This 247.1-acre Designated Urban Wilderness Area takes its name from the abundance of ferns (more than 30 species) found on the property. It was this botanical richness that attracted the interest of scientists from Florida Atlantic University and Broward Community College (now Broward College), who in 1979 published an article called "A Tropical Fern Grotto in Broward County, Florida" in the American Fern Journal. "Vegetation in the area is complex, with swamp forest, hammocks, pinelands, and fallow fields," noted the article. The researchers indicated that they had discovered "over 200 species of plants, and the list grows with each visit," and characterized the site as "the last remaining stronghold of ferns in southeastern Florida." In fact, 10 plant communities have been identified within the nature center, making it one of the finest examples of preserved native plant communities in South Florida. The nature center is also part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail.