Published: Feb 17, 2014 3:31 PM EST
Updated: Feb 17, 2014 5:52 PM EST

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- One of the most unique attractions in Southwest Florida is celebrating 60 years in existence. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary was preserved in 1954, and stands as a testament to what this area used to look like.

"People think a swamp is smelly and bug-infested and nasty, but it is not. It really is a nice, clean place," said Rebecca Beck, a manager at the sanctuary in Collier County.

"We are preserving ancient cypress trees and providing breeding grounds for wading birds, like wood storks. Hunters nearly wiped out the storks in the early 1900s, but here, they can breed and raise their young in safety," said Beck.

The Audobon Society founded the sanctuary, after loggers had decimated the stands of bald cypress all over the southern U.S.

The sanctuary is celebrating with events all year long. Some occur this Friday and this coming weekend. Click here for details: www.corkscrew.audobon.org

The sanctuary is located off Immokalee Road.