Monday, October 18, 2021

Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center to Close at 1PM on March 3, 2011

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is offering discounted admission to its Nature Center while it continues to undergo major sustainability renovations. Adult admission is only $5 and children 12 and under receive free admission. As always, Conservancy members receive free admission.

“This season we’ve added additional educational programs at the Conservancy Nature Center to enhance the guest experience,” said Andrew McElwaine, Conservancy of Southwest Florida president. “We believe the reduced admission will encourage people to stop by to experience all we have to offer today and get a glimpse at the remarkable plans for the future.”

McElwaine concluded, “One of the greatest benefits of becoming a Conservancy member or paying admission to the Nature Center is knowing that you are helping to support efforts to protect our water, our land, our wildlife and our future. The organization is so much larger than the Nature Center.”

All schedules and details are available at

Discounted admission is available through May 31, 2011. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center is open Monday – Saturday, 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM. CLOSED on Sundays.

About the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Sustainable Campus Initiative:

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida has begun a new sustainable campus initiative launched in April 2009 as part of its Saving Southwest Florida Capital Campaign. The 21-acre Conservancy Nature Center is being transformed into a model for sustainable design and environmental responsibility, with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards for both buildings and the Nature Center. Once completed, the new Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center will include two new buildings and three major rehabilitation project.

  • A new Wildlife Clinic with more space, improved treatment areas and modern equipment
  • Totally remodeled Discovery Center with new and exciting environmental exhibits
  • A new Environmental Planning Center with updated research laboratories
  • Conservation Hall and theater will be created from the existing auditorium space and will be used for increased environmental education programming, meetings and events
  • Interactive Learning Lab for hands-on learning about environmental topics and sustainability
  • Two constructed wetlands areas serving as natural filter marshes to cleanse storm water before being released into the Gordon River and Naples Bay
  • New trails, gardens and walkways with native landscaping
  • New environmental education and programming

The project also includes a new entrance to the Conservancy Nature Center, Smith Preserve Way, from Goodlette-Frank Road that will bring the vision of a “Naples Central Park” closer to reality. The new entrance will potentially provide access to the Gordon River Greenway Park and the Naples Zoo.

Green building practices, sustainability features and best management practices are being incorporated into all aspects of the construction and building designs. Key features include:

  • All new buildings will be built to rigorous LEED standards.
  • LEED standards will be applied across the overall for Nature Center.
  • Water conservation will be emphasized and best management practices for stormwater management applied. Storm water will be captured for re-use or filtered before naturally flowing into the Gordon River.
  • Energy efficiency will be incorporated at every opportunity with a multi-year goal to achieve “net zero” energy cost.

The project is being funded through the ongoing multi-million dollar capital campaign. Campus construction will be phased over several years to minimize the impact on Conservancy guests and staff. Completion is expected sometime in late 2012.

The construction project team members bring a variety of backgrounds and specialization in sustainable design, advanced building construction and applied technology to the project. All contractors working on the project have achieved or are pursuing personal LEED accreditation. The construction partners all have adapted their own business philosophies and practices to meet the demands of the project. They also have committed to using their experience with sustainability practices on the Conservancy campus to extend that concept into future projects for other Southwest Florida clients. Team members include:

  • Curtis Cafiso, Conservancy of Southwest Florida (Project Executive)
  • Keith Predmore, Keith Predmore & Associates (Owner’s Representative)
  • Casey Neurock, Neugreen LLC (LEED Consultant)
  • The late Larry Warner, Larry Warner Architect (Initial Master Planning and Building Design)
  • Fernando Zabala and Brian Leaders, L-Architecture (Master Planning and Building Design)
  • Alex Lopez, JALRW Engineering Group (MEP Engineers)
  • Derry Berrigan, DBLD Sustainable Lighting Design (LED Lighting)
  • Peter Kuttner, Cambridge 7 Associates (Discovery Center Exhibit Design and Campus Interpretive Design)
  • Walter Crawford, Heatherwood Construction (Construction Managers)
  • Frank Feeney, Hole Montes (Civil Engineer)

More information about the “Saving Southwest Florida” Capital Campaign is available at

About the Conservancy of Southwest Florida:

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida began in 1964 when community leaders came together to defeat a proposed “Road to Nowhere” and spearheaded the acquisition and protection of Rookery Bay.

The Conservancy is a grassroots organization focused on the critical environmental issues of the Southwest Florida region. Partnering with like-minded organizations, the Conservancy works to manage growth and protect area waters, land and wildlife. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida promotes sound environmental policies and practices based on solid scientific research while providing environmental education to residents and visitors. The Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic treats more than 2,400 injured, sick and orphaned animals each year and releases about half back into their native habitats.

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida and Conservancy Nature Center are located in Naples, Florida at 1450 Merrihue Drive, off Goodlette-Frank Road at 14th Avenue North.
For information about the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, call (239) 262-0304 or

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *