Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge Free Programs

Ding Darling is offering many free tours and programs during the month of February, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about Sanibel’s unique ecosystem. There are free walks and programs every day so there is ample opportunity for participation. Here are some examples of these excellent programs.

February 13:

Birds & Wildlife Tour 9:30

Follow along on a car caravan tour of the Refuge. This tour highlights the fascinating natural wonders of this unique mangrove ecosystem and the wildlife that lives in this area. Meet at the flagpole.

Birds of the Refuge Tour 11:00

Not sure which feathery friends you are seeing through your binoculars? Learn interesting facts about birds and how to identify them in the estuary. Fun for all ages! Meet at the Visitor Center.

Florida Manatees Program 1:00

Explore the world of one of America’s most endangered species, the Florida manatee, as it faces a challenging future. Find out what you can do to help save this species. Meet at Crossdike Pavilion. Bring water, sunscreen, and insect repellent.

February 14:

Biking the Refuge Tour 9:30

Bike enthusiasts bring your bicycle and join a naturalist on the Wildlife Drive/Indigo Trail loop to learn about the refuge’s bird life and ecology. The Drive is paved while the Indigo Trail is hard-packed shell, so the tour is suitable for people of all abilities. Meet at the flagpole. Bring sunscreen, water, and insect repellent.

Florida’s Venomous Wildlife Program 11:00

Come learn about the interesting venomous wildlife in the area. Fun for all ages! 30 minutes inside the Education Center

February 15:

Beach Walk 9:30

Meet at Sanibel’s Gulfside City Park for a guided exploration of the Refuge’s Perry Tract. Learn about this vital beach ecosystem. Don’t forget to bring your shell bag! (Parking fees at Gulfside City Park apply.)

Indigo Trail Walk 11:00

Naturalists led tour identifying and discussing the ecosystem’s plant and animal species. Fun for adults and children alike. Bring water and bug spray. Meet at the flagpole in front of the Visitor & Education Center. (Entry fees for Indigo Trail apply)

Bailey Tract Tour 1:00

Walk the trails of the Bailey Tract with a naturalist to learn about the plants and trees of this freshwater ecosystem of Southwest Florida. Fun for all ages! Meet at the Bailey Tract parking lot. Approximately 2 miles, 1½ hours.

February 16:

Gators and Crocs Program 11:00

Is it an alligator or a crocodile? Learn about the Order Crocodilia, including crocodiles, gharials, alligators, and caimans. Learn how to identify families and local species in the Refuge. Fun for all ages! Meet at the Crossdike Pavilion on Wildlife Drive. Bring water, sunscreen, insect repellent, and binoculars. 

February 17:

Endangered Species Walk 11:00

Habitats throughout the world are disappearing, affecting species everywhere. Come discover endangered species of Southwest Florida and what you can do to help them. Fun for all ages! Inside the Visitor and Education Center.


The Sandalfoot Team

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