Gulf Branch Nature Center celebrates 50 years, looks ahead
Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 12:00 pm | Updated: 10:38 am, Wed Jun 15, 2016.
A half-century to the day after it opened to the public, supporters of Gulf Branch Nature Center celebrated the past with an eye to the future.
The park, located off Military road, is “more than just a nature center,” said Duke Banks, vice president of Friends of Gulf Branch Nature Center. It is, he said, “a magnet for community engagement.”
The remarks came during a ceremony held June 12 to honor the same day in 1966 the facility debuted.
In 2009, some county officials proposed ending government funding for the nature center, but a public rebellion ensured that did not happen.
The community “stood up and banded together,” said state Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31st), who was serving on the County Board at the time. A public-private partnership ensued, and “we are all grateful that we have this wonderful open-air space,” Favola said.
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