Ormond Beach Environmental Discovery Center

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PICT0702-1Ormond Beach Environmental Discovery Center in Central Park located at 601 Division Street in Ormond Beach. Walk along the winding path stopping to read the plaques next to the plants that line the walkway. Native Florida plants include the Starry Rosinweed to the Cabbage Palm Florida’s state tree. Stop in front of the Butterfly Garden as early as 10:00 a.m. to spot one of the species of butterflies that fly around the garden.

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Swallow-Tailed Kite

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 Osprey

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Launch or dock a kayak or canoe at the floating dock; have a picnic lunch on the porch or on the grounds. Pick up a pair of binoculars on the porch and see if you can spot an Osprey or a Swallow-Tailed Kite.

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A volunteer who is a beekeeper explained the lifecycle of the honeybee colony located inside the center.  The Dollar Sunfish found in North Carolina, Florida and Texas. The Red-Rat Snake mostly found in the southeast portion of the United States. The Florida Red-Bellied Cooter a turtle found in freshwater wetlands and southeast Georgia all contained in the aquariums located inside the center.

PICT0692-1A skeleton of a cougar, alligator and coyote exhibited. Mammals, birds, plants can be studied on interactive touchscreens. Free admission to the environmental center, hours and days of operation on the website.

 

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Lake Wales Museum & Cultural Center

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Lake Wales Museum & Cultural Center located at 325 S. Scenic Highway in Lake Wales. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places formerly the Atlantic Coastline train depot built in the early part of the twentieth century served Lake Wales, Bartow, Haines City and Sebring.

PICT0607Lake Wales a planned community founded in 1911. Lake Wales became a town 6 years later. Milam R. Anderson elected first mayor from 1918-1922. Take a self-guided tour throughout the museum that depicts early life in Lake Wales. T.J. Parker built a general store, had postal boxes installed inside the store and established the first bank.

A.R. Mason founded the first newspaper “Lake Wales Highlander”. A display case filled with The Florida ZEPHYR a scenic Highlander magazine, telephone directories, postcards sold with miniature bags of sand so people could experience sand in their shoes.

PICT0619Bertha Hinshaw proprietor of the Chalet Suzanne a restaurant and inn named after her daughter Christina Suzanne. She served signature dishes from her travels abroad. Selected pieces from the restaurant and inn on display.

The Mystery of Spook Hill, Mountain Lakes Sanctuary and Singing Tower. Photographs, postcards and paperweights depicting Bok Tower in the 1920s.

World War II and the post-war boom. A pictorial overview of Life in Lake Wales. The Lakes Wales Scenic Theater built in 1920 to the 600-seat State Theater built in 1940.

Admission to the museum is free; donations are accepted. Visiting history museums in small towns gives people an inkling of what life was like for the new settlers.