Stay-Cation Ann Kolb Nature Center
By Don Valentine
Need a cheap day to get the family out of the house? Hello Hollywood and Ann Kolb Nature Center (AKNC). Located on Sheridan, AKNC is wedged between the expansive North Lake and the Intracoastal. They have a free museum that exhibits South Florida in all its glory. It’s an intimate environment, but extremely informative. The exhibit hall is perfect to expose kids to the South Florida flora and fauna. The primary focus is on the South Florida mangrove ecosystem and aquariums to display the tropical fish element.
The Nature Center is Ann Kolb’s, former Broward Commissioner, crown jewel. It celebrates its 20 year anniversary with diverse monthly events based on understanding the environment where we live here in South Florida. In this verdant, subtropical respite you can enjoy canoeing, paddle boarding and kayak rentals for as little as $14 an hour. The center rests in a 1,500 acre park that features wetlands, West Lake, the Intracoastal, sitting right next to the Atlantic Ocean. This provides a protected natural habitat for animals, including species that are endangered or threatened. It was the dream of the environmentalist Kolb to make a secure environmental area.
In addition to the Nature Center, they have guided nature boat tours thru the mangrove estuary. The tour is very educational and worth the nominal price of admission. Considering our neighbors in New York, Chicago, or Phoenix have to vacation to South Florida to have this experience, how blessed are we to have this in our back yard, and we get to sleep in our own bed that night!