Explore The Outdoors Festival comes to Live Oak Landing Oct. 10, 2015

A great day of outdoor family fun in store

Walton Outdoors is excited to announce we will be hosting our sixth Explore The Outdoors Festival on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. The event will be held from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. along the beautiful Black Creek at Live Oak Landing, 229 Pitts Ave., Freeport. This fun-filled day is geared towards introducing children to the wonders of exploring nature and the outdoor experience.

Hands on activities will include fishing, kayaking, wildlife encounters, interactive educational exhibits, nature-based crafts and much more. The event is free. The water activities are geared for children six-years-old and up. Food vendors will be on hand.Exploretheoutdoors2012

Activities and exhibits include:

• Fishing on Black Creek
• Fish Florida fishing rod giveaways
• Fishing education with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
• Emerald Coast Hydrobikes
• Archery with Freeport Parks and Recreation
• Boating with Wounded Warrior Fishing
• E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center exhibit
• Birding with the Choctawhatchee Audubon Society
• Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wildlife exhibit
• Topsail Hill Preserve State Park exhibit
• Northwest Florida Astronomy club
• Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance touch tank
• Smokey the Bear and his friends from Forestry
• Falling Waters State Park snake exhibit
• Washington County exhibit
• Tri-County Head Start fun
• Florida Public Archeology Network
• Emerald Coast Science Center
• Friends of South Walton Sea Turtles
• Nature based crafts
• Do it yourself wood crafts with Lowe’s
• Freeport Town Planters Society craft
• Deitrich’s Honey Farm
• Wood crafts
• Officer Snook Water Pollution Program
• Food purchases available from Grayton Beach Catering and Kona Ice

About Walton Outdoors: Walton Outdoors is the online resource for outdoor adventure in Walton County, Florida and surrounding area. Our mission is to educate and share stories about great places to explore and showcase outdoor family-oriented events.

Take CR3280 to McDaniel’s Fishcamp Road, (Black Creek General Store). Follow to the end. Live Oak Landing is on the left. ::MAP::

For more information call (850) 267-2064.

Thank you sponsors:



copysystems fishflorida



Freeport Planters • C.W. Roberts


Special thanks to Ace Hardware, DeFuniak Springs; Copeland’s Gun and Tackle Shop for their contributions.


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Hummingbird lecture in DeFuniak Springs Oct. 28

hummerThe Master Gardeners of Walton County are hosting Fred Basset and his lecture ‘Southeastern Hummingbirds – A lot more than you might think.’ The program will discuss Ruby-throated hummingbirds in depth and introduce several western hummingbird species wintering in the Southeast and show how they are banded.

Fred Bassett is a certified master bird bander who is president of Hummingbird Research, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to the study and preservation of hummingbirds.  He is a retired Air Force pilot who has worked with birds for over twenty years. During the winter Fred documents western hummingbirds wintering in south Alabama and Florida, and the last seventeen winters he has captured more than 2,500 hummingbirds of ten different species in that area. He travels each summer to study hummingbirds in western states and has done hummingbird research in Alaska and Canada. He has banded more than 25,000 hummingbirds at more than 1,100 locations from Miami Florida to Haines, Alaska. Results of his research have been presented in several national publications.

The lecture will be given only one time at the DeFuniak Springs Walton County Extension office on October 28th at 2:00 p.m. 732 N. 9th St. DeFuniak Springs, FL. This is just one of the lectures in this year’s Master Gardener lecture series entitled “The Great American Garden.”

These events, structured for the local home gardeners, are free and open to the public.  However, seating is limited, and reservations must be made by the Monday before the event by calling Cheryl at 850-892-8172. Master Gardeners will be on hand to take gardening questions.  Soil testing and instructions will be available.  This is a service of the University of Florida/IFAS Extension and Walton County.

The Master Gardener training classes will begin on Thursday, January 7, 2016.  Application materials will be available for those interested in becoming a MG.

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Haunted trail walk at Rocky Bayou State Park Oct. 30

HauntedforestJoin the Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park staff and volunteers on Friday, October 30, 2015 for a haunted trail walk sponsored by The Friends of the Emerald Coasts State Parks. The Walk will follow the half mile Red Cedar nature trail. The Haunted walk will be from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. There will be a separate area for smaller children including decorated play area, face painting, and watercolor painting.

The haunted trail is known to inhabit ghosts, spiders, wolves, and spooky sights. Come join in for a night of fright and fun.

Park admission fees will be waived and donations will be accepted at the CSO tent to improve our events. Please leave all furry friends at home. Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park is located at 4281 S.R. 20, Niceville, FL. For more information, call (850) 833-9144.

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Guided tour of Choctawhatchee River and Morrison Springs Oct. 23

morrisonsmTime: 8:30 – 11:00 a.m.

The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA), in partnership with Northwest Florida State College, are offering the fall season of their popular eco-tourism initiative, Eco Adventures of Walton County.

Learn about unique places tucked away along the Choctawhatchee River. Learn about our precious water resources, flood plains, where the river flows, and why it is ever changing. Then we will drive to Morrison Springs. Lean about how many millions of gallons of water Morrison Springs emits every day, and where the water comes from.  We will also discuss the flora and fauna that inhabit the area. We will then take a dip in the cool, clear spring water.

Bring water, a snorkel, waterproof camera, sunscreen, towel, and your swimsuit. Pack a lunch if you wish, as there is a pavilion and restroom facility available at the park.  The event and swimming is dependent on river conditions.

Moderate exertion level. Travel time approximately 1.5 hours each way.

Space is limited to 7 participants. Minimum of 4 required.

Location: Meet at Northwest Florida State College South College, 109 South Greenway Trail, Santa Rosa Beach. A van will be used to transport individuals along the tour.

Fee: $35. Course # XCE 6221 tour reference #11269

Discover Roads Less Traveled offers visitors and local residents extraordinary opportunities to explore, discover, and learn about the pristine natural resources that make Walton County unique. Descriptions of the tours being offered are available online at www.basinalliance.org by clicking the Eco Tours information box. Registration is available by phone at 850-200-4160.


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Walton County fishing report for Oct. 7

specktrout23Fishing is good!

Bay: Trout biting on all kinds of baits – spoons DOAs, flukes, and live shrimp. Good bites in Alaqua bayou and along the causeway.

River: Huge flathead catfish in the river.

Great weather!

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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Department of Health in Walton County issues rabies alert

healthdeptlogoWalton County – The Florida Department of Health in Walton County issued a rabies alert for the central part of Walton County, specifically the Freeport and Woodlawn areas. This is in response to a second fox that tested positive on Oct. 2, 2015.

All residents and visitors in Walton County should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated. The public is asked to maintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in Walton County. Alerts are designed to increase awareness to the public, but they should not get a false sense of security to areas that have not been named as under an alert.

The recent rabies alert is for 60 days. The center of the rabies alert is in two locations in Walton County, and includes the following boundaries in Walton County:
• Coy Burgess area south of I-10 in Woodlawn
• Burnham Road area in Freeport
An animal with rabies could infect other wild or domestic animals that have not been vaccinated against rabies. All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies and all wildlife contact should be avoided, particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes. Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and is fatal to warm blooded animals and humans. The only treatment for human exposure to rabies is rabies specific immune globulin and rabies immunization. Appropriate treatment started soon after the exposure, will protect an exposed person from the disease.

Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:
• Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.
• Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild
animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal
immediately and contact Walton County Animal Control at 850-892-8682.
• Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your
• Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or
• Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.
• Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
• Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches,
schools, and other similar areas, where they might come in contact with people and
• Persons who have been bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals should seek
medical attention and report the injury to the Florida Department of Health in Walton
County at 850-892-8021.

For further information on rabies, go to floridahealth.gov/diseases-andconditions/rabies/index.html or call the Florida Department of Health in Walton County at 850-
892-8021 or Walton County Animal Control at 850-892-8682.

About the Florida Department of Health
The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida
through integrated state, county and community efforts.
Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.

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Volunteers needed for invasive plant removal

invasiveplantremovalChoctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) is seeking volunteers to assist with invasive plant removal. The Longleaf Alliance is partnering with CBA to cut down invasive Chinese tallow and mimosa trees and you will be helping haul the tree debris (limbs and cut up trunks) from participating properties to a collection point.

Wear clothes and close-toed shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Bring sunscreen, snacks, a water bottle and a hat. Water, snacks, and gloves will be provided.

Meet at the South Walton NWFSC Center, 109 Greenway Trail, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The events will be held from 9  a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on:
Monday, October 12
, October 13
, October 15
, October 16
, October 19
, October 23

RSVP to Rachel Gwin [email protected]

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Two water quality advisories issued for south Walton beach locations

healthdeptlogoThe Florida Department of Health in Walton County (DOH-Walton) conducts regularly scheduled saltwater beach water quality monitoring at seven sites through the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program. Samples are collected from March through the end of October.

The water samples are analyzed for enteric bacteria (enterococci) that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals, which may cause human disease, infections, or rashes. The presence of enteric bacteria is an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from storm water runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage.

The purpose of the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program is to determine whether Florida has significant coastal beach water quality problems and whether future beach monitoring efforts are necessary.

Site Name      Enterococci    Water Quality
SP-1 Miramar Beach 28 Good
SP-3 Dune Allen Beach 20 Good
SP-4 Blue Mountain Beach 116 Poor
SP-5 Grayton Beach 1,048 Poor
SP-7 Holly Street Beach 52 Moderate
SP-8 Eastern Lake Beach 104 Moderate
SP-9 Inlet Beach Access 32 Good

Water quality classifications are based upon United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) recommended criteria and Florida Healthy Beaches Program Categories:
Good = 0 – 35 Enterococci per 100 ml of marine
Moderate = 36 – 104 Enterococci per 100 ml of marine water
Poor = greater than 105 Enterococci per 100 ml of marine water

Health Advisories has been issued for the Blue Mountain Beach Access and the Grayton Beach Access based on the enterococci standard recommended by the EPA. This should be considered a potential health risk to the bathing public.

If you should have any questions, please contact DOH-Walton at (850) 892-8021 or visit the Florida Department of Health’s Beach Water Quality website www.floridahealth.gov/healthy-environments/beach-water-quality/index.html.

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Eden Gardens State Park Vintage Film Series under the stars Oct. 1st, 15th, 29th

edenfilmsThe 2nd Annual Eden Vintage Film Series Kicks Off October 1st with ‘Jaws 2′ (Filmed in Destin), starting at 6:30 p.m.

Films will be shown on the main lawn overlooking the bayou, and are free with paid park admission. Bring chairs, blankets, bug spray, and coolers. Concessions (popcorn, drinks, water, & candy) are available for donations. Grayton Beer has also donated some delicious craft beer to enjoy during the film. As always, costumes are encouraged for each film.

October 15th at 6:30 p.m. – ‘Beetlejuice’
October 29th 6:30 p.m. – ‘Frogs’ (Filmed on the Eden grounds).

Eden Gardens State Park is located in Point Washington, off U.S. 98 on C.R. 395.
For more information, call (850) 267-8320.
181 Eden Garden Road, Point Washington, Fl. 32459 ::MAP::
The park’s website is

Park Fees
$4.00 per vehicle. Please use the honor box to pay fees. Correct change is required. Limit 8 people per vehicle.
$2.00 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.

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Fall tomato school in DeFuniak Springs Oct. 12 and 19

tomatoworkshopTomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables to have in a garden, and the University of Florida IFAS Extension Service is presenting an educational program for those interested in learning about small farm tomato production. It will be held at the Walton County Extension Office at 732 N. 9th Street DeFuniak Springs on October 12, with a field day at West Florida Research and Education Center in Jay on October 19.

Topics covered will include tomato transplant production, selection of tomato varieties suited for growing conditions in north Florida, integrated pest management, diseases and disease control, harvesting, post-harvest handling and storage, and marketing. A course notebook will be provided to those who attend.

Both sessions will be held from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Cost is $40. For more information, please contact Evan Anderson (850) 892-8172 [email protected] , or visit the registration website at http://tomato-school-tickets.eventbrite.com.


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Halloween Bash and haunted corn maze at Cypress Cattle and Produce Farm Oct. 24

halloweenbashThings get frightfully fun on Oct. 24 at Cypress Cattle Produce Farm. Head over to the Halloween Bash at the barn, haunted corn maze, and enjoy Luke Langford and the 331 South Band fire up some great country music from 5 – 9 p.m.

cornmazeaerial1Cypress Cattle and Produce will have a corn maze, pumpkin patch and an assortment of activities. The enjoyment includes more than 7-acres of pumpkins, a 5-acre corn maze, 2-miles of trails, hayrides, farm animals, slides, corn pond, corn hole, and horseshoes.

Hamburgers, hot dogs, and drinks will be available.
Tickets are $10 adults 18+, $6 youth ages 6-17, free for children under 5.

Go to www.cypresscattle.com for details.

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