Florida’s National Estuarine Research Reserves, including the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, are offering free admission to active-duty military personnel and their families now through Labor Day as part of the Blue Star Museums program.
A collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 2,000 museums across America, the Blue Star Museums program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage.
“We are proud to connect military families with the history and natural resources of Florida’s National Estuarine Research Reserves,” said Kevin Claridge, director of the Florida Coastal Office. “These environmental education centers and exhibit halls provide an opportunity for individuals of all ages to learn about the estuarine ecosystems of Florida.”
The Environmental Education Center at GTM Research Reserve features a variety of natural and cultural history exhibits, scavenger hunts for both children and adults, aquariums, and life-size displays of right whales, birds and fish that call the estuary home. Outdoor recreational activities include 10 miles of hiking trails for pedestrian, equestrians or bicyclists, a picnic pavilion, a fishing area and two small boat ramps. A host of monthly activities are also offered, including seminars, guided walks and seining activities.
Located at 505 Guana River Road in Ponte Vedra Beach, the GTM Research Reserve Environmental Education Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.