McGough Nature Park is pretty cool. It provides value to the community in several different ways:
The park takes care of animals (mostly birds) found injured or diseased. In some cases birds taken from the nest too early have become imprinted on humans, meaning they look to humans to teach them how to hunt and are not frightened by them. Birds like this can't live in the wild very well and would be a nuisance. The park takes care of them too.
Many falcons and hawks are there. They keep a bald eagle there with some sort of mysterious feather disorder preventing it from flying. They have several owls including some very small cute ones named Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel. They also keep a few snakes, fish, frogs, and turtles.
The park provides a place of education. In addition to live animals, they have numerous taxidermy exhibits and Indian artifacts. The staff is very knowledgeable. Many have been there a very long time they can tell you all kinds of stories over the years of things that have happened. They know all the habits and quirks of the animals very well. It is a popular field trip destination for schoolchildren. The staff will also take the animals into schools to show the children and teach them about animals or about conservation.
They also serve veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder who like to see the animals. The surrounding grounds are a relaxing place. It isn’t that big, but they pack a lot into it, including a pavilion, a playground, trails, and boardwalks that lead out into the sea between Largo and Indian Rocks. Near the entrance is a turtle pond where you can feed the turtles. The pond is choking with them. They were everywhere.
The whole thing is free to the public courtesy the city of Largo.
11901 146th Street North, Largo, Florida
Written by Daniel Noe, WayOutLife.com