Boardwalk at Turkey Creek Sanctuary Reopened
PALM BAY, Fla. – The boardwalk at the Turkey Creek Sanctuary, 1502 Port Malabar Blvd. in Palm Bay, is now fully reopened. Portions of the boardwalk were heavily damaged by Hurricane Irma last November and have been closed since. Approximately 800 feet of boardwalk has been replaced and another 1,000 feet has been repaired. The total linear footage of the boardwalk is approximately 4,700 feet. Remaining repairs will be made by the end of this year, with the boardwalk remaining open during those repairs.
Two new seating areas were added, and the Canoe Deck area was upgraded and dedicated as the Oli Johnson Canoe Deck this past May. In addition, three new safety entrances have been added to make it easier to remove someone from the boardwalk in an emergency.
To date, approximately $38,000 has been spent on materials; $17,000 of which came from city funds, $6,000 came from private donations, and $15,000 was given by the Turkey Creek Sanctuary Society. CareerSource Brevard provided approximately $400,000 worth of labor, equipment, and vehicles for the clean-up project. Their assistance and partnership with the city made the project possible. An additional $7,000 of city funds have been approved and the Turkey Creek Sanctuary Society will match that funding with an additional $7,000 for a total of $14,000 more to continue repairs. Funding from CareerSource is expected to continue at least through the end of the year.
The Turkey Creek Sanctuary offers a 1-mile boardwalk passing through hydric (wet) hammock, mesic (moist) hammock, and sand pine scrub communities, and 1.5 miles of jogging trails through native forest, both excellent for viewing a multitude of wild life. Within the Sanctuary, there is also a 1-mile mountain bike trail with a direct connection to an additional 8 miles. As well as walking, jogging and biking, the Sanctuary can also be accessed by canoe or kayak. The on-site Margaret Hames Nature Center, opened in 1992, offers interpretive exhibits, and environmental education programs, including nature day camps, tours, nature library and gift store. Patrons will enjoy seeing manatees, alligators and Florida cooters (turtles) in the creek and might even see an otter or a gar fish. Birds abound in the old pine canopy, including ospreys and owls. The Sanctuary is ADA Accessible.
Call (321) 676-6690 for more information. The Turkey Creek Sanctuary is open daily from 7am until sunset, unless otherwise posted. The Margaret Hames Nature Center is open most days from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is staffed by volunteers. Please call before showing up, if you wish to visit the center, to make sure there is staff available. Admission is free. Smoking is not allowed in the park. Please don't litter or feed the wildlife.