Three New Reasons for Everyone to Get Out in Nature

BY November 1, 2022
raised boardwalk
An environmentally friendly course replaces Raptor Bay Golf Club in Estero; Fakahatchee Strand Preserve flaunts upgrades, like an upcoming raised boardwalk. (Courtesy David Corban Architects)

For Environmentalists:

A David Corban-designed boardwalk, stretching over 2 miles in the 85,000-acre Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, gets visitors closer to the Everglades when it debuts next year, with picnic tables and shady spots for lounging. The next phase of the project adds a raised walkway that takes visitors 20 feet up above and through the bald cypress canopy.


For Golf Enthusiasts: 

Saltleaf Golf Preserve, a new luxury golf course, is slated to replace the public Raptor Bay Golf Club next year. As part of London Bay’s 800-residence development along Estero Bay, Saltleaf features an 18-hole course and shorter 9-hole course, designed by Raymond Floyd and Harry Bowers, the minds behind Raptor Bay. Players can expect an environmentally friendly course with views of the water, trails through pines and a minimally altered landscape.


For Kids: 

The Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens takes visitors deep into the South American forests and grasslands with a new exhibit. Though the $1.4 million South American Trail project was slated to open in January, it may be delayed after Hurricane Ian halted construction. Still, we look forward to soon getting up close with the new critters, such as a sloth, cotton-top tamarins, capybara and a giant anteater. -J.P

Bonus: Cape Coral’s Art Takeover

Rubicond Park’s Cape Coral Art Center gets an upgrade.

Rubicond Park in Cape Coral gets the artist’s touch as part of the onsite Cape Coral Art Center’s nearly two-year renovation. The makeover was completed this month with about 9,000 square feet of updated green space. Outdoor sculptures, interactive exhibits, benches and a paved pathway lined with native plants now surround the art center, which has added a new gallery space and doubled its programming in the past year. Seen from above, the circular brick walkway resembles an artist’s palette, proving it’s all about the big picture. —Z.K.

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