The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) of Northwest Florida State College announces the spring 2016 session of its award winning eco-tourism initiative, Discover Roads Less Traveled: Eco-Adventures of Walton County.
Led by local experts and professional naturalists, Discover Roads Less Traveled offers visitors and local residents opportunities to explore, discover and experience the diverse natural resources that make Walton County so unique.
The eco-adventure schedule offers a range of activities for both tourists and locals alike. For more information about the 2016 spring eco-adventure schedule, including individual tour descriptions, please visit www.basinalliance.org and click the “Eco-Tours” link. Registration is available by phone at 850-200-4160, or walk-in at the South Walton Campus of Northwest Florida State College, 109 Greenway Trail, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.
Historical tour and hike of Coffeen Nature Preserve March 9, 26, April 13, 30, and May 4
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.
Take a guided tour of wet prairies and rare plants in the Point Washington State Forest April 16
You 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.
For more information, contact 850-200-4171 or visit our website at http://www.basinalliance.org/
Tour of the Choctawhatchee River and Morrison Springs April 22
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.