The exciting news of the summer of 2020 is that groundwork has started for the new Visitor Center, to replace the old building that sustained hurricane damage in August 2017. The road to the old parking area has been blocked off, with a temporary road made to the restrooms across from the Visitor Contact Station (which remains closed due to COVID-19). At the last FAMI Board meeting (via Zoom) Refuge Manager Joe Saenz and Visitor Services Manager Laura Bonneau shared some information on the plans for the new Visitor Center. The building will be home for the administrative offices, and the public area will include a check-in and information desk, an exhibit and interpretive area, a meeting room and the FAMI Nature Store and office.
The road to the parking area will continue behind the new building and rejoin the main refuge road a short distance beyond the Alligator Viewing Area. There are plans for more trails around the new center, including a path from the building down to the existing platform for viewing alligators in Tomas Slough.
Expect to see some changes when you next visit the Refuge!