The Desoto County Environmental Learning Laboratory is an outdoor classroom for the students of DeSoto County. Diversified programs are offered to students to learn to identify common plants and animals on site and how they interrelate with each other as well as man.
The Outdoor Classroom is also open to the public for photography, nature study, and appreciation. The public is welcome Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9AM- 3PM and Saturday from 10AM to 4 PM.
Vegetation Communities: Dense oak pinewoods, cypress maple wetlands, pop ash swamp, oak and cabbage palm hammocks, pine palmetto areas, open fields, creek and wetlands.
Location: The site is approx. 15 minutes west of Arcadia off County Road 769. From Charlotte County, take Kings Highway which becomes CR 769 in DeSoto County. Go approx 10 miles, then turn left onto Environmental Lab Road. Travel approx. 1 mile to the center. Park in designated area and sign in at visitor’s station .
Amenities: Hiking trails with boardwalks through swamps. Several benches on trails. Restrooms. Deer, cougar, foxes, hogs and other animals in cage displays.
Animal Species: You may not be able to see all these species
Birds that you may encounter year-round include:
|Pileated Woodpecker||Bald Eagle||Little Blue Heron|
|Blue Jay||Red Shouldered Hawk||Green Heron|
|Cardinal||Wood Stork||Short Tail Hawk|
|White-eyed Vireo||Little Blue Heron||Osprey|
|Turkey Vulture||Great Egret||Bald Eagle|
|Black Vulture||Snowy Egret||Downy Woodpecker|
Migrants that you may see:
|Blue Bird||Pine Warbler||Tree Swallow|
|Swallow tailed Kite||Yellow-rumped Warbler||Blue-gray Gnatcatcher|
|Palm Warbler||American Robin|