• The Florida panther's steely gaze - NPS/RALPH ARWOOD

    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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  • 2014 Zone 4 Closure

    Beginning at 12:01 am Monday, April 7, 2013, the Zone 4 airboat access within Big Cypress National Preserve will be closed due to low water conditions. More »

  • Annual 60-Day ORV Closure for Wheeled Vehicles

    Beginning at 12:01 am Monday, June 2, the annual 60-day recreational ORV closure for all units of the Preserve that allow for wheeled ORV access will begin. The closure will be lifted on Friday, August 1. More »

  • Turner River Closure

    Turner River is closed due to low water conditions. It is advised that visitors consider paddling Halfway Creek as an alternative. More »

  • Campground Closure

    All campgrounds but Midway and the loop in the Bear Island Campground are closed through August 29. More »

  • Interstate 75 Mile Marker 63 Closure

    Beginning summer of 2013, the rest area and backcountry access at Mile Marker 63 will be closed due to construction. More »

Preserve Hosts Work by Miami Artist Rick Cruz

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Date: February 9, 2007

Sweetwater Strand by Rick Cruz
Sweetwater Strand in Wet Season
Rick Cruz

Big Cypress National Preserve will be displaying work by Miami artist Rick Cruz during the month of February. The work will be displayed at the Oasis Visitor Center located along the Tamiami Trail (U. S. 41) midway between Miami and Naples. Hours for the visitor center are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

There will be a meet the artist reception on Sunday, February 11 and 25, between 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the Oasis Visitor Center. Following the reception there will be a Ranger-led Swamp Walk into the Preserve. Please call the Oasis Visitor Center in advance (239-695-1201) for more information on the reception and to reserve space for the Swamp Walk.

Cruz's photography highlights several areas of the Preserve, other natural areas of South Florida and the unique plant life found here. His love for the wild areas of the region developed while traveling the Tamiami Trail between Miami and Sarasota. Cruz's camera became his third eye. Over time he has developed a keen sense and a natural instinct as a photographer.

"I am intrigued by Florida's unique landscape and natural beauty." Rick states, "Within the Everglades and Big Cypress regions we are able to witness one of Nature's most basic survival instincts. She is maintaining a fragile balance of a unique ecosystem; the only wetland of its kind on our planet."

Mr. Cruz has become and internationally renowned photographer with his work exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States and Europe.

Did You Know?

A young alligator emerges from its egg.

Alligator hatching season is typically September through October in south Florida. A female can lay up to 50 eggs, about 45 of which will hatch, but only two or three will make it beyond the first two years of life.