Nature

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Gulf coast lupine blooms along South Walton area beaches

Beautiful blue shrub a welcomed sight In the springtime, sand dunes along the beaches in South Walton are dolloped with beautiful blue lupine. The gulf coast lupine (Lupinus westianus) is a native plant and endemic to Northwest Florida. Lupine habitats are sand hills, scrubs and coastal dunes. This particluar perennial shrub is only found in a few counties with Walton fortunate enough to be one of them. The beautiful blue flowers provide a delicate lavender-like scent. Early settlers to the...

Spend a week in nature this June at Camp Longleaf in Freeport

What better way to spend summer camp than exploring the outdoors and nature? The wonderful educators at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center are now offering a weeklong summer overnight camp in Freeport named Camp Longleaf. The camp is designed for children ages 9-14, and is currently enrolling for its three introductory sessions: June 9-14, June 16-21, June 23-28, 2019. Camp Longleaf will incorporate the Biophilia Center’s passion for nature with traditional camp fun and games. “I want to tell our...

Guided plant stroll at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park April 15

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and Master Gardener Bill Kuenstler on April 15, 2019 from 9 – 11 a.m. for a guided plant stroll.  Take a stroll through the park and the campground to explore the plants visible and to see what is in bloom. Due to the popularity of this program during the summer, it will continue this fall on the third Monday of the month. This program is free with regular park admission.  CONTACT: Hallie Oalde  hallie.oalde@dep.state.fl.us A...

Learn about green sea turtle migration at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park April 19

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and the 30A Sea Life Discovery Center to learn about the green sea turtle migration in Florida. The event will be held from 10 – 11 a.m. on Fri., April 19. Topsail Talks is a monthly educational discovery series with presentations from organizations and government agencies from outside the park on the third Friday of the month at 10 am in the clubhouse. Future dates and topics are “Birds and Hurricanes” by Audubon Florida...

Guided plant stroll at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park March 18

UPDATE: Prescribed burns at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park March 18, 19. We recommend not going on plant walk March 18. Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and Master Gardener Bill Kuenstler on March 18, 2019 from 9 – 11 a.m. for a guided plant stroll.  Take a stroll through the park and the campground to explore the plants visible and to see what is in bloom. Due to the popularity of this program during the summer, it will continue...

Sandhill cranes winter in north Walton County

Winter visitors a welcome sight for local bird lovers For the last several years, migrating sandhill cranes have been spending the winter months in north Walton County in Paxton. Foraging in a wetland area and private pasture near Lake Jackson, more than 24 sandhill cranes spend several months in the area every year. Typically migrating in mid-December and staying until mid-March, the cranes are a welcome sight. With a wingspan of 73 inches and standing more than 41 inches tall,...

Turtle workshop in Niceville Feb. 22

Join Mattie M. Kelly Environmental Institute for our Spring Semester 2019 Workshop “Talking Turtles” with presenter Paul Arthur and his special turtle guests. The workshop will take place on Friday, February 22, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. 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. Paul Arthur is the President of Nokuse Education Inc. and Director of the E.O. Wilson Biophilia...

Parking improvements in the works at Ponce De Leon Springs State Park

Feb. 3, 2019 – The popular Ponce De Leon Springs State Park is in the midst of receiving much needed parking improvements. A 100+ space lot is in the works along with a retention pond to prevent run off into the spring area. The new area will also include two oversized spots to accommodate campers/trailers. Completion is expected sometime in May 2019. The park will be changing admittance regulations up a bit once the project is finished as well. Once...