Old Punta Rassa – Part 1

1882 Rand McNally map of Southwest Florida showing Punta Rassa and Fort Dulany; photo from State Library of Florida.  

“The Barracks” housed an increasing number of weary cattle drivers in Punta Rassa circa 1890s; photo from the Florida State Archives.


“Passing through Punta Rassa on the way to or from Sanibel Island on Florida’s Gulf coast,  » Read more

The Swamp


The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise, which informed the 2018 PBS documentary The Swamp, tells the story of the manmade destruction and attempted resurrection of the Florida Everglades, the riveting history of humanity’s relentless war against nature in Florida, and its belated efforts to make peace.

Ocean’s Reach guests next March will get the opportunity to meet the award-winning author Michael Grunwald in person.  » Read more

Hop Aboard the Trolley


You’re invited to join in on the fun as the folks over at the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce host their 17th Annual Tapa Hop on Thursday, September 19.

Festive trolleys take participants to seven different Fort Myers Beach restaurants, each providing appetizer items or “tapas” included in the price of a ticket.

This year’s participating restaurants are Fish-Tale Waterfront Dining, Pete’s Time Out,  » Read more

Scarecrow Mania!


Here’s a fun event for you!

The 10th annual Scarecrows in the Park competition is expected to draw more than 50,000 attendees as part of the Lakes Park Fall Festival, planned for October 11 – 27, 2019 at Lakes Regional Park in Fort Myers.

Local businesses, community members, organizations, schools and youth groups such as Scouts and 4-H join the competition fun by fashioning custom-made scarecrows to be displayed at Lakes Park during the festival.   » Read more

75th Anniversary Exhibition

Clyde Butcher shoots with large-format cameras. Photo by Woody Walters.

Photo of the Florida Everglades by Clyde Butcher.


Often tagged “the Ansel Adams of Florida,” photographer Clyde Butcher has made a big reputation for himself based on big black-and-white nature images taken with big cameras.

Starting Nov. 13, 2019, the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) will be hosting a special Clyde Butcher exhibition as part of the 75th anniversary celebration of the J.N.  » Read more

Merit Badge University

Boy Scouts can earn their fishing and other badges at Merit Badge University!


The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will host its 2nd annual Merit Badge University for registered Boy Scouts of America on Saturday, October 26.

Scouts from around the nation will have the opportunity to earn up to two out of six badges being offered that day. They include Bird Study,  » Read more

Vitality through Nature

Photo from Shangri-La Springs.


On your next visit to Ocean’s Reach, consider a morning jaunt exploring historic downtown Bonita Springs, where you’ll find the beautiful Shangri-La Springs.

The 8.5 acre property features Mother Nature at her finest, with bountiful fig trees, tranquil butterfly gardens, manicured grounds, fountains and a certified organic garden.

As its operators say, “We believe the land itself has a great impact on health and vitality.  » Read more

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