In this Issue:
  • The Wacissa River: Clear and Wild
  • Our “Seahawk”; the Osprey
  • Let’s Cool Off
  • Summer is here!! Let’s learn about natural resources indoors!
  • An Intimidating Fish They Call the Stingray
  • The Crown Conch – A Slow Predator of the Estuary
  • Panhandle Ecotourism: Blackwater River State Park
  • “Ice Age” Tree in Peril: Florida Torreya
  • Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail
  • Agritourism in North Florida- an Emerging Industry
  • Ecotourism

    The Wacissa River: Clear and Wild

    Being off the beaten path has many advantages. In the case of a spring-fed river, it translates to less pressure from human use and a great opportunity for those who do visit to experience the “real Florida”. The Wacissa River, located in the southern half of Jefferson County, Florida, is near the crossroads identified as …

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    Our “Seahawk”; the Osprey

    As a kid growing up here along the Gulf Coast, I had never heard of an osprey. Now, there is at least one mating pair on almost every body of water in the Pensacola Bay area.  Where did this once unknown bird come from? How has it successfully colonized our coastal waterways? The osprey, like …

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    Let’s Cool Off

    With more than 250 crystal clear springs in Northwest Florida it is just a short road trip to a pristine swimming hole! Springs and their associated flowing water bodies provide important habitat for wildlife and plants. Just as importantly, springs provide people with recreational activities and the opportunity to connect with the natural environment. While …

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    Summer is here!! Let’s learn about natural resources indoors!

    As the heat indicies rise, there a number of organizations that offer great learning experiences about our local Natural Resources!! While it is great to have the outdoor hands-on learning, the afternoon heat can feel suffocating. Here are a couple of nature centers that you can visit to get out of the heat.   Apalachicola National Estuarine Research …

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    An Intimidating Fish They Call the Stingray

    It is now late May and in recent weeks I, and several volunteers, have been surveying the area for terrapins, horseshoe crabs, and monitoring local seagrass beds. We see many creatures when we are out and about; one that has been quite common all over the bay has been the “stingray”. These are intimidating creatures… …

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    The Crown Conch – A Slow Predator of the Estuary

    In recent weeks, volunteers and I have been surveying local estuaries counting terrapins, horseshoe crabs, and monitoring seagrass. One animal that has been very visible during these surveys is the relatively large snail known as the crown conch (Melongena corona).  Its shell is often found with a striped hermit crab living within, but it is …

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    Panhandle Ecotourism: Blackwater River State Park

    Spring has sprung and it is time to get outside and explore this great Florida Panhandle area.  In neighboring Santa Rosa County, a terrific destination for a variety of outdoor activities is Blackwater River State Park.  Visitors can canoe, kayak, tube, fish and swim the river.  Hikers can enjoy trails through nearly 600 acres of …

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    “Ice Age” Tree in Peril: Florida Torreya

    Having just completed the Okaloosa/Walton Uplands Master Naturalist course, I would like to share information from the project that was presented by Ann Foley.   The Florida Torreya is the most endangered tree in North America, and perhaps the world! Less than 1% of the historical population survives. Unless something is done soon, it may …

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    Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail

    The typical image of a state park is that of a place where visitors enter through a front gate and enjoy the wonders of nature or some historic structure. The Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail, which is run by The Florida Division of Recreation and Parks, is truly an exception to the typical model. …

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    Agritourism in North Florida- an Emerging Industry

    It seems each weekend this time of year is packed with things to do outside; and for good reason!  The weather is perfect and the holidays are approaching.  Among the many festivals and festivities are a number of farm tours, or “agritourism” related events.  For example, there was the recent Tallahassee and surrounding area “10th …

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