Places to Visit

Lake Griffin State Park

3089 US-441, Fruitland Park, FL 34731

The Villages Chapter of The Florida Native Plant Society has adopted the entrance area to Lake Griffin State Park. The entrance contains all native plants donated by Marc Godts of Green Isle Nursery. Steve Turnipseed is updating the design and our chapter will handled the maintenance.

The park is home to a mammoth, centuries-old oak tree as well as many other plant and animal species, including some that are threatened and endangered. In fact, this centuries-old tree, located in the southeastern corner of the park is the 2nd largest Live Oak tree in the State of Florida and is estimated to be 300 – 500 years old. This magnificent tree has been a local landmark for decades, is a must-see while visiting the park, and can be found nearby at the end of the nature trail.

The park encompasses 620 acres and provides visitor access to Lake Griffin through the Dead River Marsh. At 9,400 acres, Lake Griffin is the 8th largest lake in the State of Florida and is one of nine lakes in the Harris Chain of Lakes. Anglers will find plenty of largemouth bass, bluegill, speckled perch, and catfish. Visitors can observe the park's wildlife while picnicking or strolling along the half-mile nature trail. Our serene campground beckons travelers to spend the night or an entire vacation here. April 2016

Discovery Gardens

 Lake County Agriculture Center, 1951 Woodlea Road, Tavares, Florida 32778-4262

Lake County'sDiscovery Gardens are an educational resource developed to support  programs in horticulture, gardening, landscape design and natural resource management.

The Discovery Gardens will now be open the second Saturday of each month from 9:00am - 4:00 pm .
Normal hours for the Discovery Garden are Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm.

P.E.A.R. Park Nature Center & Conservation Area

4800 University Ave., Leesburg, FL 34748
Open: 6:30 a.m. to dusk

Bordered by the Palatlakaha River on the North and West this area holds a vast amount of wildlife and plants for the avid birder or naturalist to discover. 

This “Passive” recreation area has several miles of trails to explore, a “Wildlife Watchpost” with a green roof overlooking an ephemeral wetland, both a xeric with pavilion and a butterfly demonstration garden, an observation pavilion, a nature center with a geology lab, Bluebird Box Trail, 50 acres of Scrub Jay restoration, and five acres of meadow restoration.

The Villages, Florida

The Disney Wilderness Preserve

Mitigation area for the expansion of Disney World

"Today, The Nature Conservancy’s 11,500-acre Disney Wilderness Preserve near Kissimmee stands as a testament not only to Disney’s words, but to the power of cooperation, perseverance and innovative thinking. Perhaps most significantly, the preserve has become a national model for sustainable development and state-of-the-art conservation management."


Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

This 54,000 acre preserve protects the largest remaining stretch of Florida dry prairie, home to an array of endangered plants and animals. While driving the five-mile-long road into the preserve, visitors can enjoy sweeping vistas of grasslands reminiscent of the Great Plains of the Midwest.

Florida Kissimmee Prairie Wildflower Walk from Florida Native Plant Society on Vimeo.

Archbold Biological Station

The Archbold Biological Station, lying within the headwaters of the Everglades in south central Florida, is one of the most renowned in the world. Archbold Biological Station (5,193 acres) and the Archbold Reserve (3,648 acres) together comprise a 8,840-acre globally-significant preserve, located in the Florida scrub, one of the most distinctive natural habitats in the United States.

Butterfly Gardens


Wednesday hikes sponsored by Sumter County Extension Office.

To Register to join a hike email: Jim E. Davis at:



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Published on  20.05.2017