On Monday, Feb. 29, the South Florida Science Center & Aquarium leadership, board members, hole sponsors and project developers took one small swing in honor of science. The ceremonial putt served as a kickoff to the start of construction on the center’s highly anticipated 18-hole miniature golf course.
The “Conservation Course” is scheduled to open in late spring, and will cater to serious golf fans, alongside children seeking science lessons through fun and interactive play. Gary Nicklaus and Jim Fazio, sons of two local icons in the golf community, are collaborating on the custom-designed course.
The mini-golf course is only the first step in a much larger plan for continued improvements and expansions. “The science center was created by the Junior League of the Palm Beaches in 1961, when Palm Beach County was home to only 260,000 residents,” CEO Lew Crampton said. “This year, the science center celebrates its 55th year serving the informal science education needs of our community, and we couldn’t be more proud of our growth.”
Designed with science in mind, each hole of the Conservation Course represents an animal or plant native the Everglades. Plaques along the course will educate visitors about the species and conservation efforts in the local community.
The “Forever Florida” nature trail will be an 8-foot-wide hard-surface trail winding through the science center’s “backyard,” right next to the Conservation Course. Along the trail, visitors will have an opportunity to engage in a variety of activities, including a human sundial, a run-through fountain, a physics forest and a gem-panning station. “Eventually we hope to work with the Palm Beach Zoo to build a bridge and pathway connecting both institutions so that visitors can spend the entire day with us,” Crampton said.
The science center is located at 4801 Dreher Trail North in West Palm Beach. For more info., visit www.sfsciencecenter.org.