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Gardens & Edens - Osceola Schools
Environmental Study Center


Osceola Schools Environmental Study Center
4300 Poinciana Boulevard, Kissimmee, 34758
(407) 870-0551

Admission: Free
Hours: Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sunday noon to 5:00 p.m.
Location: 13 miles south of Highway 192

During the week, this 19-acre patch of Reedy Creek Swamp serves as an educational resource for the school children of Osceola County. On weekends, it’s open to the public and well worth a visit from the wildlife-loving tourist. In the winter and spring, you might even be able to spot a nesting bald eagle.

Begin at the Visitors Center, which houses one of the best introductions and reference guides to Central Florida wildlife you are likely to find. If you’ve spotted some critter that you couldn’t identify, you’ll probably find it here. Most impressive are the taxidermy of birds like the bald eagle and osprey. There are also stuffed panthers and black bears. Most of these specimens were killed accidentally, typically by an automobile. Now they help teach school kids. These three-dimensional examples are supplemented by quite lovely color photographs of the native species taken right here at the Study Center. On another wall are photos of the local flora. Add to this charts of bird silhouettes and animal tracks and you have a remarkably complete resource for enjoying the Florida wilderness. Pick up a free copy of The Reedy Creek Swamp Nature Guide and the trail guides to guide the rest of your visit.

There are three short trails to explore. An 1,800-foot raised walkway takes you into Reedy Creek Swamp and its 400-year-old cypress trees. At the end, an observation platform lets you eavesdrop on the osprey nests. The short Pine Woods Trail features a reconstruction of the portable logging railroads that once ferried felled trees out of the swamp. The rails were made by Krupp, the famous German industrial giant. Another trail leads to a modest Indian mound formed by snail shells discarded by the aboriginal inhabitants. A small picnic area is available.

Nearby: Green Meadows Farm, Old Town, Osceola Extreme Sports.

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