A world-renowned scientist, Edward O. Wilson spent his formative years and did his early scientific research in northwest Florida and southwest Alabama. The two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and honorary curator in entomology at Harvard University coined the term “biophilia” to mean the subconscious connection that humans seek to the rest of life.
A fascinating educational facility in the rare Longleaf pine ecosystem in Walton County is named for him. Although the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center’s primary mission is to nurture an understanding of biodiversity among youth, it can also entertain and educate adults with its interactive exhibits and dioramas, and trails that lead through natural areas undergoing ecological restoration on the 49,000-acre Nokuse Plantation.
With two meeting rooms and a 160-seat theater, the center is used for spouse programs, dinners for up to 100, receptions for up to 165 and small meetings.
Only paper plates, cups and napkins are used and decorations such as confetti and glitter are limited in the LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) facility. “We want visitors to feel part of nature,” said center director Christy Scally.