Guided moonlight paddle at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Jan. 30

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park for a moonlight paddle on January 30, 2018 from 4:30  – 7:30 p.m. Experience Campbell Lake on a Ranger guided paddling tour.  Participants must be experienced canoers/kayakers over 12 yrs old.

Program is $40 per person. Space is limited. Advanced online registration is required and can be done at www.topsailparkfriends.org. Program fee includes watercraft rental, PFD, paddle, park admission fee, glow sticks, tram ride to Campbell Lake and a donation to the Friends of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park.  Program is weather dependent.  In order to prevent the introduction of invasive species in to Campbell Lake, which is a rare Coastal Dune Lake, watercraft and gear from outside the park is not allowed

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is located at 7525 W. Scenic Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459. For more information, call (850) 267-8330 ::MAP::

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Learn about plein air panting in Santa Rosa Beach Jan. 31

The Walton County Coastal Library is hosting “Winter Community Programs” on Wednesdays, Jan. – Feb. at 10 a.m. The programs are designed for our adult community and families having educational and entertaining value while learning about our community and neighbors.

January 31, 2018 – The fine art of plein air painting – Joan Vienot

Ever the elusive goal of plein air painters, the capture of light on a subject is the thrill of painting en plein air for Joan Vienot. She moved to sunny Florida in 1980, after attaining a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art and teaching art in a public high school in Colorado.

She says, “Plein Air painting requires intense focus and present moment awareness in order to execute a scene before the light changes radically. I am compelled to share the beauty I see.”

Joan served on the Board of Directors of the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County from 2011 to 2017, in particular working with the A+Art Committee to show-case member artists’ works in the Alliance’s Art in Public Places. She also is the volunteer Coordinator for the Emerald Coast Plein Air Painters notifying members of weekly Wednesday Plein Air painting locations.

Joan will be talking about the history of plein air painting, what it’s about, and more.

The event is sponsored by Friends of Coastal Library. For more information call Linda Thompson (850) 267-2809. The Coastal Library is located at 437 Greenway Trail, Santa Rosa Beach behind the South Walton Government/Education Complex on HWY 331 South. Free for the public with limited seating. Program brochures will be available at the Coastal library and the schedule will be posted on the website at www.youseemore.com/walton/coastal.

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The Florida Chautauqua Assembly comes to DeFuniak Springs Jan. 25 – 28

The Florida Chautauqua Assembly is a 4-day educational program for families featuring famous keynote speakers, educational breakout sessions, performance teas, evening dinner performances and exhibits relating to an annual theme. The 2018 Florida Chautauqua Assembly “Into the Pillars of Chautauqua” runs January 25th through the 28th. Featuring the Klinge Brothers as their feature presentation. The Klinge Brothers of Everyday Paranormal, are featured on the hit show on Discovery Channel Ghost Lab. Brad and Barry Klinge will join in with an audience interactive presentation that you will not want to miss Jan 26 at Walton High School.

The Assembly also features free living history exhibits on the shores of Lake DeFuniak Jan. 26 – 28.

Enjoy free living history exhibits on the shores of Lake DeFuniak Jan. 26-28.

Ticket information download here.

Individual breakout session tickets are $10, and performance teas will be $18.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 25
2:00 pm – 4:30 pm: REGISTRATION/CHECK – IN BEGINS at Florida Chautauqua Lakeside Building.

3:00 –6:00 pm: The History of DeFuniak Springs in Pictures –
6:00 – 8:00 pm: “Welcome Party”(Community Center)

FRIDAY, JANUARY 26
7:30 am: REGISTRATION/CHECK-IN BEGINS – Florida Chautauqua Lakeside Building.

8 –5:00 pm: Free Living History Exhibits on the shores of Lake DeFuniak, sponsored by the City of DeFuniak Springs.

The Klinge Brothers of Everyday Paranormal are keynote speakers at Walton High School.

9:00 –10:15 am: KEYNOTE PRESENTATION (Walton High School)
The Klinge Brothers of Everyday Paranormal

10:30 –11:45 a.m.: BREAKOUT SESSIONS (Walton High School)
How the Florida Chautauqua brought Technology to Florida (John Oliver)
The Air War of Europe – John Lohr
Independent film making – Stephen & Elizabeth Berry
Destin Pioneer Settlers –Hank Klein
Performance Tea:Laura Ingalls Wilder (CommunityCenter)

NOON – 1:30 pm
– Lunch Break (No lunch provided)
1200 Tree planting in honor of our Veterans
1:45 – 3:00 pm: General Session The Great War and its effect on Chautauqua
(Tom Cloud)
3:30 – 4:45pm: BREAKOUT SESSIONS
(Methodist Church)
Old Glory in American Art -Jan Faubel
Methodism and Chautauqua – Rusty Bowman
History of Fire Apparatus and the Fire Service – Doug Burns, Rob McAtee
Sponsored by Ten 8 Fire Equipment.
Performance Tea Laura Ingalls Wilder (Community Center)
7:00 pm Evening Dinner Performance (Community Center)

SATURDAY, JANUARY 27
7:30 am: REGISTRATION/CHECK IN BEGINS – Florida Chautauqua Lakeside Building

8:00 a.m. –5:00 pm: Free Living History Exhibits on the shores of Lake DeFuniak, sponsored by the City of DeFuniak Springs

8:00 -10:15 am: From Civil Defense to Emergency Management, How Florida Has Shaped its Response – Jeff Goldberg (Walton County Emergency Operations Center)

10:45 am – Noon: BREAKOUT SESSIONS
How the Florida Chautauqua brought Technology to Florida (John Oliver) The
Air War of Europe –John Lohr
Independent film making – Stephen & Elizabeth Berry
Destin Pioneer Settlers – Hank Klein
Performance Tea:House Ghosts: Voices in the Attic, Footsteps on the Stair –Alexa Anne Kempson (Community Center)

NOON – 1:30 pm
– Lunch Break (No lunch provided)
1:45 – 3:00 pm: General Session
William Jennings Bryan, Chautauqua’s favorite son – Gregory Garland
3:30 – 4:45 pm: BREAKOUT SESSIONS
Old Glory in American Art – Jan Faubel
Methodism and Chautauqua – Rusty Bowman
History of Fire Apparatus and the Fire Service
– Doug Burns, Rob McAtee Sponsored by Ten 8 Fire Equipment.

Performance Tea: Laura Ingalls Wilder (Community Center)
7:00 pm: Evening Dinner

SUNDAY, JANUARY 28
12:00 – 5:00 pm:
Free Living History Exhibits on the shores of Lake DeFuniak, sponsored by the City of DeFuniak Springs
1:30 – 3:30 pm:
At the Florida Chautauqua Lakeside Building
Come meet with the board of directors and volunteers of the Florida Chautauqua
Association, discuss future topics and themes for our annual assemblies and ideas for making your experience here more enjoyable and educational.

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Wetlands restoration at Deer Lake State Park seminar Jan. 19 in Niceville

Join Mattie M. Kelly Environmental Institute as they begin their 2018 Seminar Series with guest speakers Jeff Talbert and John Bente presenting “Wetlands Restoration at Deer Lake State Park.”  The seminar will take place on Friday, January 19, 2018 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Northwest Florida State College in the Robert E. Greene, Jr. Science Building (Building 350), Room 110, Niceville Campus. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

Jeff Talbert is an eight year veteran of the Florida Park Service. He started as a park ranger at Grayton Beach State Park where he worked for five years. He was then promoted to Topsail Hill Preserve as a resource management park services specialist where his duties included sea turtle monitoring, habitat restoration, increasing shorebird nesting productivity, prescribed fire, park boundary enforcement, and producing high quality interpretive programs. He joined the Atlanta Botanical Garden as a field biologist working in partnership with the state parks on the wetlands restoration project at Deer Lake State Park. Jeff is a Florida native and gained his appreciation for Florida’s environment growing up on the east side of Ocala near Silver Springs and the Ocklawaha River, then later on the east coast along the Indian River.

​John Bente has been a resident of Bay County FL since 1970.  He was a mariculture biologist most years between 1970 and 1990. During the period 1994 and 2014, John was a natural area biologist for the Florida Park Service in District 1 (the Panhandle of Florida). During that period he pursued multiple restoration efforts on State Parks. Most recently he worked on securing funding for a Coastal Dune Lake Watershed Restoration Project (Pitcher-plant restoration) as a partner project between the Florida Park Service and Atlanta Botanical Garden. That restoration project was funded in 2015 and John now works for Atlanta Botanical Garden as the project coordinator on that same restoration effort.

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Walton County fish and game report for Jan. 11

Fishing is good

Bay: Good bites on medium to small size trout.

River: Crappie

Many reports of deer everywhere.

Click here for fishing forecast

Bay and river report brought to you by Copeland’s. “Where the locals shop and the tourists are welcome.”

Click here to find out more about Copeland’s.
Copeland’s Gun and Tackle Shop
17290 U.S. Hwy. 331 S
Freeport, Florida 32439
(850) 835-4277
Store hours:
Mon. – Fri.: 6 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Sat.: 6 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sun.: Closed

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Americana music in the lodge at Camp Helen State Park Jan. 20

The 2018 Americana Music at The Lodge concerts at Camp Helen State Park will continue on January 20th featuring sultry voiced Sally Spring and partner Ted Lyons from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Sally creates magical moments with her beautiful lyrics and haunting melodies and dulcet tones while Ted Lyons accompanies her with percussive guitar and sweet harmonies.

Concerts start at 6:30 p.m. and the doors open at 6 pm. You will be given a number upon your arrival at the lodge and the opportunity to select your seat by placing your number on a chair. Then, feel free to roam around Camp Helen and enjoy the beauty of our park. From the view of the pristine waters of Lake Powell, one of the world’s largest barrier dune lakes, to the out buildings that create the “camp” aspect of the park and the natural beauty, even in the dead of a Florida winter, you can appreciate the wonders that make Camp Helen a very special place in the heart of the Florida Panhandle.

While the concerts are free, the Friends of Camp Helen request a donation to help with the continuance of the series and special projects that benefit the park. Refreshments will be available for a donation.

Driving Directions
Camp Helen is located at 23937 Panama City Beach Parkway, Panama City Beach, FL, just west of the Phillips Inlet bridge on the Bay County and Walton county line. The entrance is south of U.S. Hwy 98. ::MAP::

Phone: 850–233–5059

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