World Wetlands Day is celebrated globally each year on February 2 to raise awareness about the critical value of wetlands to our environment and communities. The initiative was started in the early 1970s by a partnership between global government and private sector environmental advocates, and the official day was christened in 1997.
This year organizers are focused on urban wetlands in cities all over the world, and the need for more of them as the world’s population continues to boom. Urban wetlands help reduce flooding, offer wild life viewing, filter waste and provide green space among numerous other benefits.
Urban Wetlands in Orlando and Tampa
Orlando and Tampa metro areas offer several urban wetlands that visitors can enjoy for a day of picnicking, wild life viewing, hiking, sunsets and more. Listed below are two popular places to explore, but there are more wetlands to see, so be sure to research what’s near you.
Free admission & tours; visitor’s center; tram tours; hiking; biking; equestrian trails
Orlando Wetlands opened to the public in the 1990s and is a beloved wild life destination in East Orlando with more than 1600 acres to explore and enjoy. At the last count there were more than 1700 alligators living there, and it is a birder’s paradise.
DON’T MISS the 2018 Orlando Wetlands Festival!
- Feb. 17, 2018
Don’t miss the upcoming Orlando Wetlands Festival. This popular festival is free, fun and educational. Festival organizers have numerous family-friendly guided tours planned to explore the Wetland’s birds, plants and wildlife. There will be wild animals, so leave your pets at home.
Learn more about the festival >> here.
This Tampa treasure was opened to the public in 1982, before that the land was used primarily for cattle grazing. The park is one of the most popular in Hillsborough County with over 1 million people visiting it each year to enjoy birding, canoeing, hiking and more.
There is a $2 entrance fee per vehicle; ranger-tours are offered for $5. Check out one of the upcoming birding or plant identification walks! Learn more here.