Busch Wildlife Sanctuary begins work on new Jupiter Farms complex
JUPITER – Five wetlands, hundreds of native trees, and zero interstate noise.
These are some of the benefits of a new 19.4-acre site at Jupiter Farms for the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary and its 200 animals.
Crews opened the new $15 million sanctuary last week.
It sits on Rocky Pines and Indiantown roads, 6 miles northwest of the current sanctuary, which is sandwiched between Interstate 95 and Central Boulevard on land owned by the Loxahatchee River District.
Currently, visitors to Busch Wildlife Sanctuary drive through an industrial area that houses limo services, landscaping agencies, and construction companies to access the shrine.
The Pineland Nature Trail that takes people to see bears and panthers traverses an active access road before plunging them back into the lush greenery and tree canopies that surround the animal habitats.
In the background of the cries of birds and the nervousness of raccoons, there is a hum of the 50,000 vehicleson average, crossing Indiantown Road on Interstate 95 every day.
The new shrine will provide an immersive experience for the 150,000 people who visit Busch each year, according to a press release from the organization.
He bought the property in November 2020 for $1.6 million.
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Originally founded in 1983, the current wildlife center opened in 1993 when the Peter W. Busch Family Foundation agreed to support it.
Growth over the past two decades has forced the sanctuary to seek a larger facility, said sanctuary president Peter Busch. told the Palm Beach Post in early 2021.
The sanctuary estimates that 6,000 animals received medical care there in 2021, an increase of 9% from 2020 and 17% from 2019.
In 2021, Busch signed a one-year lease extension with the Loxahatchee River District – a tax entity that operates local sewage treatment plants, conducts river research and promotes environmental education – in the hope to move the sanctuary to the Jupiter Farms area by early 2022.
Now, Busch executives expect the new shrine to be open for public tours in 2023. Once it moves, Busch will be responsible for returning its site on Jupiter Park Drive to its original state.
The new Busch Wildlife Sanctuary facility will remain free and open to the public, according to a press release from the organization.
It will include five wetland habitats and feature birds, alligators, panthers, bears and other animals rescued and treated by wildlife experts. Sanctuary officials expect it will take about a week to move all of its animals safely and calmly to their new homes.
The new education building will offer programs in English, Spanish and American Sign Language.
The building will be fully accessible under the US Federal Disabilities Act for those with reduced mobility.