In July 1987 the World’s first large scale man-made wetland treatment system was completed. Sixteen hundred and fifty acres of pasture areas were converted to become the Orlando Wetlands Park. Wastewater from parts of Orange and Seminole counties is pumped to the City’s Iron Bridge Plant in South Seminole County. Of this highly-treated reclaimed water, approx. 6-20 million gallons a day are sent to the wetlands, where aquatic plants further remove nutrients. It takes approximately 40 days for the reclaimed water to filter through the 1,220 acres of man-made and natural wetlands before reaching the St. Johns River.
More than 20 miles of roads and woodland trails leading through marshes, hardwood hammocks and along scenic lakes. Because vehicles are restricted on the park’s berm roads, visitors to the Orlando Wetlands Park walk, bicycle, or ride their own horse. Another popular method of getting around are the tram tours provided by volunteers on Fridays, Saturdays, and specially designated dates. The friendly volunteers are happy to accommodate photographers, bird watchers, and families, stopping often for a good shot, rare bird, or to see the wildlife and the unspoiled natural habitat within the park. More than 220 different species of birds and 63 species of butterflies have been observed at this site. It is habitat for alligators, turtles, snakes, otters, white-tailed deer, bobcats and other wildlife.
The Park offers a parking lot, restroom facility, picnic tables, Wildlife Garden and an Education Center, which is located near the entrance of the park. At the Education Center visitors will find wildlife and computer displays, some live critters, maps and brochures relating to the Orlando Wetlands Park and other nearby attractions. It also offers several reference books. In addition, it is a great place to cool down during hot summer seasons, get a cold drink or speak to volunteers and get information about the park.
For further details about the wetlands park, tram tours and group programs please visit cityoforlando.net/wetlands
or call 407.568.1706.