A Factory’s support for the Children
Pam and Tom Cronin, owners of the Shell Factory, spent years renovating and redesigning the park with families in mind- especially the kids. Field trips to the park are welcomed, and the Cronin’s are willing to help teachers overcome any obstacles to make the trips possible for the students.
“When Lee county stopped supplying school buses for the kids for field trips, Tom and Pam Cronin decided they would do it. So we pay for all the kids to come here,” Anne Sheridan, the Shell Factory general manager, said.
During these sponsored field trips, students get to experience nature up close in the Nature Park. According to the website, the Nature Park includes over 400 wild animals; aviaries filled with different types of birds, tortoises, turtles and iguanas; an Eco Lab for exotic snakes and more. Gator biscuits are also available for visitors to toss out to the alligators that live within the park.
“Our Nature Park Environmental Education Foundation has raised capital sufficient to fund field trips for over four thousand school children who otherwise would have been unable to visit the attraction,” The Cronins said on their website.
The park, however, is still growing and changing every year.
“As a work in progress the Nature Park is always expanding, improving, and acquiring new inhabitants,” according to the Shell Factory’s website.
Pam and Tom also host special events outside of school functions on the property. Weddings and corporate meetings can utilized one of two special rooms in the park- the Dolphin room and the Party Room- as well as birthday parties or other celebrations.
The factory was voted best shell store by North Fort Myers in both 2014 and 2015. Years in the making, the Shell Factory has become one of the best places in South Florida for locals and tourists alike.
Photo courtesy of flickr.com