Shaded nature center boardwalk reopens

Professor Jeanette Wyneken

The elevated boardwalk has reopened for a shaded stroll from Red Reef Park West to Gumbo Limbo Nature Center. “It’s a million-dollar view,” nature center manager Leanne Welch said when the newly replaced ½-mile expanse opened last August.

The nature center remains gated and closed. But there’s metered parking on the Intracoastal side of Red Reef. The boardwalk trail is open from 7 a.m. to sunset.

Visitors will find a quiet, shaded walk through a marine coastal hammock with a view of the Intracoastal waterway at the end. The refurbished boardwalk is recycled plastic board with seating at intervals. Slats were replaced by grating, so kids can see out safely, but can’t fall through.

When the center reopens for visitors, there’s news. City council just approved roof repairs at $259,192. And Florida Atlantic University just announced a $1.125 million gift from The Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation to name a Marine SEA Scholars Program at the complex. The funds will support a collaboration with FAU’s Marine Science Laboratory at Gumbo Limbo since 1990. FAU professor Jeanette Wyneken and the students she supervises take part in research on marine life and sea turtles. The center has  a sea turtle rehab for treatment and does ocean releases when injured turtles recover.

In 2002, FAU created a visitors’ gallery, later adding graduate student docents to educate the public about the research being conducted. Last year more than 170,000 visitors toured the gallery, according to FAU.

Friends of Gumbo Limbo are raising funds to replace a tower that overlooks the intracoastal at  https://www.gumbolimbo.org/Bring-Back-The-Tower

 

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