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The Florida Museum and the University of Florida established the Randell Research Center (RRC) at Pineland as a permanent research and education facility in 1996, building on over twelve years of archaeological, ecological, and historical research and education in Southwest Florida.

A colorful sign on Waterfront Drive welcomes visitors to the Randell Research Center at Pineland.
A colorful sign on Waterfront Drive welcomes visitors to the Randell Research Center at Pineland.

The RRC was made possible by a generous donation by Donald and Patricia Randell of over 50 acres of the internationally significant Pineland archaeological site, once a major town of the native Calusa Indians. The Pineland site is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated Lee County historical resource.

Visit the Randell Research Center website

The mission of the RRC is to learn and teach the archaeology, history, and ecology of Southwest Florida. Public response has been enthusiastic and supportive, and the RRC’s Calusa Heritage Trail (described below) is annually voted Best Tourist Attraction by readers of the Pine Island Eagle newspaper. Over 8,000 school children, citizens, and tourists visit the Trail annually. The site is also a designated stop on Lee County’s Great Calusa Blueway, a marked canoe and kayak trail. A picnic area is available, as are handicap-accessible public restrooms, a teaching pavilion, and a book and gift shop.