A Record-Breaking Swamp Celebration

As the wet season in South Florida nears its end, there’s one thing that you can count on – we’re going swamp walking in all that water! And over the course of this past weekend, more than 270 of our supporters joined us!

Our swamp walkers, sponsors, and one very special donor who matched the money that we garnered, helped us to raise more than $38,000!

This was – by far – the most guests that our Swamp Celebration has ever seen and is the most money our organization has ever raised through this event.

This two-day fundraising affair gave attendees an exclusive opportunity to explore the private property surrounding famed photographer Clyde Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery within Big Cypress National Preserve through guided swamp walks.

Although within the boundaries of the public lands of Big Cypress National Preserve, Clyde Butcher’s gallery remains private property and only a special few each year are able to experience the wonders of the cypress domes that lay beyond the gallery building itself.

These adventurous outings are in support of Big Cypress National Preserve’s youth environmental education program, which serves every 6th-grade student in Collier County each year. With funding from The Alliance for Florida’s National Parks, around 3,000 kids are able to experience the natural and wild wonders of southwest Florida through this program.

As the Big Cypress education team prepares to resume in-person lessons this school year, the need for these funds and the awareness that this event brings is ever important.

At Swamp Celebration, even non-6th graders were able to participate in some national-park-level experiments with the Big Cypress team, including water quality testing, soil testing, and even tracking an elusive Florida panther with the same radio transmitters that the field biologists use. All while grooving to the live sounds of songwriter Grant Livingston!

Check out all the fun that we had with a few photos below and visit our Facebook page to see the full album of photos!

Thank you to our sponsors JP Morgan Chase & Company and DeVoe Subaru of Naples – and all of you – for making this happen!!

*All photos courtesy of Anthony Sleiman*