Hours and Admission

OPEN:

Thursday - Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

CMNC will be CLOSED:

New Years Day
Fourth of July
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Day

Admission:

$8.00 ~ Adults
$3.00 ~ 5 to 12 years old
Free under 5

Click here for map to CMNC

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The Founders

The Crowley Museum and Nature Center is uniquely positioned as an education center. William Jasper Crowley incorporated the Nature Center and Pioneer Museum in 1974. Successions of dedicated community volunteers and financial support have demonstrated education, enjoyment and stewardship while operating within balanced budgets. Instilled with Jasper Crowley’s passion for preserving the history and environment of rural southwest Florida, the organization and its 190-acre preserve has been host to southwest families for 34 years. Business, nature, historical and government organizations have supported Crowley; providing us the opportunity to educate diverse interest groups on their role as stewards of nature and rural history. Our center and staff support our local school districts science programs with onsite applied earth and physical science projects. Scouts and Guides use the facilities and staff for many educational programs, activities, and community service projects.

Our experiential education programs, keyed to the environment, conservation, cultural history, and sustainable agriculture, serve over 7,000 visitors per year, from pre-school through seniors. Visitors are immersed in the Crowley environment where their senses are tested to hear, smell, taste and see the wonders of the habitats that surround them. Each visit is an opportunity to experience something completely different; depending on the season, weather, and time of day. We often create and improve a visitor’s desire to sustain our natural environment and pioneer history through the Crowley experience.

The Vineyard

The Crowley Museum and Nature Center (CMNC), in cooperation with The University of Florida IFAS Extension Service, Florida A&M; University's Center for Viticulture & Small Fruit Research, and the Rosa Fiorelli Winery, has installed a muscadine grape vineyard on its Myakka Road property. The vineyard, with both fresh market and wine varietal grapes will be used as an organic grape growing demonstration and education site for the five county region. According to Bill Cowdright, Crowley's Executive Director "It is part of Crowley's mission to educate our community about sustainable agricultural practices which foster stewardship; especially, when we can use Florida native species like the muscadine grape. We are very pleased to participate in this cooperative effort with Florida A&M; University's Small Fruit Research & Outreach Program, the University of FLorida's Extension Service, and the Fiorelli Winery.”

The breadth of these organization's knowledge provides Crowley with the capability to employ experts who understand Florida grape genetics through Florida wine making. Mr. Cowdright commented that he hopes this effort will stimulate
new local growers because Florida wineries are asking for more locally grown fruit so they don't have to import juice or grapes from other states.

Crowley Museum and Nature Center plans to offer new educational programs geared to organic grape growing, as well as the seasonal crops that can be grown in conjunction with grapes or once the grapes are harvested. The Crowley mission is to facilitate the education and enjoyment of Southwest Florida history and nature, promote environmental awareness, and foster responsible stewardship in the region.


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