I recently took the boys north, across the Choctawhatchee Bay, to Freeport, to visit The E. O. Wilson Biophilia Center. The center was started in 2009 by a Walton County resident who wanted to educate others about the importance of conserving the world’s biodiversity. The term biophilia means the love of all living things. That philosophy is brought to life at the Biophilia Center. The center is located on the Nokuse Plantation, which, at almost 54,000 acres, is the largest privately owned nature preserve in the Southeastern United States.
There is a large area for parking with a short walk to the main building.
Upon entering the open and spacious front foyer, you are greeted by a large bird and a large ant. The boys immediately began giggling and couldn’t wait to run ahead to the Exhibit Hall.
One of the first interactive displays was this turtle tunnel that allows you to crawl through and experience life as a sea turtle. This had such a big impact on Henry, he was awake the next morning telling me all about an exciting dream he had just had where he was a sea turtle!
The boys were amazed by the Honey Bee Exhibit which shows bees in action!
There’s an exhibit that allows you to put your hands into a dark hole and feel things such as alligator heads and tortoise shells. I passed on that one, but Massey loved it!
There are scheduled exhibits throughout the day, many involving up close and personal experiences with the animals. Henry and Massey weren’t interested in sitting and listening to any kind of educational talk, so we skipped those, but if you have children who are older or who have an attention span greater than 60 seconds, definitely plan on taking part in those experiences!
After passing through a side porch, complete with a water table, a chalk table, and a sand table, you can climb Native American mounds and walk through a Florida Cracker House.
While outdoors, you can tour the Biophilia Garden and see the Birds of Prey exhibit.
We highly recommend visiting the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center! We plan on going back very soon!
Check out their website for more information, including hours and how to support them annually in their efforts to create and nurture a more biodiverse environment! www.eowilsoncenter.org