Conservancy to reopen nature center Sunday

— The Conservancy of Southwest Florida nature center is set to reopen to the public this Sunday.

The nature center has been closed since Labor Day to make way for work on a $17 million renovation set to be completed in 2011. The work continues, and parking will be limited.

Electric boat rides will not be available because fallen mangroves and vegetation are blocking the Gordon River channel used by the boats.

The Conservancy is working with Collier County to get permits to remove the blockage.

The Conservancy Discovery Center and Nature Store still will be open, and kayak rentals will be available.

Programs are available daily at sea turtles, snakes and other wildlife.

Visitors can watch a sea turtle feeding every day at 3 p.m. and see live birds at 1 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday.

The nature center, 1450 Merrihue Drive, off Goodlette-Frank Road at 14th Avenue North, is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 12 noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The renovation includes a new entrance off Goodlette, updated research labs, an updated wildlife rehabilitation clinic, new Conservation Hall for educational programs and meetings, an interactive learning lab, a filter marsh and new trails.

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