Explore The Outdoors Festival comes to Live Oak Landing Oct. 14, 2017

boywithfishA great day for outdoor family fun

Walton Outdoors will be hosting our eighth annual Explore The Outdoors Festival on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. The event will be held from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the beautiful waterfront location of Live Oak Landing Outdoor Destination, 229 Pitts Avenue in Freeport, Florida. ::MAP::

This fun-filled day will introduce children to the wonders of exploring nature and the outdoor experience. Hands on activities will include fishing, kayaking, wildlife, archery, interactive educational exhibits, giveaways and much more. The event is free. The water activities are geared for children six-years-old and up. Food will be available for purchase from Black Creek Café.

Activities and exhibits include:
• Learn to fish on Black Creek
• FISH FLORIDA fishing rod/reel giveaways
• Freshwater fishing education with Florida Fish and Wildlife
• Emerald Coast Hydrobike cruises
• Archery with Freeport Parks and Recreation
• Boating with Wounded Warrior Fishing
• Boating with Backwater Tours
• Birding with the Choctawhatchee Audubon Society
• Wildlife exhibit with Florida Fish and Wildlife
• Florida State Park exhibits
• Northwest Florida Astronomy Club
• Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance touch tank
• Smokey the Bear and his friends from Forestry
• Florida Sea Grant exhibit
• Freeport Town Planters Society crafts
• Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge exhibit
• Butterfly exhibit
• Beekeeping exhibit
• Snake exhibit with Falling Waters State Park
• Walton County Master Gardeners activity
• Glendale Memorial Nature Preserve
• Navarre Beach Marine Science exhibit
• Nonie’s Ark Animal Encounters
• Archaeology

About Walton Outdoors:
Walton Outdoors is the online source for outdoor adventure in Walton County and northwest Florida. Our mission is to share great spaces to explore the outdoors, and to educate our readers on the wonders of nature.

For more information, go to www.waltonoutdoors.com/explorefest or call (850) 267-2064.

Thank you sponsors:


• C.W. Roberts Contracting
• Freeport Town Planters Society


• Copeland’s Gun and Tackle • Bent Rod Fishing Club

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Art in the park at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Oct. 13

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is offering a watercolor class with local artist Carol Dickson on Oct. 13.  Class fee is $25 and includes all materials needed. The class will be from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Classes are limited to 10 participants and participants must be at least 12 years of age.  Registration is due 7 days before class date and can be done in the park store or online at www.topsailparkfriends.org.  The park store is open seven days a week 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Park admission is $6.00 per vehicle, allowing admission for 2-8 people per vehicle; over 8 people requires additional per person fees. $4.00 per single-occupant vehicle or motorcycle, including motorcycles with one or more riders and vehicles with one occupant. $2.00 pedestrians, bicyclists, per passenger over 8 per vehicle, per passenger in vehicles with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.

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

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Celebrate 140 years of Governor Stone Schooner Sept. 25 and Oct. 22

The Bay County Historical Society is pleased to resume their monthly “Adventures in History” series on Monday, September 25, 2017 at 7:00 pm at the Bay County Library. The September adventure follows the 140 year history of the last remaining working gaff rigged Gulf Bay Schooner, Governor Stone, from her construction in Pascagoula Mississippi to her National Historic Landmark designation in 1991 and settling into her designated home port of St. Andrews, Florida in 2013.

The Governor Stone was part of a fleet of Gulf Bay Schooners that were instrumental in settling and serving the small coastal communities along the northern gulf coast in the late 1800s. The lack of passable roads and deep water shipping channels at that time made these shallow draft vessels vital to moving freight, supplies, mail and people from community to community along the coast.

The Friends of the Governor Stone adopted the mission to preserve, maintain and share the history of this National Historic Landmark vessel with the coastal communities along the northern gulf coast.

The Bay County History Museum located at 133 Harrison Avenue showcases artifacts and historical information from the 140-year history of the vessel and is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.

The Governor Stone is docked at Slip #1 (by the gazebo and boat ramp) at the St. Andrews Marina and is included in the Historical Walking Tours provided by the Panama City Publishing Museum.

The Friends of the Governor Stone will host a 140th Birthday Celebration on Bayview Avenue on Sunday, October 22nd from 2:00 – 4:00 pm. A highlight of the event will be the presentation by the National Park Service of the official National Historic Landmark bronze plaque that will be on permanent display by the Governor Stone slip.

Please come to the Bay County Historical Society program on Monday, September 25th at 7:00 pm and join the Friends of the Governor Stone as we celebrate her 140th Birthday on Sunday, October 22.

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Sunset paddle at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Sept. 30

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park for a Sunset Paddle on September 30, 2017 from 5 – 7:30p.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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Fall festival and pumpkin sale at Camp Helen State Park Oct. 7

Date/time: Saturday, Oct. 7 – 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The second annual Fall Festival at Camp Helen State Park will be on Saturday, October 7 from

11 am – 4 pm. There will be fun, food, and games for the entire family.  State Park entrance fee of $2 per person for anyone the age of 7 and above.  Kids 6 and under are free. The event is free however donations are accepted.  Donations will go directly to the Friends of Camp Helen State Park to benefit the park’s resource management projects and interpretive programs.  A parent or guardian must accompany all children.  Parking at the state park is limited to those who need accessible parking.  All others are requested to park at Winn-Dixie and ride the free shuttle to the park. Winn Dixie is at the junction of U. S. 98 and Front Beach Road a mile east of the Philips Inlet Bridge and about five miles west of Highway 79.

Additionally, Camp Helen will be selling pumpkins 7 days a week, 9 am – 4 pm, starting September 30 through October 31.

These special events are sponsored by the Friends of Camp Helen State Park. For more information contact Gloria Turner at (850) 588-8426 or (850) 233-5059 or by emailing [email protected].

Camp Helen State Park is located at 23937 Panama City Beach Parkway (Highway 98), Panama City Beach, just west of the Lake Powell Bridge.

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Watersound Origins PorchFest Oct. 8

October 8, 3 – 6 pm

Join in for the 2nd Annual Watersound PorchFest. Live music will be featured on the front porches and lawns of the community. This event is FREE and open to the public. Guests will have the opportunity to walk along the porches and lawns of the community while listening to live music. The event is free, coolers and lawn chairs are welcome.

Music lineup:
• Chas Sandford  is a hit songwriter known for such songs as “Missing You” by John Waite, “What Kind of Man Would I Be” by Chicago, and “Talk to Me” by Stevie Nicks. Chas Sandford will be singing with Ken and Andi Johnson “in the round” on the  “Songwriter House Concerts on 30A” Stage.
• Huck and Lilly – play music for kids and the grown ups who love them.
• Sean Dietrich and the Boiled Peanut Vendors – this group is known for country – folk feel good music.
• The Graytones – A four-piece Gulf Coast funky jam band from Grayton Beach.
• Matt Miller & Mari Gleason – Ukulele meets fiddle with this beachy duo.

Watersound Origins, 530 Pathways Drive, Watersound, FL 32461

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Choctawhatchee Audubon Society October events

October 5: Monthly Meeting and Presentation:  “Water and Air Quality: A Challenge in Florida” by Eric Prince. Dr Prince will examine some of the critical air and water quality issues facing the state of Florida. He discusses the inadequacy of the term Climate Change as a descriptor for what is happening in our atmosphere, how to prepare for storm surge and hurricane force winds in Okaloosa County and concludes with the review of a paper in Nature Climate Change on the impact of reduced oxygen concentration in the central Atlantic Ocean on large pelagic predators.

The meeting will be held in Room 130 of the student services building (Bldg 400) at the Northwest Florida State College – Niceville campus. Socializing begins at 6:30 PM and the program at 7:00 PM. Admission is free and open to the public. Call or e-mail Dr. Don Baltz at (225) 252-2760, [email protected] for more information. Please visit our website at Choctawhatcheeaudubon.org and our Facebook page at Choctawhatchee Audubon Society.

October 7: Bird Walk.   Join local birders in a walk through Veteran’s Park on Okaloosa Island led by Malcolm Swan, videographer and expert birder. Meet at the NE corner of the Convention Center parking lot at 7:30 AM. Wear long pants, closed toe shoes and a hat. See herons, raptors and migrants. Call Malcolm at (210) 343 9082 for additional information.

October 14: Event. Explore the Outdoors Festival, Live Oak Landing, 229 Pitts Ave, Freeport. Teach children how to identify birds using matching games, binoculars and spotting scopes. Bring water, bug spray and a lawn chair. Contact Lori Ceier, event organizer, at (850) 267-2064 or liveoaklanding.rvoutdoors.com for additional information.

October 21: Bird Walk. See owls, warblers, herons and rails in a walk through the Bluewater Bay Marina marshes and oak forest. Meet at Oak Creek Shopping Center by CVS on HY 20 in Niceville at 7:30 AM. Wear closed toed shoes, bring water and bug spray. Contact leader Bob Penhollow (850) 368-3680 for additional information.

October 28: Bird Walk. See ducks, herons, raptors and migrants in a walk through the FWB landfill and holding ponds led by Malcolm Swan. Meet at Pepitos, 1313 Lewis Turner Blvd at 7:30 AM. Wear closed toed shoes, a hat and long pants. Contact Malcolm at (210) 343-9082 for additional information.

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