22, in addition to summer camp during the Florida school break period!  This is a great opportunity for visitors to Florida or local parents whose children start school in late August or September.  Read more.
Wild Florida Adventure Camp
Pink child's t-shirt
What's New at the Nature Store
Find books, photography, and wares by area artists, t-shirts, and other items 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. Check out the offerings at our online store.
Amazing Butterflies t-shirt for kids.
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.