The Florida Master Naturalist Program is an adult education University of Florida/IFAS Extension program. Training will benefit persons interested in learning more about Florida’s environment or wishing to increase their knowledge for use in education programs as volunteers, employees, ecotourism guides, and others.
Through classroom, field trip, and practical experience, each module provides instruction on the general ecology, habitats, vegetation types, wildlife, and conservation issues of Coastal, Freshwater and Upland systems. Additional special topics focus on Conservation Science, Environmental Interpretation, Habitat Evaluation, Wildlife Monitoring and Coastal Restoration. For more information go to: http://www.masternaturalist.ifas.ufl.edu/ Okaloosa and Walton Counties will be offering Upland Systems on Thursdays from February 15- March 22. Topics discussed include Hardwood Forests, Pinelands, Scrub, Dry Prairie, Rangelands and Urban Green Spaces. The program also addresses society’s role in uplands, develops naturalist interpretation skills, and discusses environmental ethics. Check the website for a Course Offering near you :http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/fmnp/
The swing hanging from our magnolia tree has provided many happy memories for our family. Photo credit: Carrie Stevenson
Do you have a favorite tree? Often, the trees in our lives tell a story.
One of the selling points when we bought our house 14 years ago was the tall, healthy Southern magnolia in the front yard. It was beautiful, and I could see it out my front window. A perfect shade tree, I could envision a swing hanging from its branches one day. Within six months of moving into the house, Hurricane Ivan struck. A neighbor’s tree fell and sheared off a quarter of the branches from our beloved magnolia. We were lucky to have minimal damage otherwise, and hoped the tree would survive.
The branches and leaves eventually filled in, and we added that swing I had imagined. One day I was pushing my daughter in the swing, when a car slowed on our street and stopped at our mailbox. A man stepped out and asked, “Are you enjoying that tree?” I responded that we very much were, and with a smile, he explained that his family built our house and that he planted that very magnolia tree 40 years before, when his son was born. He was so happy to see us enjoying the tree that he could not help but stop.
I was so grateful to hear that story and know that our family’s favorite tree held such special meaning. Our enjoyment existed because of the joyous celebration of a new birth. That is why we plant trees. For the benefit of those yet unborn, to commemorate special moments, and to provide the very oxygen we breathe. As the Greek proverb goes, “Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
January 19 is Florida’s Arbor Day, a time to celebrate the many benefits of trees, and the day is often celebrated by planting new trees. Winter is the best time of year to plant trees, as they are able to establish roots without competing with the energy needs of new branches and leaves that come along in springtime.
“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” –Anonymous
Check with your local Extension offices, garden clubs, and municipalities to find out if there is an Arbor Day event near you! Several local agencies have joined forces to organize tree giveaway events in observance of Florida’s Arbor Day.
Thursday, January 18:
Deadline for UF IFAS Extension/Escambia County’s second annual Arbor Day Mail Art Contest. To participate, mail a drawing, painting, or mixed media artwork with the theme, “Strong Trees, Strong Communities” to Arbor Day Art Contest c/o Escambia County Extension, 3740 Stefani Road, Cantonment, FL 32533. Please include your name, age, and contact information on the back of your artwork. Contest entries must arrive by mail or be dropped off by Jan. 18 and will be judged at the tree giveaway on Jan. 20 at Barrineau Park Community Center.
First place winners of the art contest will receive prizes including a seven-gallon tree, a shovel, and a tree book. Second place winners will receive a tree book and third place winners will receive gardening gloves. Categories include children (12-under), teen (13-18), and adult (over 18). All participants in attendance at the tree giveaway will receive a special edition Arbor Day water bottle featuring last year’s winning design.
Many communities plant trees to celebrate Arbor Day. Photo credit: Carrie Stevenson
Saturday, January 20th
Escambia County will hold their tree giveaway and public planting from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 20 at Barrineau Park Community Center, located at 6055 Barrineau Park Road, Molino. Support for the event is provided by the Florida Forest Service, Resource Management Services, and Escambia County UF-IFAS Extension. Each attendee will receive two free native 1-gallon trees. Species available include tulip poplar, Chickasaw plum, Shumard oak, and fringetree.
For more information about either Escambia event, contact Carrie Stevenson, Coastal Sustainability Agent III, UF IFAS Extension, at 850-475-5230 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Santa Rosa County:
Friday, January 19
10 am—Navarre Garden Club Arbor Day celebration. Foresters will give away 1-gallon containerized trees and conduct a have tree planting demo. 7254 Navarre Parkway, Navarre, 32566. For more information, contact Mary Salinas, 850-623-3868 or email@example.com
Saturday, January 20th
10 am—Milton Garden Club Arbor Day celebration. Foresters will give away 1-gallon containerized trees and conduct a have tree planting demo. 5256 Alabama Street, Milton. For more information, contact Mary Salinas, 850-623-3868 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, January 20th
9am to 12pm – City of Tallahassee/Leon County Arbor Day Celebration – Join City and County Staff, UF/IFAS Leon County Extension Faculty and Master Gardener volunteers at the Apalachee Regional Park (7550 Apalachee Pkwy) for a tree planting in honor of Arbor Day. Citizens are invited to come help plant hundreds of trees in the park and also learn about the benefits of trees, how to properly plant a tree, and after the planting is done, take a tree identification walk. For more information, contact Mindy Mohrman, City/County Urban Forester at 850.891.6415 or email@example.com
Our first POL program will happen this week – August 17 – at the Navarre Beach snorkel reef, and is sold out! We are glad you all are interested in these programs.
Well! We have another one for you. The Natural Resource Extension Agents from UF IFAS Extension will be holding a two-day water school at St. Joseph Bay. Participants will learn all about the coastal ecosystems surrounding St. Joe Bay in the classroom, snorkeling, and kayaking. Kayaks and overnight accommodations are available for those interested. This water school will be September 19-20. For more information contact Extension Agent Ray Bodrey in Gulf County or Erik Lovestrand in Franklin. Information and registration can be found at https://stjosephbay-waterschool.eventbrite.com.
A “Gardening for Pollinator Conservation” Workshop will take place Thursday, October 13, at the UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center (NFREC) in Quincy. Pollinators are important in conserving native plants, ensuring a plentiful food supply, encouraging biodiversity and helping maintain a healthier ecological environment – – – the so-called “balance of nature.” Come learn how you can conserve and promote pollinators in your own garden, all while beautifying your own little piece of Nature.
As in previous years, nursery vendors will be selling pollinator plants at the Oct. 13 workshop, making it convenient for you to put into practice what you learn at the workshop! Registration is just $15 per person and includes lunch, refreshments, and handouts.
Check out the workshop details and register at: https://gardeningforpollinatorconservation.eventbrite.com/
What: Gardening for Pollinator Conservation
When: Thursday, October 13, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm EDT
Where: University of Florida/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center, 155 Research Road, Quincy, FL. Located just north of I-10 Exit 181, 3 miles south of Quincy, off Pat Thomas Highway, SR 267.
Cost: $15 per person (includes lunch, refreshments and handouts)
For more information, contact: Gary Knox, firstname.lastname@example.org; 850.875.7105
For a printable Flyer click here: Gardening for Pollinators Workshop
Our workshop builds on previous successful pollinator workshops held at Leon Co. Extension last year and in Marianna in 2012. This workshop was developed as a collaboration of county faculty from several extension offices with folks from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission as well as UF/IFAS NFREC. Sponsors helping defray costs include Florida Native Plant Society – Magnolia Chapter, Gardening Friends of the Big Bend, Inc., Mail-Order Natives, and University of Florida/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center.
We look forward to seeing you at the workshop!
Who does not like St. Joseph Bay! What a place… One of the more pristine estuaries in Florida, St. Joe is famous for its snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, and scalloping.
15 miles long and 6 miles across (at its widest point), St. Joe Bay has no significant freshwater input. It’s only opening is to the north and into the Gulf of Mexico. Because of the high salinity in the bay the seagrasses flourish. There are five known species that exist here and the meadows cover almost one sixth of the bottom. Healthy grasses mean diverse wildlife – and St. Joe Bay has it. Migratory birds, octopus, sea turtles, sport fish, urchins, and of course scallops.
The UF/IFAS Extension Natural Resource Agents will be hosting one of their water school programs in St. Joe Bay in September. This two-day program will offer presentations by specialists on a variety of topics, hikes through the uplands, visits to the salt marsh, and a kayak/snorkel trip into the seagrasses themselves. We will be staying at the St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve in Port St. Joe. For more information about this program contact Erik Lovestrand at (850) 653-9337 or email@example.com.
The Beekeeping in the Panhandle Working Group is pleased to offer the 5th Annual Beekeepers Field Day And Trade Show 2016 Beekeeping is one of the fastest growing hobby and commercial endeavors in Florida. There is much to learn and share about this fascinating trade.
The workshop and trade show offers something for every level and interest, and this year’s event features:
- Extended Opportunities for Hands-On Open Hive Experiences
- Presentations on the Latest in Research-Based Beekeeping Management Practices
- Interaction With Expert Beekeepers
- Vendors with Beekeeping Equipment and Hive Products
- Door Prizes Include a Grand Prize Each Day of a 10-Frame Bee Hive!
Friday April 1, 2016 and Saturday April 2, 2016
UF/IFAS Extension Washington County Office,
1424 Jackson Avenue, Chipley, FL 32428
8:00 am – 5:00 pm each day
Includes Lunch, Refreshments, Door Prize Tickets, & Educational Sessions
$25 for One Day or $40 for Both Days per Person
$10 Age 12 and Under Each Day
Late Fee of $10.00 after March 22nd.
Two ways to register:
For More Information Contact:
- UF/IFAS Extension Washington County at 850-638-6180
- UF/IFAS Extension Calhoun County at 850-674-8323
Download the printable flyer with agenda & details: