NAPLES, FL – After an unprecedented six-month closure due to COVID-19, Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is now welcoming visitors to the Blair Visitor Center and boardwalk Tuesdays through Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the final admission at 1 p.m. The Sanctuary is closed on Mondays.
“We thank our visitors, neighbors, and stakeholders for their understanding while we worked to devise plans to ensure everyone’s safety as they return to enjoy our world-class boardwalk,” said Sanctuary Director Lisa Korte.
Staff, volunteers, and visitors are required to follow CDC guidance and social distancing practices. To ensure safe operations during this phase of re-opening, some new procedures have implemented.
Registration is required for all visitors. No walk-ins will be accepted. Visitors may choose from three time slots, 8-10 a.m., 10:30-12:30 p.m., 1-3 p.m. Each time slot is 2 hours. Find all ticketing information at www.corkscrew.audubon.org/visit.
Updated safety protocols include:
- Masks are required in the Blair Visitor Center.
- Follow one-way boardwalk trail signs.
- Social distancing markers are installed.
- Please follow CDC social distancing guidelines by staying six feet apart.
- Hand sanitizing stations are now available.
- Plexiglass window at admissions kiosk.
- Temporary closures: Nature Store, Gallery Café, Discovery Center.
- On-site public programs are not available but virtual programming is offered.
- Water refilling station available in the Living Machine.
- A complimentary wheelchair is available upon request.
- Outdoor picnic tables are available in the parking area.
The Nature Store is now online. No on-site purchases are available at this time. Visitors are urged to bring their own refillable water bottle, sunblock, and bug spray. A water refilling station is available in the Living Machine.
Visitors are encouraged to experience the new Native Plant and Pollinator Garden which was completed during the closure. Also new are Community Outreach educational programs provided via Zoom Webinar. Community associations, clubs, and other groups can find topics and request an outreach program.
Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance that was recognized in 2019 as a Wetland of Distinction by the Society of Wetland Scientists, has been an Audubon-protected site for more than 100 years. It protects 13,000 acres, including the world’s largest remaining, old-growth bald cypress forest. An estimated 100,000 visitors annually explore the Sanctuary’s 2.25 miles of boardwalk through ancient forest and marsh habitat. Learn more at Corkscrew.Audubon.org.