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
 Ground Dove

Migrants that you may see:

 Blue Bird  Pine Warbler  Tree Swallow
 Swallow tailed Kite  Yellow-rumped Warbler  Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
 Palm Warbler  American Robin