Florida Heartland ERO | tburroughs@co.okeechobee.fl.us | 1.863.697.6325 | ADDRESS:304 NW 2nd St. | Room 123 | Okeechobee, FL 34972
FLORIDA’S HEARTLAND

COMMUNITY OF IMMOKALEE

 

IMMOKALEE – ¡The place to call home!

 

History

Immokalee is an unincorporated area in Collier County.  Originally known as Gopher Ridge by the Seminole and Miccosukee Indians. Immokalee means "My Home" in Mikasuki language.  The Immokalee area is heavily agricultural. It is one of the major centers of tomato growing in the United States.

Demographics

2010 Census Population was 24,154.  The Median age was 25 years. The Median income for a household in the CDP (census designated place) was $24,315, and the median income for a family was $22,628.

 

Transportation

Immokalee Airport is a public-use airport located 1 mile (1.6 km) northeast of the central business district. The Collier Area Transit provides the local bus service and paratransit. Immokalee used to be served by the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad. The rail line abandoned to the mainline at Palmdale in the 1980s. This left Immokalee without rail service. The main road through Immokalee is State Road 29. Other important county roads through the region are CR 29A (New Market Road) and CR 846.

 

Community and Education

Immokalee is the center of the region's agriculture industry and home to many immigrant and migrant families who work the vast fields which produce a large amount of the United States' fresh produce Immokalee's public schools are operated by the District School Board of Collier County.  Elementary schools in Immokalee include Eden Park, Highlands, Lake Trafford, Village Oaks, RCMA Charter School and Pinecrest Elementary School.  All residents are zoned to Immokalee Middle School and Immokalee High School.  Pace Center for Girls and Bethune Education Center are also in the Immokalee area.   We also have two colleges which are iTECH - Immokalee Technical College and FL Southwestern State College within the community of Immokalee and Ave Maria University that is minutes away in Ave Maria.

 

Landmarks and Institutions

The federally recognized Seminole Tribe of Florida has one of its six reservations here, in Immokalee, on which it operates one of its gaming casinos called the Seminole Casino Hotel of Immokalee.  This year Gulfshore Business Magazine listed them on the Southwest Florida Top Attractions with the most annual attendance of 2.04 Million visitors in 2016. Other landmark areas include the Immokalee Pioneer Museum at Roberts Ranch, Pepper Ranch Preserve, Immokalee Regional Raceway, Immokalee Accelerator, Lake Trafford Marina (Anne Olesky Park), and Airboats & Alligator’s Ecotourism.

 

Immokalee Pioneer Museum at Roberts Ranch

Home of the Robert Roberts family, the Immokalee Pioneer Museum tells the story of pioneer families of this still untamed area perched on the edge of the Big Cypress swamp and the Everglades. Come learn about the bustling cattle business on the south Florida frontier at this 15-acre turn of the century ranch.

 

Pepper Ranch Preserve

Pepper Ranch Preserve is located in northeastern Collier County west of the town of Immokalee and is approximately 2,512-acres in size. Acquired by Collier County in Feb. 2009 primarily for its significant environmental attributes, the Ranch also provides an historical view into the lifestyle of a Florida ranching family in the early part of the twentieth century. Plants and Wildlife: Ten types of intact native plant communities are documented on the property, including woodland pasture, pine flatwoods, upland and wetland hardwood forests, oak-cabbage palm forest, cypress, freshwater marsh and wet prairie.  Wildlife observed on the ranch includes sandhill cranes, caracara, American kestrels, wood storks, numerous wading bird species, bald eagles, Big Cypress fox squirrels, black bear, Florida panther, deer, hog, muskrat and alligators. Public Access Facilities: The preserve will be open to the public on all Fridays and on non-hunt Saturdays and Sundays from October- May from 9:00 A.M.-4:00 P.M. (The preserve will be closed on hunting weekends for safety reasons).   Public Activities: hike, picnic, hunt, bird-watch, mountain bike trails and horseback riding trails. Free daily use permit from the visitor's center for a scenic drive through the preserve. Camping: Tent camping is available October- May on Friday and Saturday nights when the preserve is open.   Public restrooms with showers are available at the ranch.

 

Immokalee Regional Airport (IMM)

The airport is owned by the Collier County Airport Authority.  Formerly known as Immokalee Airport, it is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a general aviation facility.  The airport was established as Immokalee Army Airfield, activated on July 5, 1942; assigned to United States Army Air Forces East Coast Training Center (later Eastern Training Command).  It was declared surplus and turned over to the Army Corps of Engineers on September 30, 1945. Eventually discharged to the WAA and became a civil airport.  Immokalee airport covers an area of 1,330 acres at an elevation of 37 feet (11 m) above mean sea level.  It has two asphalt paved runways, designated 9/27 and 18/36. 9/27 is 5,000 x 100 feet (1,524 x 30 m) and 18/36 is 5,000 x 150 feet (1,524 x 46 m).


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