By: Sharon Aron Baron
Many Coral Springs homes border canals that are typically surrounded by dense tropical foliage and wildlife. When residents encounter a wounded or motherless animal in this environment, their first thought is to call the Sawgrass Nature Center.
Nestled in the northwest corner of Broward County lies a hidden gem. The Sawgrass Nature Center & Wildlife Hospital treats and rehabilitates over 800 native animals a year and educates children and adults about the importance of South Florida’s unique environment and the many species it contains.
Started in 1995, SNC founder Joan Kohl, realized that in western Broward County, where she lived, many caring individuals were unable to drive the long distances to the few facilities available to save a wild native animal. She then approached the City of Coral Springs to determine their willingness to partner to create a wildlife hospital and environmental learning center located in the city. They were willing to donate the use of five acres of land in Sportsplex Park, and the dream took on life and became the Sawgrass Nature Center & Wildlife Hospital, which has been open to the public since 2006.
A visit to the Sawgrass Nature Center will offer a close-up view of many different animals that either has permanent injuries or are exotic species that can’t be released. Although the wildlife rehabilitation area is off-limits to the general public since it is hoped that these animals will be returned to the wild, a TV in the lobby of the visitor center gives the public a peek into the tireless care and effort that the SNC staff and volunteers devote to the animals in need.
To continue its critical mission, the SNC is hosting its major fundraiser of the year on Saturday, November 9, 2019, at 6 p.m. Tickets are $100 each (SNC Members $85).
The “Gator Gala” will be a lively night with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, dinner, and entertainment.
The speaker for the evening will be Ian Bartoszek, Wildlife Biologist, and current project lead on a ground-breaking collaborative research project tracking invasive Burmese pythons in southwest Florida.
The silent and live auction items include a Zulu Nyala Game Lodge South African Photo Safari for two, golf outings, hotel stays and gift certificates to many restaurants and attractions.
Sponsorships, ad space, item donations, and tickets are available for businesses and individuals to support the environmental education efforts and the treatment and rehabilitation of over 800 wild native animals per year. Donation packets and tickets to the event can be obtained on the SNC website, sawgrassnaturecenter.org, or by calling 954-752-9453.
The Carolina Golf Club is located at 3011 Rock Island Road, Margate, FL.