We are the Sarasota, Florida, chapter of the National Audubon Society, dedicated to the protection, conservation and enjoyment of birds, wildlife and the environment in our community. Our mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems by connecting with others and using a combination of science, education, and the restoration of our local wildlife habitats.
It’s no surprise that our headquarters Nature Center is located in the heart of the Celery Fields – Sarasota County’s number one birding destination! Sarasota Audubon worked with the Sarasota County government to restore more than 440 acres of what once were celery farms, creating open marshlands and ponds, edged by oaks, willows and pines, and providing excellent opportunities for wildlife watching. The Celery Fields is now one of the ‘birdiest’ places on the Great Florida Birding Trail with more than 245 bird species spotted, as well as the county’s award winning regional storm water treatment area.
When visiting the Nature Center, you might start by chatting with our knowledgeable Audubon volunteers. They can help describe the birds and wildlife of Sarasota County and the Celery Fields. Pick up a Celery Fields trail map, bird checklist, or sign up for one of our guided bird and nature walks. You can join scheduled classes that, for example, aim to improve birding skills, help you to understand wildlife rescue techniques, or even how to play “Wingspan.”
The Nature Center is a net zero energy, LEED GOLD certified building; our volunteers can point out design features. In addition to children’s exhibits, fossil displays, and big screen bird and wildlife videos, the Nature Center often presents works of local wildlife artists and photographers. Surrounding the Nature Center are native plant and butterfly gardens waiting to be explored. You can bring your lunch and watch for birds from our large, covered patio. Or, visit our shady Gazebo with its bird feeders and let the birds come to you. You can refill your water bottle at our hydration station and shop at our gift store for hats, water bottles and more, before heading off to hike the 10 miles of Celery Fields’ trails. You’ll also want to stop by the two elevated boardwalks extending out over the wetlands. Every morning, in season, Audubon volunteer Bird Naturalists equipped with spotting scopes are stationed at each boardwalk Gazebo to help you locate and identify birds.
Please visit us at the Sarasota Audubon Nature Center, or, visit our website, www.sarasotaaudubon.org to learn more about how you can become an Audubon member, or participate in our activities, monthly meetings, conservation projects and more. PARK DETAILS Hiking Trails Sarasota County-maintained restrooms are located nearby, adjacent to the County’s parking lot on Palmer Boulevard. FACILITY AMENITIES Family-Friendly Handicapped Accessible Scheduled Tours Available WiFi Picnic Tables GENERAL INFORMATION The Sarasota Audubon Nature Center is Open Daily, in Season, Oct. 1- May 31, from 9:00 a.m.-noon.
Admission: Free. (Some classes, special events, and a few trips may have fees)
Boardwalk Bird Naturalists (at Palmer Boulevard and Raymond Road Gazebos) are on duty daily, Nov 1-April 30, from 8:30 a.m. – 10:30a.m. The Celery Fields are open daily, 6:00 a.m. to sunset. Admission: Free.