Nature

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South Walton sea turtle nesting season May 1 – October 31

 Sea turtles are among the oldest creatures on earth, and have remained essentially unchanged for 110 million years. However, they face an uncertain future. Illegal harvesting, habitat encroachment, and pollution (physical and light) are only some of the issues sea turtles face as the beautiful creatures struggle to survive. Each year from May – October, there are four species of Florida sea turtles that nest along the beach in South Walton County – Loggerhead, Green, Leatherback and Kemps Ridley. Each...

Gulf coast lupine blooms along South Walton area beaches

Beautiful blue shrub a welcome 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...

Explore Blue Spring recreation area along Econfina Creek

Located approximately 1.5 miles north of State Road 20 and accessed off Blue Springs Road North in Youngstown, the Blue Spring recreation area on Econfina Creek has several new features. Recently restructured after a devastating Hurricane Michael, the recreation area now consists of an ADA-compliant ramp and stair access to the spring, an overlook deck of the spring vent, and a pedestrian bridge overlooking a separate karst feature. Visitors can also enjoy picnic pavilions, a pedestal grill, fire ring, and...

Ranger led nature hike at Camp Helen State Park May 6

Enjoy a ranger-led nature hike at Camp Helen State Park on Thursday, May 6, from 10 – 11 a.m. You will access the user-friendly trail system, learning about the flora and fauna found within the park and the larger ecosystem of the Florida Panhandle. This hike is great for all experience levels and requires moderate endurance. Meet at the visitor center. The Oak Canopy and North Trails have a combination of paved, sand and packed-earth terrain. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes,...

Ranger led nature hike at Camp Helen State Park April 1

Enjoy a ranger-led nature hike at Camp Helen State Park on Thursday, April 1, from 10 – 11 a.m. You will access the user-friendly trail system, learning about the flora and fauna found within the park and the larger ecosystem of the Florida Panhandle. This hike is great for all experience levels and requires moderate endurance. Meet at the visitor center. The Oak Canopy and North Trails have a combination of paved, sand and packed-earth terrain. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes,...

FWC offers tips to help people and pets safely co-exist with alligators 

Warm spring weather means Florida’s state reptile – the American alligator – becomes more active and visible. It’s also a popular time of year for people to enjoy the outdoors with their pets. To help keep people and pets safer when spending time near the water, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is introducing a new graphic outlining important safety tips. “We wanted to produce a tool with easy-to-remember advice that people could easily share with their friends...

Ranger-led nature hike at Camp Helen State Park March 4

Enjoy a ranger-led nature hike at Camp Helen State Park on Thursday, March 4 from 10 – 11 a.m. You will access the user-friendly trail system, learning about the flora and fauna found within the park and the larger ecosystem of the Florida Panhandle. This hike is great for all experience levels and requires moderate endurance. Meet at the visitor center. The Oak Canopy and North Trails have a combination of paved, sand and packed-earth terrain. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes,...