Discover a nature trail near you, and learn about the native plants, butterflies and animals right in your own backyard. St. Lucie County is offering FREE guided hikes on our Environmentally Significant Lands. Check out the ESL guided hikes box on the right for more information.The Oxbow Eco-Center’s mission is to foster an awareness and appreciation of the natural world, an understanding of ecosystems and sustainability, and a sense of stewardship toward Florida and all its inhabitants through educational programs
The Oxbow Eco-Center is an environmental learning center located on a 225-acre preserve on the North Fork of the St. Lucie River and is where young and old alike can discover the mysterious and hidden life of the forest and river. The preserve at the “Oxbow” is a living laboratory, offering year-round educational programs on a variety of nature-related subjects. At the Oxbow, you can join a naturalist on a guided walk through quiet gardens planted and nurtured by Mother Nature herself, or journey on your own through the verdant and wild sanctuary. The preserve offers a rare glimpse of “the real Florida” - a place where the past and the present come alive in the canopy of the floodplain forest, the scrub and pine flatwoods and in the primordial swamps and wetlands.
The Oxbow Eco-Center houses an Exhibit Hall and Discovery Room, which invite you to use all your senses, touching various artifacts of nature, listening to bird songs, and seeing some of Florida's native reptiles. The centerpiece exhibit takes you on a journey down the St. Lucie River, one of the most diverse rivers in the state, with more species of fish than any other river in Florida. This life-size exhibit takes you from the river's genesis, all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, visiting both the freshwater environment and the estuary along the way. You will experience a unique view of the underwater world, where you'll encounter dozens of fish species, including 20 different replicas of fish, several turtles and crustaceans, and even a life-size manatee with her calf. You'll also learn about the land and habitat that surround the river as you gaze up through a created water line to view native Florida plants and animals, including nearly a dozen species of birds. It's an experience you won't want to miss!
The Oxbow also teaches by example! The Center was constructed using 'green building technologies,' and is a model for sustainability. Passive light design, solar panels, recycled and recyclable materials were used in the Center's construction. In addition, a cistern system captures rainfall to flush the toilets, and the floors are made from salvaged pine trees lost in the St. Johns River in the early logging days. The building is proof that each of us can lighten our load on the planet and protect our precious natural resources for future generations to come.
Pt. St. Lucie, FL 34983
Fax (772) 785-5834
St. Lucie County's ESL Guided HikesHere’s your chance to discover a nature trail near you, and learn about the native plants, butterflies and animals right in your own backyard. Hikes are free, but pre-registration is required by going to: www.signupgenius.com
Click on “find signups” on the top right hand corner of the home page. Then search by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, you will need to enter then random text security question below before it will take you to the hike sign-up.
Programs target ages 13 and up unless otherwise noted. Proper footwear and water are required for all programs.
Hike Descriptions Below: