Reedy Creek Nature Center

The journey to the Reedy Creek Nature Center itself took me down a long, winding road where my surroundings changed from suburban to heavily wooded and almost isolated from the rest of the park. Everything is surrounded by dense forest, and that is present from the moment I walked out of the parking lot and down one of the multiple pathways around the center. Although the inside of the building was closed to the public, I was still able to get a sense of the surrounding wildlife, architecture, and trails. There were multiple small wooden structures that displayed maps with trails and their markings–there were legends on the map that indicated different trails by symbols and colors. The map itself had every trail and landmark labeled to help hikers with navigation. Almost everything was made out of wood, so the structures themselves did not stick out like a sore thumb amidst the forest and thick vegetation in the area. I thought it was definitely an interesting (and clever) way to blend the architecture into the surrounding forest so that it did not detract from the actual attraction–the outdoors.

Something that I took note of was the amount of educational information displayed around the park. Every couple of steps one would encounter an infographic, a “fun fact” or a picture of the native flora and fauna. Pre-covid, a lot of people would take their families to the nature center and they would host festivals and programs teaching about the wildlife and environmental conservation. Due to recent circumstances with covid, it was interesting to see the increased amount of outdoor educational “pit-stops” which showed that the nature center definitely still stresses educating the public.  The predominant colors of the attractions and buildings were natural, earthy tones. Even the playground (which would normally stick out with its plastic, metal and bright colors) was mostly made out of natural resources like logs, twisting vines and wooden planks. There were a few areas that were refreshing pops of color, like the cardinal welcome sign at the entrance and the eye-catching infographics. I noticed how the educational landmarks often had a splash of vibrant color that drew the passerby in as it interrupted the natural colors of the forest around it.

This nature center encapsulates everything you would expect–nature, wildlife, etc, but adds an educational twist that is geared toward informing the public. Whether you simply want to go on a hike or learn more about the outdoors, this park is very easy to navigate and understand, and is designed to aid the visitor in having a refreshing outdoor experience.