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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...

Several Florida species no longer warrant listing

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) completed the final step in reevaluating five Species of Special Concern, one of six key objectives outlined in Florida’s Imperiled Species Management Plan. As a result, several fish and wildlife species no longer warrant listing. Based on thorough scientific review, the FWC determined the harlequin darter, Homosassa shrew, southern fox squirrel and the Monroe County osprey population no longer warrant listing as Species of Special Concern. Through the process, FWC biologists and...

T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park Reopens

• Following significant damage from Hurricane Michael, the park is now open for day use – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service has reopened portions of T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park for day use following the impacts of Hurricane Michael, including the marina and boat ramp area, the park’s south-end trail, as well as limited beach access.  The park experienced significant damage from Hurricane Michael, including downed trees and debris, facility, boardwalk, road and trail...

St. Andrews State Park reopens

PANAMA CITY, Fla. – The Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service has reopened portions of St. Andrews State Park for day use following the impacts of Hurricane Michael, including the boat ramp, gulf pier and 36 camping sites. Additionally, the park’s trails are partially open and a majority of the jetty area. The park experienced significant damage from Hurricane Michael, including downed trees and debris, facility, boardwalk, road and trail damage. Following weeks of clean-up and repair, the park was...