BCC Planetarium & Observatory
1519 Clearlake Rd.,
Cocoa, FL 32922
The Planetarium- Their world-class planetarium has seating for 210 under a 70-foot dome projection screen. A special lift provides access to the second-story seating for those who would rather not make the climb up the curving stairways. Two star projectors team up to produce a stunningly realistic sky and 3D computer effects. The Minolta Alpha Infinium shines 28,000 little points of light to create the feel of a real skyful of stars, and has auxiliary projectors to add the Sun and Moon. The Evans and Sutherland Digistar is a computer graphics projector capable of flying us through a 3D representation of our universe. The Digistar also is used for any graphic requiring only dots and lines, such as constellation overlays. A superb audio system is capable of achieving concert-level sound for rock laser shows, and putting the feeling behind explosions and rocket liftoffs. The high quality of the sound in our planetarium is something we are all proud of. Five video projectors display moving images in the front half of the planetarium. 32 slide projectors are used for dome-filling "All-Sky" images, wraparound panoramas, and to show high-quality images. Two 3.5 Watt lasers shine bright and colorful light through five projection ports. These machines add animations and special effects that can't be easily achieved in any other way. Plus, they help to make our laser shows some of the best in the biz.
The Observatory- The BCC Observatory is home to the largest public telescope in Florida which is open every week. Members of the Brevard Astronomical Society operate the telescope, and serve as guides to your own personal tour of the night sky. Planets, fuzzy nebula, double stars, star clusters and galaxies are some of the things you may see on any given night. The telescope is 24 inches in diameter, and uses a 134 pound glass mirror to collect light from distant objects. That light is then reflected back from a second mirror, which effectively "folds" an eighteen-foot light path into a compact seven-foot-long tube. An eyepiece at the back of the telescope then magnifies the image. Normally, we use magnification from about 150 power to over 400 power. Strapped to the side of the main telescope is a six-inch diameter refracting telescope that uses a lens to gather light. At the rear of this fine instrument is a small video camera, which sends a picture to a television monitor near the control desk. We also have recorded images using this telescope to show to visitors when the sky is not cooperating. The telescopes are controlled by a set of two computers. One runs "Starry Night," commercial software (available in our gift shop!) that presents a simulation of the night sky. Telescope operators can click on any object, and instruct the computers to aim the telscope at that object. These commands go to another computer that runs special software to drive the motors that make the telescope move. These same motors keep the telescope pointed at the same place in the sky as our Earth turns.
Blue Cypress Lake
Just West of Fellsmere
Blue Cypress Lake has been a haven for big bass seekers for more than 50 years. The largest bass recorded at Blue Cypress Lake has been 18 lbs., 2 oz, but the Florida record could easily be in this beautiful, natural lake at the headwaters of the St. John's River.
This extraordinary lake gets its name from the bright blue appearance of the cypress trees as the rising sun's rays reflect off the lake. Located in the western portion of Indian River County, Blue Cypress Lake is approximately 6,555 acres of freshwater wilderness. The average depth of the lake is 8 feet and the water is some of the cleanest found anywhere in Florida.
Along the lake's edge are cypress trees and bayous with lily pads, sawgrass and submerged logs. Fish attractors have been placed around in open waters. Wildlife and wilderness abound everywhere, including the five miles of dirt road leading to the lake. Majestic ospreys and eagles nest in the moss-covered cypress, while raccoons, alligators and otters splash along the shoreline. On the way in, watch for crossing deer, and if the moon is full, you might see several of them.
Blue Cypress Lake is probably best known for its Large Mouth Bass, but there are also Crappie (or Speckled Perch), Bluegills, Shellcrackers and Catfish. Fish where the water is CLEAN and the fishing is great.
According to Wikipedia, Blue Cypress Lake is located at the following longitude and latitude coordinates: 27°45′15″N, 80°44′37″W.
8225 North Wickham Road
Melbourne, FL 32940
Explore the Space Coast's Wild Side! Stroll along shaded boardwalks through lush, unspoiled Florida habitat and discover why our zoo is among the most unique in the country. Get close to animals from around the world- jaguars, monkeys, alligators, birds of prey, kangaroos, and more. Experience the many extraordinary animal encounters like hand-feeding crackers to gentle giraffe and nectar to colorful parrots. Ride our train through lemur and scimitar-horned oryx habitat. Kayak at the zoo through 22 acres of wetlands and around our Africa exhibit. They also offer Adventure Tours of the local wildlife at several sites throughout the area. Choose nature hikes, birding tours, extended kayaking trips, and even gator spotting.
Enchanted Forest Sanctuary Management and Education Center
444 Columbia Boulevard, Titusville, FL 32780
This 428-acre sanctuary is the flagship of the EEL Program and was purchased because of its unique geology and high biological diversity. The sanctuary is one of the few places in Brevard where visitors can experience majestic oak hammocks, wetlands, and the Atlantic Coastal Ridge in one short hike. The Enchanted Forest Management and Education Center is a modern educational facility complete with classrooms, an interactive exhibit room, a library, offices, restrooms, and a gift shop. Hiking through any number of trails at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary may bring you in sight of Florida scrub lizards, green anoles, gopher tortoises, bobcats, woodpeckers, and a variety of butterflies. The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is also rich in local history. Cultural features such as the Addison/Ellis Canal and the Hernandez-Capron Trail tell the story of Brevard County’s past.
Florida Tech Botanical Garden
150 West University Boulevard, Melbourne, FL 32901
A stream bordered by a shady hammock abounding in palm trees and other tropical growth winds through the campus and is the setting for a 30-acre botanical garden. One trail has been named the Dent Smith Trail in honor of the founder of the Palm Society, a worldwide organization primarily engaged in the study of the palm family in all its aspects. Florida Tech, through the intense interest of President Emeritus Jerome P. Keuper and the inspiration and help of Mr. Dent Smith, is well on the way to becoming one of the most unique botanical gardens of its kind in the continental United Sates. The campus is now beautified by a collection of approximately 200 different species of palms, all of which have been catalogued and marked for students' information. More than 300 palm trees have been donated to the university's collection. Some of these palms have been donated by eminent palm tree authorities and are very rare and irreplaceable. To help protect the flora and the fauna and the safety of visitors, we ask that bicycles, skateboards, and dogs not be taken into the garden. Also removing, cutting, or tampering with the plant life in the garden is considered a serious offence. The garden will be a pleasent place for all, if all who use it will take pride in its cleanliness and beauty. Be sure to visit Melbourne's Little Red Schoolhouse, located in the Botanical Gardens.
Pine Island Conservation Area
2121 Pine Island Road, Merritt Island, FL 32953
This 1000-acre conservation area provides access to 2 trails at the trailhead 0.5 mile from main entrance. These moderate walks lead through pine flatwoods and hydric hammock habitats. Hikers will also see cabbage palm hammocks and hardwood hammocks, with mangrove forests and marshes fringing the Indian River Lagoon. The interior marsh ponds and borrow lakes make great spots for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. Two canoe trails invite a relaxing way for visitors to observe area wildlife. From Ice-Age animals to pre-Ais Indians to early pioneers, Pine Island Conservation Area also has a rich history. Mastodon tusks, pottery sherds, and 19th century farm tools found on site help piece together the story of this special place. The oldest home in Brevard County, the 1875 Sams’ family cabin, and a large circa 1890 home are located here. The home and cabin will undergo restoration to become the future Pine Island Management and Education Center. Cycling is permitted on the established roads and bike trails only. Please do not ride bikes on hiking trails. Acquired and managed in partnership with SJRWMD.
The Harry T & Harriett V Moore Cultural Center
2180 Freedom Avenue, Mims, FL 32754
The 11.93-acre Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Memorial Park features the Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Center. The Moores were parents, educators, and leading local and national civil rights activists. After organizing the first Brevard County Branch of the NAACP, they remained instrumental in the NAACP and the fight for equality and justice until their untimely deaths. On Christmas night 1951, they were murdered for their involvement in the civil rights movement when a bomb exploded under their home. The park is dedicated to the celebration of their lives and to promoting awareness of their unique contributions to the early civil rights movement. The Cultural Center is located on the property of the original Moore family home site and is universally accessible. Dedicated to preserving African American history, it is a repository of Moore family artifacts, historical documents, and currently features a timeline of strategic events of the pre-civil rights era beginning with slavery.
Turkey Creek Sanctuary
1502 Port Malabar Boulevard, NE, Palm Bay, FL 32905
Acquired and managed by the City of Palm Bay, the Audubon Society, and the EEL Program, a boardwalk nature trail, and jogging trails wind through the 130-acre sanctuary. The boardwalk trail passes through hydric (wet) hammock, mesic (moist) hammock, and sand pine scrub communities, and much of it overlooks Turkey Creek. The sanctuary can also be accessed by canoe or kayak. The Margaret Hames Nature Center provides interpretive exhibits, a gift shop, and restrooms. Acquired and managed in partnership with the City of Palm Bay.