Palm Beach County has lots of beautiful natural areas and preserves from Lake Okeechobee to the Atlantic Ocean. The Department of Environmental Resources Management (E.R.M.) manages” a range of environmental programs designed to protect, preserve, and enhance Palm Beach County’s natural resources, both on land and water. Fresh drinking water, unpolluted waterways, a large tree canopy, and controlling mosquito populations provide a welcoming outdoor tropical experience to snorkel and dive, visit sandy beaches, fresh or saltwater fish, kayak waterways, hike in the woods all while viewing wildlife in their natural habitat.”
To bring awareness to the community, the E.R.M. will host the annual family fun event known as the Natural Areas Festival. Palm Beach County’s annual Natural Areas Festival will be Saturday, March 11, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Winding Waters Natural Area, 6161 Haverhill Road, West Palm Beach. The event encourages youths and adults to discover the beauty and wilderness of the county’s 31,000-acre natural areas system.
Winding Waters Natural Area is a 548-acre natural area comprised of “mesic flatwoods, hydric hammock, depression marsh, wet prairie, and dome swamp. Several areas were cleared for agricultural purposes and have been restored to shallow-water and deep-water marshes. Birdlife is abundant with bald eagles, anhinga’s, green herons, belted kingfishers, wood storks, roseate spoonbills, and loggerhead shrikes making appearances.”
Winding Waters contains:
- Nature Trail (paved) 0.5 miles
- Hiking Trail (sandy) 4.9 miles
- Canoe/Kayak Trail 3.3 miles
- Observation Platform overlooking created wetlands
- Woods Trail (sandy-east of observation platform) 0.6 miles
- Wetlands Trail (sandy-circles the wetland) 4.3 miles
Visitors can participate in a 5K trail race (pre-registration is required), hands-on exhibits, guided hikes and kayak tours. The event will also feature food trucks, a kid’s zone, wildlife presentations, a prescribed fire demonstration and more.
The Department of Environmental Resources Management will host smaller events throughout Palm Beach County between March 9-12, 2017. Planned events include a sunset paddle, full-moon bike ride, astronomy, photography workshop, and campfire tales.
To learn more and view a schedule, visit the event’s web page or call (561) 233-2400.