This nomination for Florida’s Special Places is for Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve in beautiful Lee County. This essay was submitted by Bob Repenning, a biologist at the Preserve. Enjoy!
Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve in Lee County is an urban oasis where visitors have opportunities to watch otters swim, water moccasins basking in the sun and pileated woodpeckers chipping away at snags.
Just minutes off I-75, the Slough is a frequent stop for many of visitors to the area as well as for a cadre of local regulars and first timers. Birders flock to the Slough for a wide variety of migrant songbirds and resident specialties. The protection of this important area began in 1976 when a group of Lee County students, the “Monday Group,” became alarmed at how fast our environmental treasures were disappearing.
Lee County was able to purchase or get management agreements for 1,909 acres but it wasn’t until the Conservation 20/20 program purchased 1,591 acres in the northern section of the Slough that the headwaters of this system were protected. Today, the preserve encompasses 3,500 acres and is a vital cleanser of waters traveling 10 miles through one of the most developed areas of Lee County.
Visitors can easily access the 1.2 mile-long boardwalk to take quick break from life’s rat race or they can spend the whole day at Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve – one of Florida’s special places.