Polk's Nature Discovery CenterPolk's Nature Discovery Center
As you make your way from the parking area toward the buildings, the second building you will come to along the board walk is the Exhibit Hall. The Exhibit Hall is opened to the public: Tuesday – Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Polk's Nature Discovery Center also serves as the hub to disseminate information about Polk County's Environmental Lands. So please before you leave Circle B Bar Reserve, stop by the visitors' desk for a more information about Polk County's Environmental Lands Program. Do not forget to sign our guestbook!
When you enter the Exhibit Hall at Polk’s Nature Discovery Center you will begin a journey through the habitats of Central Florida.
- Venture through the Oak Hammock looking high into the tree to discover hidden plants and animals in the tree that are native and live here in Polk County. Stop at the hands on feature to listen to the sounds of various animals found in Polk County.
- Next visit the Wetlands and the critters large and small that live in the some of the wettest places around and learn why wetlands are important to our area.
- Flatwoods, Learn what types of wildlife need the flatwoods of Florida to survive, and how this habitat changes with the seasons.
- Sandhill, while you are in the sandhill learn why prescribed fire is an important part of land management.
- Scrub, Take some time when you reach the scrub. This unique habitat has a lot more to offer than meets eye. Learn about the Florida Scrub Jay and the Sand Skinks and how these hot, harsh, sandy habitats have been around longer than the Florida as we all know to date. We call them ancient islands for a reason!
- The Lakes Exhibit, there are more than 554 lakes in Polk County. Lake living is an important part of the quality of life for residents and visitors. This exhibit shows the difference between a polluted and pristine lake. You can get an up close view of an assortment of native and non-native fish and plants that occur in these systems. Take your time and read the facts of each exhibit or just breeze through and enjoy the hands on features of our Exhibits. You never know what you will discover while visiting Polk’s Nature Discovery Center.
As you go through the exhibit hall you will be able to touch and feel the furs of animals you would never want to touch in the great outdoors, and do not forget to listen closely for sounds of the ecosystems.
WAIT! There is more, there are three other rooms filled with more educational materials for you to enjoy.
- Meander back in time in the Land through Time Theater where Florida’s history is spread across the walls. You also may sit and enjoy one of the five films that play with just a click of a button.
- Venture into the Exploration Lab where Hydro the Rain Drop will take you on a trip through the different watersheds of Polk County, or learn about Migrating Birds and Plants that have begun to invade our natural areas!
- Next is the Expedition Room, which is a quiet space with resource books for you to look through, and computers designated for Nature Based Research.
Enjoy, Discover and Learn!