751 Sheridan St., Hollywood, FL 33019
954-357-5161 • Fax: 954-357-5163 • Email: WestLakePark@Broward.org
NOTE: The Observation Tower is temporarily closed.
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 1,501-acre coastal mangrove wetland that's home to a wide variety of plants and animals, including some threatened and endangered species. Five extensive boat trails offer access to this wilderness area for sightseeing and fishing (no boats that use fossil fuels are allowed). Trail maps are available at the visitor center. The nature center is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail.
Exhibit Hall: 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. Exhibit hall admission is $2 per person.
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.
Mangrove Hall: This 3,304-square-foot banquet hall (180 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 the bride and groom. 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 (PDF 212 KB)
Boat Rentals: Kayaks and canoes can be rented only at West Lake Park on the south side of Sheridan Street - see information here. Experience what it's like to kayak at the Anne Kolb Nature Center/West Lake Park complex here.
Green Trail: See larger map image.
Amphitheater: This 200-seat outdoor area adjacent to the park’s exhibit hall features a stage and shaded areas and is available for rental.
Observation Tower: Take the elevator or stairs to the top of this 68-foot, five-level structure for spectacular views of the mangrove estuary, West Lake, the Intracoastal Waterway, and the Atlantic Ocean.
Lake 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.
South Trail: 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: 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.
Pets: No pets are allowed within the nature center's boundaries.
Broward County Transit: The nature center is accessible via Route #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. (Photo courtesy of the Broward County Historical Commission.)
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