Florida Master Naturalist Uplands course starts Feb. 15

The UF/IFAS Okaloosa and Walton Counties Extension is pleased to announce the upcoming Florida Master Naturalist Program (FMNP) Uplands Habitats Module. 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, this Module provides instruction on the general ecology, habitats, vegetation types, wildlife, and conservation issues of Upland Systems in Florida – 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.

The total training consists of 40 contact hours. The only requirements of students are enthusiasm, attendance, and completion of group final projects. There is no comprehensive examination required.

At the end of the course, student will receive their Certification of Course Completion and be included in the online FMNP Graduate Database. Students also will receive FMNP embroidered patch and course-specific lapel pin. The FMNP course manual (covering course-specific ecological systems, habitats, plant and animal life, naturalist interpretation, outreach planning, and additional resources and sources of information) becomes the property of the student.

This course will be offered weekly on Thursdays, February 15 through March 22, 2018. Registration is currently open and closes at 10:00am EST on February 8, 2018. Register here (http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/fmnp/us18-06.html) and use Course Code: us18-06. The fee for the course is $230 – $275 depending on your preferred manual format. The classes will be held at the following locations.

UF/IFAS Extension Walton County is located at 732 N 9th St, DeFuniak Springs, FL, 32433

UF/IFAS Extension Okaloosa County is located at 3098 Airport Rd, Crestview, FL 32539

Please contact the instructors if you have any questions.

Lead: Sheila Dunning, UF/IFAS Extension Okaloosa County, Commercial Horticulture Agent, sdunning@ufl.edu, 850-689-5850, www.okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu

Associate: Laura Tiu, Florida Sea Grant Marine Science Extension Agent Okaloosa & Walton Counties, lgtiu@ufl.edu, 850-612-6197

Posted in Environment | Tagged | Leave a comment

Learn about south Walton’s artificial reefs at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Feb. 9

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and the South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) on February 9, 2018 from 10 – 11 a.m. Come learn about their organization, what they do and the seahorse shaped artificial reef they deployed off the park’s shoreline.

This program is free with regular park admission.

Topsail Talks is a monthly educational discovery series with presentations from organizations and government agencies from outside the park.  To stay up to date about this program and all the events and programs at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park make sure to sign up for the email newsletters the park sends out. You can sign up via links found on the Friends of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park website www.topsailparkfriends.org, in person while at the park or by calling the Ranger Station at 850-267-8330.

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::

Park Fees
Admission Fees – $6.00 per vehicle (up to 8 people).

Posted in Environment | Tagged | Leave a comment

Learn about landscape oddities in Santa Rosa Beach Feb. 7

Anyone who has gardened for any length of time has seen some strange things in their lawns and landscapes. If you are interested in learning more about these garden oddities, then the Walton County Master Gardeners would like to invite you to attend “What on Earth is That? The Lowdown on Weird Occurrences in the Landscape,” the latest installment of the Walton County Master Gardeners lecture series.

The workshop will be on Wednesday, February 7th from 10 am – 12 pm at the UF/IFAS Walton County Extension Coastal Branch, 70 Logan Lane, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.  This workshop will feature Walton County Master Gardener Andrea Schnapp and will discuss all manner of interesting landscape occurrences from fairy rings, to witches’ brooms and more. You will get the lowdown on all the weirdness of these happenings complete with identifications, explanations and even debunking a few superstitions.

Seating is limited, so call (850)-892-8172 or haneyc@ufl.edu to reserve your spot. Cost of the program is $5 (cash or check only please; payable at the door) and will include presentation handouts, educational publications, and light refreshments.

Master Gardeners will be on hand to take gardening questions and help with soil samples. This program is presented through UF/IFAS Walton County Extension.

Posted in Home/Garden | Tagged | Leave a comment

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::

Posted in Outdoor Family Fun | Tagged | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Home/Garden | Tagged | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Home/Garden | Tagged , , | Leave a comment