Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Tigertail Beach Wildlife Tower Opens

In attendance at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Tigertail’s new observation tower: (Front row, from left) Maura Kraus, Collier County principal environment specialist, Jeanine McPherson, assistant director Collier County Parks & Recreation,County Commissioner Donna Fiala, Marco Island City Councilman BobBrown, Steve Carnell, department head, Collier County Public Services Department; (Back row, from left) Collier County Parks & Recreation Director Barry Williams, and John Fuchs, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board member.

In attendance at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Tigertail’s new observation tower: (Front row, from left) Maura Kraus, Collier County principal environment specialist, Jeanine McPherson, assistant director Collier County Parks & Recreation,County Commissioner Donna Fiala, Marco Island City Councilman BobBrown, Steve Carnell, department head, Collier County Public Services Department; (Back row, from left) Collier County Parks & Recreation Director Barry Williams, and John Fuchs, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board member.

By Coastal Breeze News Staff

One of Marco Island’s jewels just got shinier. What better than a beachside park that features a great playground for kids, a café with great food, and a rental hut, which not only rents paddle boards, kayaks, and water toys, but can teach you how to use them? Well, Collier County and the Tourist Development Council just made our jewel of Tigertail Beach even better by adding a wildlife observation tower so you can have amazing views of the wildlife habitat, the beach, and even an osprey nesting on a platform nearby.

The observation tower

The tower’s two decks offer amazing  views of Tigertail Beach. PHOTOS BY VAL SIMON

The tower’s two decks offer amazing views of Tigertail Beach. PHOTOS BY VAL SIMON

officially opened this week with a ribbon cutting by County Commissioner Donna Fiala and City Council Chairman Bob Brown. Also present were Collier County Public Services Department Head Steve Carnell, Shore and Seabird Biologist Adam DiNuovo, Marine Biologist Ricardo Zambrano, Assistant Regional Biologist Habitat and Species Conservation Carol Rizkalla, and Collier County Principal Environment Specialist Maura Kraus, who supervises the sea turtle protection program. Other officials from Collier County were on hand, including Parks and Recreation Director Barry Williams, Assistant Director Jeanine McPherson and John Fuchs, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board member.

Members of the Friends of Tigertail were represented,

Russ Columbo peeks through the telescopeat the wildlife observation tower.

Russ Columbo peeks through the telescopeat the wildlife observation tower.

and among them were Charlette Roman, and Linda and Russ Columbo. Friends of Tigertail, with help from LCEC, put up the osprey nest platform.

Collier County installed the tower with Tourist Development Council funding of approximately $36,000, endorsed by Commissioner Donna Fiala. The 32-acre park is a part of the Great Florida Birding Trail and is considered extremely critical to nesting and wintering shorebirds.

The tower is wheelchair accessible and offers decks on two levels, each with a telescope for clear viewing of the surrounding critical wildlife. The osprey nest platform is presently occupied. The tower is perfect viewing height for activity in the nest.

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