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Peace River Wildlife Center, preserving precious wildlife

Grandkids at Ponce de Leon Park and Peace River Wildlife Center
Tammy Hayes

If you live in Punta Gorda or are just passing through, one of the places you will want to visit is Peace River Wildlife Center. They are located at 3400 Ponce de Leon Parkway, Punta Gora, Florida. They are a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation, protection and care of native wildlife in Charlotte County, Florida. They treat and rehabilitate wildlife and return to them to the wild.

Donations to tour the center are encouraged and appreciated. They are open from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. When you enter the Peace River Wildlife Center there are several habitats to walk through and view the wildlife. Most of the animals that are available for viewing are birds such as eagles, hawks, owls, ospreys, sandhill cranes, pelicans, herons, gulls, terns, crows, and vultures. You can walk through yourself or meet up with one of the tour guides to get a more in-depth description of the wildlife and their care.

It costs about $75,000 per year to run the center. There are fundraisers being held throughout the year to help support this organization. They also rely on donations, grants, recycling and volunteers. You can even adopt an animal. Another source of income for the center is the gift shop. It is right on site. When you get to the end of the viewing center, you can enter the gift shop. Purchase a hat, t-shirt, mug, jewelry and much more.

When you are done visiting the Peace River Wildlife Center, you can stay for a while and maybe bring a picnic lunch or partake in some fishing. The center is located right in Ponce de Leon Park where you can talk a walk on the boardwalk through the wetland area. The park has a boat ramp, two fishing piers, a playground, a man made beach, shelter, restrooms and picnic tables. So, pack a lunch and make a day of it.

Here is the web link to the Peace River Wildlife Center for more information: http://peaceriverwildlifecenter.org/

Tammy Hayes, Realtor, Re/Max Palm Realty, Port Charlotte, FL