The entrance gate at the CHEC Punta Gorda location is open from 8 am - 4 pm and the walk-through is open from sunrise to sunset. The trails are open at both locations, as are the public bathrooms near the parking lots. The Admin Building in Punta Gorda is open; however, the Visitors' Center at Cedar Point is closed for renovation and will not be staffed until further notice. At both locations, we encourage you to maintain social distancing and follow all current COVID-19 related guidelines. Enjoy!
CHEC's vision has always been to become an essential element of the community for transforming the understanding of adults & students of all ages and backgrounds, helping each one to learn to interact in environmentally responsible ways and improving their thinking through positive connections with nature.
The core of our mission is so important. CHEC's education programs educate and inspire and empower people of all age ranges. More & more, CHEC is drilling down on STEAM programs and consistently and collaboratively working with all of the Charlotte County School teachers and principals, and have recently developed programs for new schools such as the Woodland Middle School in North Port, Florida.
Every year, CHEC educates over four thousand students. We work with the county to develop and educate the general public through lectures held at Bay Shore park in Port Charlotte and Cedar Point park in Englewood. CHEC staff manages two locations - Cedar Point park in Englewood and Alligator Creek park on Burnt Store Road. An outstanding number of programs are executed each year (approximately 300) by a relatively small staff and numerous volunteers.
If you've never had the pleasure of visiting the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center then you've missed out, Alligator Creek is open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday thru Friday. A convenient walk-thru is open from dawn to dusk. Hikers are always welcome to walk the trails and enjoy the simple pleasures of the outdoors. Sharing space with nature is such a worthwhile balancing act. Awareness and respect are all that is required to have the awesome privilege of witnessing wild animals as they naturally go about their daily rituals of simply living.
The Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center, a private, non-profit 501 (C) 3 corporation was founded in 1987 and has been providing environmental education, recreation, environmental research, and conservation lands management services to the citizens and visitors of the greater Charlotte Harbor for thirty three years.
CHEC's founding members: The Charlotte County Government, City of Punta Gorda, Charlotte County Public Schools and the Peace River Audubon Society.
Today, the center provides over 21 different programs, manages 8 environmentally sensitive lands and provides a total of 8 miles of hiking trails and other recreational opportunities to the community.