Venice, FL’s Jelks Preserve: Nature and Entrepreneur

Nature has always been Jelks Preserve’s inspiration. In the early 1900s, when Jelks was a boy living in rural Venice, FL, he watched with wonder as his grandfather and other family members cleared the forest for their cabin. Jelks loved nature so much that he made it his life’s work to preserve what remained of Florida’s natural beauty by creating this beautiful preserve near Sarasota Bay. Today Jelks Preserve in Venice, FL, is home to more than 614 acres of wildlife habitats and wilderness areas with walking trails through tranquil wetlands and wooded communities populated by wild turkeys, deer, bobcats, and bald eagles. It also offers educational opportunities for children in environmental education classes about protecting our environment. Information can be found here.

A nature lover’s paradise awaits visitors at Jelks Preserve in Venice, Florida! Nestled on the southwestern part of Sarasota County between Tampa Bay to its eastern border with Manatee County, this 614-acre preserve provides public access to an important wetland ecosystem. Jelks Preserve is named after the Jelks family, who generously donated this important natural resource to Sarasota County in 1991. See here for information about Venice Area Audubon Society in Venice, FL: Where Birds and Humans Coexist.

Jelks Preserve’s unique ecosystem includes a diverse array of flora and fauna, including cypress trees, native orchids, pitcher plants, alligators, and other wildlife that can be seen from an observation tower overlooking three acres of open water known as “the lake.” In addition, Jelks has been designated by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) for its exceptional quality wetlands with rare species found nowhere else on earth!