751 Sheridan St., Hollywood, FL 33019
954-357-5161 • Fax: 954-357-5163 • Email: WestLakePark@Broward.org
BEST NATURE CENTER AND VOLUNTEER PARK OF THE YEAR 2016
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Wi-Fi is available in the Mangrove Hall.
When the Anne Kolb Nature Center opened on February 10, 1996, it was the culmination of a lengthy process that involved many years of planning and development. Today, the nature center complex is a 1,500-acre coastal mangrove wetland that's home to a wide variety of plants and animals, including some threatened and endangered species. Three extensive paddling trails offer access to this wilderness area for sightseeing and fishing. Fossil fuel boats are not permitted in the open waters and on the paddling trails of West Lake. Trail maps are available at the visitor center. The nature center is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail
The nature center’s exhibit hall includes a site map of the park’s three-mile mangrove preserve; a miniature theater, which features Living Crossroads, a 10-minute closed-caption video presentation; and a series of interactive and static displays that vividly portray and explain West Lake Park’s mangrove ecosystem and its significance. The exhibit hall's Eco-Room offers hands-on nature experiences for children and adults alike.
A highlight of the exhibit hall is the 3,500-gallon saltwater aquarium. Join staff every Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. for "Aquarium: Behind the Scenes," a free 30-minute program for all ages about the inhabitants of the aquarium, which you can observe feeding.
The exhibit hall also provides a rotating display of nature-themed works by local artists and photographers. Many artists offer gallery receptions during their monthly exhibitions. Call the park for current gallery artist(s) and reception information. Artists interested in displaying their work can contact the park at 954-357-5161.
This 3,304-square-foot banquet hall (160 capacity) is popular for weddings and receptions, bar and bat mitzvahs, anniversary celebrations, corporate meetings, and other group functions. The facility includes a caterer’s warming kitchen and individual dressing rooms for brides and/or grooms. An adjacent boardroom (15 capacity) can be rented separately for smaller meetings. The courtyard area outside the Mangrove Hall is also available for outdoor ceremonies. Mangrove Hall floor plan.
This 200-seat outdoor area adjacent to the park’s exhibit hall features a stage and shaded areas and is available for rental.
Take the elevator or stairs to the top of this 68-foot, five-level structure for spectacular views of the West Lake mangrove estuary, the Intracoastal Waterway, and the Atlantic Ocean.
Environmental Boat Tours
Narrated 30-minute tours on a U.S. Coast Guard-licensed 35-foot boat (capacity 14). Tour schedule varies according to tides, so call park office to confirm availability. Group boat tours are also available. Fee information can be found here.
Lake Observation Trail
A 0.2-mile trail leading to a covered area with a breathtaking view of West Lake.
Fishing Pier Trail
This 783-foot trail leads to two prime fishing spots along the Intracoastal Waterway. Catch-and-release is encouraged, and all state fishing regulations apply.
Mud Flat Trail
A 0.3-mile trail that includes prime spots for viewing resident and migratory birds feeding and resting. The trail leads to a covered lookout point at its end.
This 2.3-mile gravel trail, accessible from the north side of the park, meanders through mangroves and is popular with walkers and bicyclists. There are two gazebos, one with a great view of the Intracoastal Waterway. Trail map and photos.
Public Art and Design
The plaza flanked by the exhibit hall building, the Mangrove Hall, and the visitor center includes Miami-based artist Christine Federighi's Mangrove Root Benches - half a dozen benches, no two alike, fashioned from slabs of coral rock and supported by bronze legs modeled after mangrove prop roots. The plaza's interlocking paver stones are designed to suggest mangrove leaves. "The benches were designed to reflect man's involvement with the site," says the artist. "We sit with Nature."
Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt using Global Positioning System (GPS) devices. The first clue is a set of GPS coordinates, corresponding to where someone has hidden a "treasure," of geocache. Geocaches can come in all shapes and sizes and can even be virtual. If you are interested in geocaching and want to know more, please visit of Geocaching Web page.
If you plan to geocache in Anne Kolb Nature Center, you can use the following GPS coordinates to search for geocaches in the park: 26.04238, -80.12424. Please be aware of the following guidelines that apply to geocaching at Anne Kolb Nature Center in addition to the guidelines set forth on the geocaching Web page.
No pets are allowed within the nature center's boundaries.
Broward County Transit
The nature center is accessible via Routes #4 and #12.
A Little History
The nature center was named for the late County Commissioner Anne Kolb, a former award-winning journalist who in 1974 had become the first woman elected to the Broward County Commission. Before her death in July 1981, Kolb had been an active environmentalist with major accomplishments: leading the fight for the 1977 Land Use Plan; helping pass a platting ordinance that tightened government control over future development; directing a successful campaign to place a building moratorium on 61,000 acres in southeast Broward; and persuading the Commission to approve an Urban Wilderness Park System to preserve endangered lands for future generations. She was also instrumental in saving her namesake park's coastal mangrove wetland from development. Kolb's efforts paid off, and in 1990 the acquisition and plans for the preservation, enhancement, and public accessibility of West Lake received the prestigious Take Pride in America Award, which was presented in a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden.
This nature center is home to wildlife. If you have questions regarding wildlife or wish additional information, please call the park number above. The following safety tips are recommended for our guests: 1. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid the water's edge. 2. Alligators, snakes, and other animals live in this area. 3. Do not approach, feed, or taunt alligators/crocodiles, snakes, or other wildlife. 4. No swimming or wading except in designated areas. 5. Use common sense while in this nature center.
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