Throughout the state of Florida, there are pockets of undiscovered treasures waiting to be explored. After all, Florida is more than just Disney World. In fact there is an abundance of outdoor activities and unique wildlife centers, many of which are totally unique to Florida.
Take the Mangrove Nature Park in Boynton Beach for example. Here visitors can view Florida manatees, known as gentle giants, in their natural habitat. As of recently, these majestic creatures were thankfully removed from the endangered species list! Often referred to as a sea cow, the manatee is the state’s official marine mammal, and Florida is the only state in the U.S. where they can be found.
The Park sits in a mangrove hammock area that serves as a recreational resource and conservation. On its western border, it connects to three tidal inlets, where the manatees can be seen swimming and playing, as well as a variety of other animals, including birds, which all call the Park home. The 12-acre Mangrove Nature Park is located adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway just east of St. Mark's Catholic Church and School and north of Boynton Beach Marina.
Visitors can walk along the boardwalk which winds through the forest of
mangrove trees. Near the half-way point, the boardwalk turns into an elevated platform that overlooks the Intracoastal. From that platform, the habitat for snook, other brackish-water fish and the Florida manatee are visible most often during high tide. Along the boardwalk, visitors will find interesting information about Florida’s marine wildlife.
Mangrove Nature Park is open daily and is accessible by car, bike and foot.
Another stunning wildlife habitat is Palm Beach County’s newest preserve, the Green Cay Nature Center, which features 100 acres of constructed wetlands. A 1.5 mile elevated boardwalk will take visitors along a scenic path offering awe-inspiring views of the incredible habitat and all of the plants, birds and other wildlife that make their homes in this sanctuary.
Green Cay is a natural treasure of wetlands, which includes emergent marshes; deep zones, which are open-water areas that attract water fowl and diving birds; a cypress swamp; hammock islands; and an abundance of animals, including amphibians, mammals and birds.
Visitors will find live animals exhibits including a turtle pond, alligator hole and frog terrarium in the main building and welcome center. At the Green Cay Nature Center, visitors will also discover interactive exhibits detailing South Florida’s history and water resources. Nature videos run periodically throughout the day in a small theater.
Green Cay Nature Center is located at 12800 Hagen Ranch Road. For more information, visit http://www.pbcgov.com/parks/nature/green_cay_nature_center.
Boynton Beach is also home to one of the finest farm fresh markets in the area. One of the few remaining family owned and operated farmer’s markets in South Florida, Bedner’s Farm Fresh Market is the ultimate “from garden to table experience.” Here shoppers will find an amazing selection of fresh produce direct from the farm, grown right outside the family’s back door.
Open year round, the Market and the farm itself has become a unique Florida destination located at 10066 Lee Road.
What put Bedner’s on the map is its reputation for the “most delicious, sweetest tasting corn that a mouth has ever tasted.” The family cultivated their spring garden for themselves and friends, but the fresh produce was such a hit, that they expanded beyond the fields to bring their fresh harvested fruits and vegetables to the public.
Visitors here can also enjoy a host of other “field” trips and farm experiences. They invite you to spend the day at the farm for a fun and educational experience.
Log on to the website for daily/weekly updates at www.bedners.com/.
Whether its nature excursions of farmer’s markets, Boynton Beach has much to offer. That’s why GL Homes has built several luxury 55+ communities in the city. The newest GL Homes community in Boynton Beach is Valencia Bay, featuring homes priced from the $500,000s, just opened its model row of elegant homes to give potential homebuyers an idea of what life would be like at Valencia Bay. Valencia Cove is another GL Homes community nestled in Boynton Beach that features homes priced from the $450,000s and several unique home designs. Both luxurious gated communities offer gorgeous residences and resort lifestyle amenities in the ideal location.