In a Flip-Flop State of Mind.

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Welcome Back, “Ding” Darling!


We’re thrilled to report that the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is scheduled to re-open tomorrow, welcoming back visitors to Wildlife Drive and their Visitors and Education Center, along with the Wildlife Drive observation tower and sections of the Indigo Trail, Wildlife Education Boardwalk and Wulfert Key Trail.

Wildlife Drive hours will be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday through Thursday (closed on Fridays).  Admission is $10 for vehicles, $1 for pedestrians and cyclists.  In addition to the exhibit areas in the Visitor & Education Center, the Refuge Nature Store will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday through Thursday (closed on Fridays, for now).

We’ve sorely missed the heartbeat of our island, as “Ding” is considered by many.  One of the ways we’ve been able to stay connected to nature with them as been through their weekly “Mindful Monday” videos that the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society features on their “Friends of the Refuge” Facebook page.

The reels are meant to help you in your mindfulness journeys by learning to stay present, grounded, self-aware and thankful.  We’ve included some of their recent reels below; to follow them yourself, visit their Facebook page here.




More updates from our friends at DDWS:

–  “Ding” Darling Nature Wellness is partnering with the Sanibel Recreation Center to offer free Mindfulness Meditations and Mindful Nature Walks.  Preregister at

–  Most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the Nature Store will pop up at the Outdoor Gallery and Island Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Rachel Pierce Art Gallery at 1571 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.

–  Refuge Cleanup with a Ranger takes place on Thursdays at 9 a.m.  Participation is limited; preregistration is required at

–  In concert with Earth Day, the “Ding” Darling Day Conservation Carnival will take place on April 22 at Lakes Park in Fort Myers.

–  “Ding” Wellness Week will precede National Mental Health Awareness Week, May 3-10.

–  The annual “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament will take place on May 19.

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