The Hobe Sound Nature Center is perfect for South Floridians looking to learn more about their local flora and fauna. The Center is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to bring environmental education and awareness to the local community. The Center is located at the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge, in south Martin County.
The Nature Center
The Nature Center was opened by a Jupiter Island couple in 1973 to help educate people of all ages about Florida's fragile ecosystems and environment. It has a 30+ year partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which allows it to conduct educational programs on site, while the service provides and maintains the facility.
In the 80s the Center created the "Friends of the Nature Center" to help gain support and encourage people to take effort in helping with the mission. Members of the Friends would in return receive "The Mangrove News," which keeps people in the loop on the latest news and events at the Center. This helped it grow into the non-profit Hobe Sound Nature Center Foundation, Inc. in the 90s.
The Nature Center today offers both on and off-site native wildlife presentations and field experiences to local natural areas. They have several programs to inform the public about the local environment.
Things To Do
There are a few nature trails on the Refuge, good for hikes on estuaries, barrier islands and the sand pine scrub. The sand pine scrub habitat is a preservation between the U.S. 1 corridor and the Indian River Lagoon, and is Florida's most endangered habitat. It is still home to many species, like tortoises, indigo snakes, scrub jays, and plants like the four-petaled pawpaw and dancing lady orchids. On the Indian River Lagoon, you can learn about things like how the estuary provides food and shelter crucial to the manatee and why the seagrass beds are dying.
If you haven't been to the Hobe Sound Nature Center, plan a visit to go explore the 1,000+ acres of nature along Jupiter Island. See what this non-profit is doing to restore and conserve our local habitats, species, and natural areas. Have some fun on a day they're hosting an event, like their Swamp Night Hike at the end of this month. For more information about the Center, to see a video, or donate, click here.
Where: 13640 U.S. Hwy 1, Hobe Sound, FL 33455.