Gumbo Limbo Nature Center

turtles at The Gumbo Limbo Nature Center

Located in Boca Raton, Florida, the Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex sits on twenty acres of protected barrier island between the Intracoastal and Atlantic Ocean. It is a nature center operated by the city of Boca Raton in conjunction with several other organizations. 

 

The center includes an indoor museum full of fun exhibits, aquariums, and a gift shop, plus outdoor facilities including a boardwalk, an observation tower, and several large aquariums for fish, turtles, and other sea life. There is even an outdoor butterfly garden! 

 

Stop by to explore if you are ever in the area! 

 

Founded in 1984, Gumbo Limbo Nature Center gets its name from the plentiful “gumbo-limbo” trees which grow in the area. The center is a unique cooperative project of the City of Boca Raton, the Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District, Florida Atlantic University, and Friends of Gumbo Limbo. 

plank trail at the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center

Gumbo Limbo’s goal is to be a beacon for environmental education, research, and conservation. Here is how the center forwards these goals:

 

  • School programs - Every year more than 5,000 students visit the center to learn about marine conservation. 
  • Sea turtle conservation - The center monitors over 1,000 turtle nests a year, rescues/rehabilitates injured turtles, and releases stranded sea turtle hatchlings. 
  • Public programs - The center offers various programs at low-to-no cost for kids, adults, educators, biologists, and naturalists. 
  • Research - The center hosts valuable research on sea turtles, ocean acidification, sharks, and more! 

 

Gumbo Limbo is dedicated to the mission of inspiring stewardship of coastal and marine ecosystems. You can join their efforts by becoming a member of Friends of Gumbo Limbo!

 

So what does it look like to visit Gumbo Limbo? 

 

Well, you can start off by visiting the indoor museum and seeing baby turtles, local flora, gopher tortoises, indoor aquariums, and more! Visit the gift shop while you are there and pick up some environmentally friendly souvenirs. 

Gift store at The Gumbo Limbo Nature Center

You can also check at the front desk for a scavenger hunt to help you get more out of your visit.

 

Then you can visit the Florida Atlantic University Research Gallery and see students at work in the laboratory. Be sure to check out the sea turtle hatchlings during the summer and fall months. You can see more sea turtles in the sea turtle rehabilitation facility where injured turtles are nursed back to health. 

 

After that, take a hike down the boardwalk and enjoy the local flora and fauna. Notice the gumbo limbo trees the center is named for. You can eat your lunch at Red Reef West park, where picnicking is allowed.  

 

While you are outside, be sure to check out the fantastic butterfly garden and the outdoor aquariums for larger marine life. 

 

The Gumbo Limbo Nature Center has been a thriving hub of research, education, and conservation since its beginnings in 1984.

 

To visit, head to 1801 N Ocean Blvd, Boca Raton, FL 33432 and see for yourself today! 

 

Gumbo-Limbo-Nature-Center-8

You won’t regret visiting this thriving nature center. But don’t just take our word for it - go check it out for yourself! 

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