Kevin Wilke was a driving force in the formation of The
Friends Of Long Key organization, which was
created to support the mission of the Long Key Nature
Center and Natural Area in west Davie. For those
of you who wish to honor Kevin's legacy, please make a
charitable contribution to FOLK by sending a check in
his honor to
3501 SW 130th Avenue, Davie,
Long Key, which is operated by
County Parks, is a rich Florida treasure hidden away
near the estate homes and gated communities of west
FOLK, Inc., our Citizens Support Organization was
incorporated and registered as a 501 (c) (3)
non-profit organization in 2014.
primary goals of FOLK
Protecting Long Key’s ancient environment, and
2. Promoting the Nature Center’s purpose of providing a
valuable cultural, historical, botanical, and biological resource
for the citizens of
conduct fund raising activities for the benefit of the
Long Key Natural Area and Nature Center.
the complete list of
volunteers were recognized for the group's
achievements at a Broward County Commission
meeting in December, 2015. The happy
folks in the front are Parks Director Dan
West, Paul Kragh, Jan Lowenthal, Long Key
Naturalist Kelli Whitney, Janice Malkoff,
Ann Haeflinger, commissioner Lois Wexler,
and Broward County Mayor Marty Kiar, who
handed out the t-shirts.
LONG KEY -- BACKGROUND.
Until recently, this
elevated oak hammock was the longest of a small chain of
islands in the wet, east Everglades marshes, where
traces of human settlement go back 3,000 years. Long Key was a home to Tequesta Native
Americans, the first identifiable human inhabitants of
the giant swamp. This high-and-dry
location was later occupied by the Seminoles in the 19th
In the 1900s, Long
Key was variously a citrus grove, dairy farm, then
Pioneer City -- an Old West theme park with its own
railroad -- and finally, the highly-popular Kapok Tree
restaurant, which was known for its Imperial Roman motif
amidst spectacular landscaping. In 1990, following the demise
and demolition of the Kapok Tree, Broward County
acquired the land and began returning much of it to its
natural state by
restoring wetlands and transplanting non-native trees
to other parks.
new Nature Center, with
its exhibit and assembly halls,
theater, and classroom was completed in 2008.
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