Upcoming Events

:: Ongoing ::

Saturday and Sunday Farmers markets

tomatoesSeaside Amphitheater – Saturday, Market Shops Sandestin Sunday
Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Come and reap the benefits of purchasing locally grown food as local farmers and vendors offer their wares. Fresh eggs, vegetables and fruit, honey, breads, cookies, cheeses, milk, organic chickens and broth, handmade jewelry, soaps and more. Buying locally grown food benefits you and our community. ::MAP::

WaterColor Coastal Farmers Market
The WaterColor Community Association is hosting the WaterColor Coastal Farmers Market at Cerulean Park on Sundays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. The market is open to the public. The market has an array of items to choose from with more than 30 participating vendors. Items such as local farm-fresh produce, eggs, and dairy products will be available. There will also be a large variety of organic and homemade items and artwork.

Rosemary Beach Barrett Square – Sunday 
Reap fresh produce and more from local farmers on Thursdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. in Rosemary Beach. Market located on N. Barrett Square.

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Americana under the Stars every Thursday at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

luckymudTime: 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Starting with an open mic at 6:30 p.m. in the amphitheater/clubhouse Topsail presents an evening of music. Free admission into park and a suggested donation of $5 goes to the Friends of Topsail Hill. Bring a chair, your favorite beverage and enjoy some music in the park. This is family/ pet friendly and fun for all ages.

August:
September:
3rd- O’Don Piano
10th- Friction Farm
17th- Lucky Mud
24th- David Drew Russell

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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Guided kayak tour of Western Lake every Wednesday in Sept.

westernlakeTime: 9 – 11:30 a.m.

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

Explore a coastal dune lake of South Walton County. This kayak tour will take you around Western Lake, one of the larger lakes of the coastal dune lake systems. Experience the diversity of wildlife and habitats that define these unique lake systems. This tour is led by the local and avid eco-tour guide Dave Posey.

Moderate to high exertion level, depending on wind conditions. Participants are asked to bring plenty of water, forecast compatible clothing and personal comfort items (i.e. sunscreen, bug spray, etc.). Kayak rental included in the cost of the tour.

Space is limited to 8 participants. Minimum of 3.

Location: Meet at the South Walton campus of Northwest Florida State College 109 South Greenway Trail, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459. Guide will lead a caravan to Grayton Beach State Park to launch boats.

Fee: $45 per person (Bring Your Own Boat) Class reference # XRL 6213. Date references numbers: 9/2/2015 #11411, 9/9/2015 #11412, 9/16/2015 #11413, 9/23/2015 #11414, 9/30/2015 #11415.

Fee: $60 per person for kayak supplied. Class reference #XRL6213A. Date reference numbers: 9/2/2015 #11425, 9/9/2015 #11426, 9/16/2015 #11427, 9/23/2015 #11428, 9/30/2015 #11429.

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Camp Helen history tour Sept. 5

camphelenhistorytourTime: 10 – 10:45 a.m.
The Department of Environmental Protection’s Camp Helen State Park invites you to their history walk at Camp Helen State Park. Come learn about the early history of the park and local area while wandering on a guided tour around Camp Helen’s restored historical buildings. The history walk takes place the first Saturday of each month.

Participation Requirements:
• Must have the ability to follow visual and/or verbal instruction independently or with the assistance of a companion.
• Must have the ability to withstand exposure to the outdoors for a period of 1- 2 hours.
• Must have the ability to traverse wet, sloped, and uneven terrain for .5 -1 miles, independently or with the assistance of a companion.

Fees: The tour is free with paid park admission fee of $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.
Contact: (850) 233-5059 ::MAP::

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Alys Beach 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run Sept. 6

alysfunrunJoin in on the fun for the 4th Annual Alys Beach 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run, presented by Visit South Walton, on Sunday, September 6, 2015 in Alys Beach, Florida. Located along Hwy 30A, the course winds through the resort town and ends with an oversized obstacle course for kids of all ages, music, food, and beverages available in the Amphitheatre.

The price to participate in the certified 5K is $35 and the 1 Mile Fun Run is $15 (kids 12 and younger only, please) online in advance until Sunday, August 30 at midnight. From Monday, August 31 until Friday, September 4, the price to participate in the 5K is $50 and the 1 Miler is $25. Any remaining registrations will be sold on Saturday, September 5 from 10am-2pm at Fonville Press during Packet Pick-up.

The 5K is limited to 400 participants and the 1 Mile Fun Run is limited to 150 participants.

If you choose to donate you will be benefiting The Alys Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established to support the long-term community values of Alys Beach. Funds may be used to finance community, environmental, cultural and educational programs at Alys Beach as well as to support nonprofit organizations in the greater Walton County community. Proceeds from the 2015 race will benefit Alaqua Animal Refuge.  Register at:
http://www.active.com/alys-beach-fl/running/distance-running-races/alys-beach-5k-and-1-mile-fun-run-2015?int

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Labor Day weekend live music and fireworks

fireworksSaturday, Sept. 5
Seaside: Seaside Amphitheater concert with Ryan Kinder at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5. Bring a blanket or chair. Free and open to the public.

Alys Beach: Music from The Will Tucker Band from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 6 at the Amphitheatre in Alys Beach. Fireworks follow. Food and beverages available for purchase from Piper’s.

Monday, Sept. 7
Labor Day Classical Pops: Close out the summer season when Seaside presents a classical/pops music performance at 6 p.m. at the Seaside Amphitheater.

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Historical tour of Coffeen Nature Preserve Sept. 9th or 30th

JB2 on launch track. Photo courtesy Coffeen Nature Preserve.

Time: 9:30 – 11:30 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.

Explore the Coffeen Nature Preserve and its history of World War II missile testing. The 220-acre Nature Preserve is owned by the Coffeen Land Trust, a local environmental non-profit organization dedicated to preserving it “as a place of peace and quiet and a haven for all God’s creatures.” Its history however is far from quiet. It was used as a secret missile test site by the Army Air Force during World War II. Hundreds of JB-2 “Buzz Bombs,” (the first pilotless, jet propelled missiles) were launched from the dunes into the Gulf of Mexico.

Join Susan Paladini, the Resident Manager, and explore the site where America’s strategic missile program began. You will view the original military photographs inside the “mess hall” and learn about the generous gift of the founder, the late Dorothy Coffeen. This will be followed by a hike of approximately 1½ miles around the property, which will include walking along two original missile launch ramps, stepping down into concrete launch bunkers and viewing other military buildings. Enjoy the natural beauty of the Preserve and Fuller Lake. This is the most western of Walton County’s globally rare and imperiled coastal dune lakes.

Participants are encouraged to wear a hat, sunscreen and insect repellant and to bring bottled water. Closed-toed or other suitable walking shoes are a must.

Space is limited to 16 participants. Minimum of 2 required.

Location: Coffeen Nature Preserve, Santa Rosa Beach

Fee: $20

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.

Tour reference numbers: 9/9/2015 11271, 9/30/2015 11438, 10/14/2015 11439, 10/28/2015 11440, 11/11/2015 11441, 11/25/2015 11442

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Guided hike to No Name Lake at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Sept. 11

nonamelaketopsail2Date/time: Fri., Sept. 11th, 9 – 10:30 a.m.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Rangers will lead you through the various ecosystems that make this park unique. This hike will lead you to one of the lakes in the park, No Name Lake where we hope to see the resident alligator along with some endemic and endangered plants. Be sure to bring your binoculars, sunscreen, and water. The hike will leave from Tram Stop 1 in the day use parking area and is paved for a majority of the route.

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::

$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.

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Audubon walk at Conservation Park Sept. 12

birding2The Bay County Audubon will be hosting a bird walk at Conservation Park in Panama City Beach Sept. 12.  The walk will be from 7:30 – 9 a.m.
Enjoy a leisurely morning walk around the trails of the Panama City Beach Conservation Park guided by the Bay county Audubon.

Binoculars are available for these free events.  Meet at the trail head building by the parking lot. For more information call PCB Parks & recreation Dept. (850) 233-4413.

Conservation Park can be accessed just north of Back Beach Road (U.S. Hwy. 98) off of State Road 79, or off of Back Beach turning on to Griffin Blvd. ::MAP::

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Breakfast with a ranger at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Sept. 12

rangerDate/time: Sept. 12th, 9 – 10 a.m.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park invites you and your family to Breakfast with a Ranger. Join the Rangers of Topsail Hill to learn about the park, its history and to ask them all the questions you can think of about the park its wildlife and anything in between. This program is ideal for the whole family to enjoy. To cover the cost of food, please bring $5.00, which goes to Friends of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park to enhance the park or bring your own breakfast. Enter the park through the main gate and park staff will direct you to the clubhouse.

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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Point Washington State Forest wet prairies and rare plants tour Sept. 14

pitcherplantspointwashingtonDate/Time: Sept. 14, 2015 – 9 a.m. – 1 p.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.

We will visit several wet prairies in Pt. Washington State Forest. Observe and identify pitcher plants, sundews and other carnivorous plants, plus many other native plants that are typically found only in this kind of habitat. Several of these species are threatened or endangered. The history and ecology of the prairies will be discussed, as well as, the role of fires in these precious ecosystems. This tour is led by an accomplished biologist who has been involved in describing and mapping wet prairies in south Walton County.

Moderate difficulty, walking about a mile, including over boggy ground that may have some standing water. Bring water, sunscreen, insect repellant, and hat. Wear long pants and closed-toed sturdy shoes (no sandals or flip-flops) that can get wet and muddy. A walking stick and camera are recommended.

Space is limited to 15 participants. Minimum of 4.

Location: Meet at South Walton Center of Northwest Florida State College, 109 Greenway Trail, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32549. Vehicle caravan to event location.

Fee: $15 + $2 forest entry fee at entrance of park. Class #XCE 6226, course reference #11453

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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Getting to Know the Natives – Garden & Trail Tour offered every Wednesday Sept. 16 – Nov. 25

 Every Wednesday from Sept. 16 – Nov. 25 – Time: 3 – 5 p.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.

Get acquainted with the local flora and fauna as you enjoy a guided tour of the Native Plant Demonstration Garden and Trail at Northwest Florida State College (South Walton Center). Plants featured in the Garden, Trail and Wildflower Meadow are critical to habitat preservation, providing food and shelter for hundreds of species of pollinators, amphibians, reptiles, birds and small mammals. The area is mostly handicap accessible. It is established as a teaching/demonstration/leisure site for students and the general public. Session will include an overview/introduction followed by a two-hour docent led walk, approximately 1 mile. Appropriate for all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Space is limited to 16 participants. Minimum of 2 required.

Location: South Walton Center of Northwest Florida State College, 109 Greenway Trail, Santa Rosa Beach

Fee: $15. Course # XCE 6204, Course Reference # 9/16/2015 #11275, 9/30/201 #11443, 10/14/2015 #11444, 10/28/2015 #11445, 11/11/2015  #11446, 11/25/2015 #11447

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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Learn about coastal dune lakes at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Sept. 18

Mother Nature has sculpted beautiful sand dunes at Topsail Hill State Preserve. Lori Ceier/Walton OutdoorsDate/time: Fri., Sept. 18th, 9 – 10 a.m.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park invites you to an informational program on the rare coastal dune lakes found in the area. Two of these lakes can be found inside the protected area of the park. This all ages program will discuss what makes them so unique, what types of plants/animals can be found along the shores and which supported by the ecosystem and what you can do to help. Enter the park through the main gate and park staff will direct you to the clubhouse.

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::

$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.

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Freeport Bayfest Sept. 19

bafestlogoJoin in on the fun Saturday September 19, 2015 at the Freeport Bayfest at Freeport Regional Sports Complex. The event will be held from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Admission is $5.

Bayfest Festival includes a variety of live entertainment, Gumbo Cook-off, 5K Run, fishing tournament, antique car show, children’s zone, arts and crafts, and food vendors.

For more information call Judy Aultman (850) 835-1737 or (850) 974-1476 or Delores Walvatne (850) 1-251-234-1234. Gumbo Cook-off contacts: Donna Irwin (850) 685-6916 Eleanor Turner (850) 835-5611

For more information, go to: freeportbayfest.com

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Lake Powell clean up September 19

 Join in on the 2015 Ocean Conservancy International Coastal Clean up day Sept. 19 at Lake Powell in Panama City Beach. The event will be hosted by Lake Powell Community Alliance.

Meet at Lake Powell Park or Camp Helen State Park at 8 a.m. The event will last until 2 p.m.

If you are interested in learning more about volunteering opportunities on Lake Powell, call Emily Ellis with Lake Powell Community Alliance at 850-625-4140.

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Safety First For All Festival Sept. 19

safetyhelmetTime: 9 – 11 a.m.

The Walton County Extension office along with Florida Health is hosting a Safety First For All Festival on Sept. 19, 2015. The event will be from 9 – 11 a.m. at Wee Care Park, 522 Walton Road, DeFuniak Springs.

The event will include The StoryWalk Project, bicycle helmet fittings, car seat checks and installations, fire truck and equipment display, water safety information, electrical safety display, personal protection information, children’s identifications kits, prizes, giveaways, and more.

For more information, contact Brandi Gill at (850) 892-8040 ext, 1136.

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Walton County Community Clean-Up Day  Sept. 19

walton-county-logoChoctaw Fire Station, State Road 20
8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Sponsored by Walton County District 4 Commissioner and Vice-Chair Sara Comander and Walton County Solid Waste.
Dumpsters provided for Walton County residents to dump trash, yard debris, tires, appliances, and other miscellaneous items. A crew and equipment to off-load heavy items will be available. Recycling trailers will also be available for newsprint, glass, and aluminum.
DO NOT BRING: POISONS, PESTICIDES, PAINTS, THINNERS, GASOLINE, AND OTHER FLAMMABLES.

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View the stars with astronomy club at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Sept. 19

starsDate/time: Sat., Sept. 19th, 4 p.m.

Join the members of the Northwest Florida Astronomy Club and view the beauty of the night sky. They will start by setting up solar telescopes 3 hours before sunset for observing our closest star. Once the sun sets they will transition to night time observing using various telescopes. The event will be in the day use parking lot near tram stop 1, please not use bright lights, car head lights, flashlights, cellphone light etc. Only NWFAA members are allowed to handle the telescopes and please no unattended children.

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::

$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.

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Pleasant Ridge Arena hosts Neigh and Bray fun show Sept. 19

Pleasant Ridge Arena in DeFuniak Springs is hosting a Neigh and Bray Fun Show. Sponsored by owners Diana and Rex Brannon, young children will enjoy stick races, and lead line while the more seasoned riders will compete in pole bending, barrel racing Western and English pleasure and more. There is a class for everyone and every breed. The Neigh and Bray show is held the third Saturday of every month. To find out more, go to their website at pleasantridgearena.com. Phone: (850) 892-5398. Show starts at 4 p.m. and is free for spectators.

Location: Pleasant Ridge Arena is located at 1917 Pleasant Ridge Road in DeFuniak Springs.

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Cogongrass identification and management seminar Sept. 24

Photo courtesy Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, www.bugwood.org

Date/time: September 24, 2015;  9:00 am – 2:30 pm

Cogongrass is considered a weedy pest in 73 countries. In the U.S., cogongrass is found primarily in the Southeast, where it has become a serious problem. It is currently spreading in nearly every county in Florida. When cogongrass invades it spreads rapidly, displacing desirable plant species and wildlife habitat and disrupting forest and farm management. Cogongrass requires continuous, intensive management to achieve control.

Join in to learn how to quickly identify this weed, the latest information on controlling it, regional partnerships and available assistance in managing this and other invasive exotic species problems.

The seminar will be held at the Walton County Extension office, 732 N. 9th Street, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32433
Cost is $15. Click here to register., or call 850-892-8172 or email [email protected]

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Guided tour of Choctawhatchee River and Morrison Springs Sept. 25

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, Date reference #11667

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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Fall garden seminar in DeFuniak Springs Sept. 25

Fall GardeningFall is a great time to grow cool-season vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, and collards. The University of Florida Extension Service is offering an educational program to help those interested in fall gardening.

It will be held at the Walton County Extension Office in DeFuniak Springs on September 25th from 2:00 – 4:00pm. Topics covered will include garden planning and preparation, hydroponics, planting, vegetable varieties suited for growing conditions in north Florida, diseases and pest control, harvesting, and cooking. Cost is $5. For more information, please contact the Walton County Extension Office at (850) 892-8172 or the Agriculture Agent Evan Anderson at [email protected]. Please RSVP by September 23rd.

UF/IFAS Walton County Extension Office, 732 N. 9th Street, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32433

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Sights and sounds of night tour with Nonie’s Ark Animal EVEntures Sept. 25

nonieTime: 7:30 -9:00 pm

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.

Discover the sights and sounds of nature at night!  Nonie’s Ark Animal Encounters will guide evening Eco-Adventure’s for the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance this summer on Wednesday’s. A minimum of five Eventurers are needed and a maximum of 25. We will meet at some of Walton County’s exceptional biodiverse habitats and explore for elusive creatures such as fox, owls, frogs and especially bats! All are invited but focus is on ages 4-10.  Bring a flashlight or headlamp to light your way & please come properly dressed for heat and ready to repel bugs.

The tours will lead out of various locations throughout Walton County; tours will meet at sites listed on flyers.

Space is limited to 25. Minimum of 5 required. Location(s): TBA

Fee: $15. Course # XRL 6223, date reference 9/25/2015 #11448, 10/23/2015 #11449, 11/27/2015 #11450

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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Family Fun 5K Nature Hike at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center Sept. 26

biophilatrailThe E.O.Wilson Biophilia Center teams up with the Walton County Health Department for the Biophilia Center Family Fun 5K Nature Hike on Saturday, September 26th.
Get off the couch and into nature with this community event focusing on healthy living and a healthy environment. The hiking event is part of a state wide collaboration with all participating Florida Health Departments called the Florida Inaugural 5K Walk/Run.

Gates open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 12:00 p.m. – Registration from 7:00-8:00 a.m. First Hikers hit the trail at 8:00 a.m.
$5 per person or $20 per family.
Gates open and registration begins at 7:00 a.m.
We will hit the trails at 8:00 a.m.
$5 per person or $20 per family
Hikers must be 5 and up to participate. Parent or guardian required for all children 15 and under.
Educational health programs and interactive exhibit area open for all those not joining in or for after the hike.
*Sturdy shoes suggested as this is a scenic nature hike with uneven trails.

E.O.Wilson Biophilia Center
4956 State Hwy 20 East
Freeport, Florida 32439

Presented by Walton County Health Department- (850) 892-8040
Venue: E.O.Wilson Biophilia Center- (850) 835-1824

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Guided kayak tour of Western Lake every Wednesday in Oct.

westernlakeTime: 9 – 11:30 a.m.

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

Explore a coastal dune lake of South Walton County. This kayak tour will take you around Western Lake, one of the larger lakes of the coastal dune lake systems. Experience the diversity of wildlife and habitats that define these unique lake systems. This tour is led by the local and avid eco-tour guide Dave Posey.

Moderate to high exertion level, depending on wind conditions. Participants are asked to bring plenty of water, forecast compatible clothing and personal comfort items (i.e. sunscreen, bug spray, etc.). Kayak rental included in the cost of the tour.

Space is limited to 8 participants. Minimum of 3.

Location: Meet at the South Walton campus of Northwest Florida State College 109 South Greenway Trail, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459. Guide will lead a caravan to Grayton Beach State Park to launch boats.

Fee: $45 per person (Bring Your Own Boat) Class reference # XRL 6213

Date references numbers: 10/7/2015 #11416, 10/14/2015 #11417, 10/21/2015 #11418, 10/28/2015 #11419

Fee: $60 per person for kayak supplied. Class reference #XRL6213A. Date reference numbers: 10/7/2015 #11430, 10/14/2015 #11431, 10/21/2015 #11432, 10/28/2015 #11433.

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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Guided tour of Grayton Beach wet prairies Oct. 7

firstdayhikesgrayton2Date/Time: Oct. 7, 2015 – 9 – 10:30 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.

Join the Park Ranger for an informative tour of some of the park’s Wet Prairie Restoration areas. Learn the importance of these areas, which endangered plants call them home, and how swamp titi trees impact the hydrology and flora of these areas. The ranger will discuss the importance of the Prescribed Fire program at Grayton Beach State Park, explaining how fire is a necessity for habitat restoration, wildlife management, and decreasing loading fuels to help with the prevention of wildfires.

Appropriate for ages 8 and up. Difficulty is moderate. Participants will hike approximately 2 – 2.5 miles out to one of the restoration sites and then hike back. The topography is not level. It is also sandy/muddy in areas. Participants should bring water, sunscreen, insect repellant, and a hat. Participants must wear appropriate hiking/walking attire. NO OPEN-TOED SHOES, SANDALS, OR FLIP-FLOPS ALLOWED. Pets are not allowed on this walk. Pets cannot be left unattended at any time or in a vehicle. Event is subject to cancellation due to bad weather, unforeseen situations, or prescribed burning in the area.

Space is limited to 12 participants. Minimum of 5 required.

Location: Grayton Beach State Park, 357 Main Park Rd, Santa Rosa Beach

Participants will meet at the ranger station.

Fee: $15 + $5 entry fee (paid at time of entrance). Class # XCE 6211, Course Reference #11277.

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

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
• Kayaking with Snaggy Bend Outfitters

• Emerald Coast Hydrobikes
• E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center exhibit
• Archery with Freeport Parks and Recreation
• Boating with Wounded Warrior Fishing
• Birding with the Choctawhatchee Audubon Society
• Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wildlife exhibit
• Topsail Hill Preserve State Park exhibit
• Henderson Beach State Park exhibit
• Eden Gardens and Camp Helen State Park
• 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
• Deitrich’s Honey Farm
• Washington County Tourist Development Council
• Food purchases available from Grayton Beach Catering

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For more information call (850) 267-2064.

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Historical tour of Coffeen Nature Preserve Oct. 14th or 28th

JB2 on launch track. Photo courtesy Coffeen Nature Preserve.

Time: 9:30 – 11:30 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.

Explore the Coffeen Nature Preserve and its history of World War II missile testing. The 220-acre Nature Preserve is owned by the Coffeen Land Trust, a local environmental non-profit organization dedicated to preserving it “as a place of peace and quiet and a haven for all God’s creatures.” Its history however is far from quiet. It was used as a secret missile test site by the Army Air Force during World War II. Hundreds of JB-2 “Buzz Bombs,” (the first pilotless, jet propelled missiles) were launched from the dunes into the Gulf of Mexico.

Join Susan Paladini, the Resident Manager, and explore the site where America’s strategic missile program began. You will view the original military photographs inside the “mess hall” and learn about the generous gift of the founder, the late Dorothy Coffeen. This will be followed by a hike of approximately 1½ miles around the property, which will include walking along two original missile launch ramps, stepping down into concrete launch bunkers and viewing other military buildings. Enjoy the natural beauty of the Preserve and Fuller Lake. This is the most western of Walton County’s globally rare and imperiled coastal dune lakes.

Participants are encouraged to wear a hat, sunscreen and insect repellant and to bring bottled water. Closed-toed or other suitable walking shoes are a must.

Space is limited to 16 participants. Minimum of 2 required. Location: Coffeen Nature Preserve, Santa Rosa Beach

Fee: $20. Course # XCE 6201. Tour reference numbers: 10/14/2015 #11439, 10/28/2015 #11440, 11/11/2015 #11441, 11/25/2015 #11442.

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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Audubon bird walk at Conservation Park Oct. 14

birding2The Bay County Audubon will be hosting a bird walk at Conservation Park in Panama City Beach Oct. 14.  The walk will be from 7:30 – 9 a.m.

Enjoy a leisurely morning walk around the trails of the Panama City Beach Conservation Park guided by the Bay county Audubon.

Binoculars are available for these free events.  Meet at the trail head building by the parking lot. For more information call PCB Parks & recreation Dept. (850) 233-4413.

Conservation Park can be accessed just north of Back Beach Road (U.S. Hwy. 98) off of State Road 79, or off of Back Beach turning on to Griffin Blvd. ::MAP::

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Learn the basics of surf fishing Oct. 21

surffishingDate/Time: Oct. 21, 2015 – 10 – 11:30 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.

Park Ranger Hartsfield will demonstrate and instruct the basic skills needed for enjoying surf fishing. Learn how to catch bait, the proper technique when baiting your hook, and the different kinds of equipment and techniques used in surf fishing. Participants will also learn the dos and don’ts of surf fishing in the State of Florida.

Appropriate for ages 8 and up. Difficulty is low to moderate. Participants should bring their own rod/reel and tackle, sunscreen, hat, water, insect repellant, appropriate surf fishing/beach attire. Pets are not allowed at this event or on the beaches of Grayton Beach State Park. Pets cannot be left unattended at any time or in a vehicle. Event subject to cancellation due to bad weather, unforeseen situations, or hazardous surf conditions.

Space is limited to 12 participants. Minimum of 5 required.

Location: Grayton Beach State Park, 357 Main Park Rd, Santa Rosa Beach

Participants will walk from the beach parking area, over the boardwalk, and across the sugar white sands of Grayton Beach to the shoreline.

Fee: $ 15 + $5 entry fee (paid at time of entrance). Class # XCE 6207, Course Reference #11276.

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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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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Sights and sounds of night tour with Nonie’s Ark Animal EVEntures Oct. 23

nonieTime: 7:30 -9:00 pm

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.

Discover the sights and sounds of nature at night!  Nonie’s Ark Animal Encounters will guide evening Eco-Adventure’s for the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance this summer on Wednesday’s. A minimum of five Eventurers are needed and a maximum of 25. We will meet at some of Walton County’s exceptional biodiverse habitats and explore for elusive creatures such as fox, owls, frogs and especially bats! All are invited but focus is on ages 4-10.  Bring a flashlight or headlamp to light your way & please come properly dressed for heat and ready to repel bugs.

The tours will lead out of various locations throughout Walton County; tours will meet at sites listed on flyers.

Space is limited to 25. Minimum of 5 required. Location(s): TBA

Fee: $15. Course # XRL 6223, date reference 10/23/2015 #11449, 11/27/2015 #11450

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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Guide kayak tour of Western Lake every Wednesday in Nov.

westernlakeTime: 9 – 11:30 a.m.

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

Explore a coastal dune lake of South Walton County. This kayak tour will take you around Western Lake, one of the larger lakes of the coastal dune lake systems. Experience the diversity of wildlife and habitats that define these unique lake systems. This tour is led by the local and avid eco-tour guide Dave Posey.

Moderate to high exertion level, depending on wind conditions. Participants are asked to bring plenty of water, forecast compatible clothing and personal comfort items (i.e. sunscreen, bug spray, etc.). Kayak rental included in the cost of the tour.

Space is limited to 8 participants. Minimum of 3.

Location: Meet at the South Walton campus of Northwest Florida State College 109 South Greenway Trail, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459. Guide will lead a caravan to Grayton Beach State Park to launch boats.

Fee: $45 per person (Bring Your Own Boat) Class reference # XRL 6213. Date references numbers: 11/4/2015 #11420, 11/11/2015 #11421, 11/18/2015 #11422, 11/25/2015 #11423

Fee: $60 per person for kayak supplied. Class reference #XRL6213A. Date reference numbers: 11/4/2015 #11434, 11/11/2015 #11435, 11/18/2015 #11436, 11/25/2015 #11437.

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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Historical tour of Coffeen Nature Preserve Nov. 11th or 25th

JB2 on launch track. Photo courtesy Coffeen Nature Preserve.

Time: 9:30 – 11:30 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.

Explore the Coffeen Nature Preserve and its history of World War II missile testing. The 220-acre Nature Preserve is owned by the Coffeen Land Trust, a local environmental non-profit organization dedicated to preserving it “as a place of peace and quiet and a haven for all God’s creatures.” Its history however is far from quiet. It was used as a secret missile test site by the Army Air Force during World War II. Hundreds of JB-2 “Buzz Bombs,” (the first pilotless, jet propelled missiles) were launched from the dunes into the Gulf of Mexico.

Join Susan Paladini, the Resident Manager, and explore the site where America’s strategic missile program began. You will view the original military photographs inside the “mess hall” and learn about the generous gift of the founder, the late Dorothy Coffeen. This will be followed by a hike of approximately 1½ miles around the property, which will include walking along two original missile launch ramps, stepping down into concrete launch bunkers and viewing other military buildings. Enjoy the natural beauty of the Preserve and Fuller Lake. This is the most western of Walton County’s globally rare and imperiled coastal dune lakes.

Participants are encouraged to wear a hat, sunscreen and insect repellant and to bring bottled water. Closed-toed or other suitable walking shoes are a must.

Space is limited to 16 participants. Minimum of 2 required. Location: Coffeen Nature Preserve, Santa Rosa Beach

Fee: $20. Course # XCE 6201. Tour reference numbers: 11/11/2015 #11441, 11/25/2015 #11442.

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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Sights and sounds of night tour with Nonie’s Ark Animal EVEntures Nov. 27

nonieTime: 7:30 -9:00 pm

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.

Discover the sights and sounds of nature at night!  Nonie’s Ark Animal Encounters will guide evening Eco-Adventure’s for the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance this summer on Wednesday’s. A minimum of five Eventurers are needed and a maximum of 25. We will meet at some of Walton County’s exceptional biodiverse habitats and explore for elusive creatures such as fox, owls, frogs and especially bats! All are invited but focus is on ages 4-10.  Bring a flashlight or headlamp to light your way & please come properly dressed for heat and ready to repel bugs.

The tours will lead out of various locations throughout Walton County; tours will meet at sites listed on flyers.

Space is limited to 25. Minimum of 5 required. Location(s): TBA

Fee: $15. Course # XRL 6223, date reference 8/12/2015, call, 8/28/2015 #11279, 9/25/2015 #11448, 10/23/2015 #11449, 11/27/2015 #11450

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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