Tag Archives: Nature Preserves

J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge

The J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge located in Southwest Florida on Sanibel Island is putting on a series of lectures and films by experts and naturalists describing a variety of birds, endangered species, Manatees, reptiles, amphibians, nature photography and other topics. The lecture and films series are held at the visitor center which is shown in the pictures above.

The Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge is visited by thousands of visitors every year especially bird watchers and photographers and people wanting to see a piece of the old and original landscapes and waterscapes of Florida. Ding Darling consists of 6,400 acres of lakes, rivers, mangroves forests, submerged sea grass beds, salt water marshes, and hardwood hammocks. It was established as a refuge by President Harry S. Truman in 1945. It has gradually been enlarged by generous donations of land by the City of Sanibel and property owners.

The refuge can by seen by visitors by driving through a winding road traversing through the refuge or bicycling and walking along the trails. There is a small admission fee to enter to refuge. The lecture and film series which are very popular with visitors and tourists are held in the winter months from January through April. Visit the Ding Darling Wildlife Society website to see the lecture dates.

There are guides who also take visitors through the refuge by foot or by a tram. I have taken many photographs at Ding Darling of White Egrets, Blue and Green and Yellow Crowned Night Herons and other birds. The Tarpon Bay Explorers located inside the refuge also rents kayaks, canoes and takes people out on motorized boats on sightseeing tours.