Orange County Government, Florida
Alan Marshall, Public Information Officer
(407) 836-1412 or
08 May 2015
Join Commissioner Jennifer Thompson at the Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge Open House
Fun for the Entire Family!

Orange County, FL – On Saturday, May 16, 2015, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., join the Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge Open House honoring the one-year anniversary of its location at Eagles Roost, 10525 Clapp Simms Duda Road, Orlando. Admission is free. The festivities commence with an animal photo op with Commissioner Jennifer Thompson. Come tour the facility, experience an animal encounter, take a guided trail hike, attend nature classes and enjoy abundant hands-on activities. There will be an expanded farmers market, live entertainment, children’s activities and food vendor offerings for purchase.

Back to Nature has been caring for wildlife for more than 25 years, with a mission to rehabilitate, raise and release injured and orphaned native wildlife. As Orange County’s wildlife rehabilitation center, they do everything they can to rescue both injured and orphaned wildlife and prepare them for release back into the wild.

When 232 acres of conservation land near Lake Nona were purchased through the Orange County Green PLACE program, it appeared to be a great location for the Back to Nature facility. The County negotiated to lease 20 acres at a nominal cost, with the agreement that Back to Nature would include an on-site wildlife education center.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Debbie Helsel, Back to Nature Executive Director, “We did the best we could at the smaller facility off East Colonial, but our goal was always to move to a larger property, something with natural surroundings.” Eagles Roost, which is seven times larger than the old location, features natural wetlands and an active eagle's nest.

“Back to Nature’s move to its new home at Eagles Roost is an affirmation of the hard work and dedication of staff and supporters, and to the County’s commitment to make the move possible,” stated Commissioner Jennifer Thompson. “Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge and Education Center is a place that families can enjoy – it’s a place to learn and have fun!”

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About Orange County Government: Orange County Government strives to serve its citizens and guests with integrity, honesty, fairness and professionalism. Located in Central Florida, Orange County includes 13 municipalities and is home to world famous theme parks, the nation’s second largest convention center, and a thriving life science research park. Seven elected members make up the Board of County Commissioners including the Mayor who is elected countywide. For more information please visit or go to the Orange County facebook and twitter pages.