Long Key Nature Center & Natural Area

Historical area of the ancient Tequestas and the more modern Seminoles.

Admittance is free. A $2/person exhibit hall fee applies.

Long Key’s magnificent live oak hammock has served as an important habitat for wildlife and is one of the largest remaining stands of upland hardwood forest in Broward County. Typical trees found in the hardwood forest include live oak, red bay, paradise tree, strangler fig, and the occasional cabbage palm and gumbo limbo. Among the diverse plants you can see are many species of epiphytic bromeliads and ferns that abundantly line the limbs of the oaks.

Oak Hammock Hall
This 2,760-square-foot rental facility is available for meetings, weddings, receptions, and other special events. Capacity 240-280, depending on setup. Features a stage with a video screen, as well as state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, including four 52-inch flat-screen video monitors and CD and DVD players. A warming kitchen is also available, and the hall is equipped with Wi-Fi. Detailed Oak Hammock information.

Visitor Center
General information and reservations are available in the lobby, which includes a scale model of the site, as well as a hand-carved bench made from an African mahogany tree planted near the Baez House by pioneer families and uprooted by Hurricane Wilma in 2005.

Exhibit Hall
A 2,390-square-foot facility highlighting the history of the Tequesta and Seminole Native Americans on Long Key. Natural history exhibits include an actual archaeological dig pit; interactive, hands-on exhibits on vegetation, birds, and birdcalls, and more; and live animals, including a baby alligator, snakes, frogs, lizards, and scorpions. The exhibit hall, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, also features a 10-foot-by-27-foot black-and-white photo mural, commissioned for the site, by nature photographer Clyde Butcher, who’s widely known as “the Ansel Adams of the Everglades.”

Everglades Theater
This 599-square-foot theater shows an approximately 12-minute video, Long Key: An Island in the Everglades. Capacity 50.

Discovery Room
A 902-square-foot classroom featuring hands-on investigations of Everglades habitats and animal residents. Programs for school and camp groups available by reservation. Capacity 40-70.

Nature Trail
An approximately half-mile trail that winds through the oak hammock. Naturalist-led walks are available, as well as walks around the restored wetlands and to the Baez House.

Equestrian Trails
Nearly one and a half miles of trails along the restored wetlands and through the oak hammock, connecting to the Davie Multipurpose Trail.

Pedestrian Bridge
Crosses a restored wetland, connecting the nature center to the nature trail.

Public Art and Design
A 120-foot-by-88-foot project by Lorna Jordan called Island Garden. One of the artist’s concerns is the idea of the garden as a framework for enhancing habitat, and in that context this work heightens the visitor’s experience of the nature center’s topography. Pathway mosaics make reference to the sedimentary layers that have created the aquifer’s layers of limestone, sand, and sandstone; pools and planters reveal the interaction between water and plants; and benches and a trellis system provide a contemplative place to experience shade and the coolness of water. Jordan, who has a B.A. from the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, has led teams for several award-winning projects of similar budget and scope that blur the boundaries among sculpture, ecology, architecture, and theater.

Pets
No pets are allowed within the boundaries of the nature center.

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