Nature

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Guided kayak tour at Camp Helen State Park Aug. 9

Join Camp Helen State Park on Thursday, Aug. 9 from 9 – 11 a.m. for a leisurely 90-minute paddle on Lake Powell, one of the world’s largest Coastal Dune Lakes. Learn about the history, natural communities and wildlife that make this Outstanding Florida Water so unique and important. This guided kayak tour will be enjoyable for individuals, families and groups. All levels of experience are welcome. Space is limited. Advanced reservations are required to participate and can be done by...

E.O. Wilson Biophilia Nature Center open to public this summer

The E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center will be open on Thursdays and Fridays in June and July. The hours are 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. General admission pricing: $8.00 for an Adult, $5.00 for a Child (3-12) FREE for anyone 2 and under. The Center will also be open for summer day and week camps. For schedule of events available online, go to www.eowilsoncenter.org E.O.Wilson Biophilia Center 4956 State Hwy 20 East Freeport, Florida 32459 850-835-1824...

Sea turtle season in South Walton runs May 1 – October 31

South Walton Turtle Watch watches over our nesting sea turtles According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 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 stay alive. Each year from May – October, there are four species of Florida...

Guided kayak tour of Rocky Bayou April 20

Date: Friday April 20th, Time: 9:00a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Join a Park Ranger for a unique opportunity to paddle Rocky Bayou. The paddle will go along the shoreline of Rocky Bayou to Rocky Creek and back to the park. Rocky Bayou is a fresh to brackish water system supporting a large variety of fish and shellfish, including the federally endangered Okaloosa darter. Osprey and bald eagles are known to nest within the area. Osprey in particular are often sighted by...

Stargazing at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park April 6

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and the Northwest Florida Astronomy Association for an evening of viewing the sun, moon and stars through telescopes on April 6, 2018 from 4 – 9:30 p.m.  Solar telescopes will be out until the sun sets for you to safely view the sun. Then the astronomy association will switch telescopes and assist you in viewing any constellations, planets and other celestial objects that are visible. The program is weather dependent, and a decision is made...

New trail offerings at Ponce de Leon Springs State Park

Ponce de Leon Springs State Park now offers four miles of trail opportunities in their previously undeveloped southern section of the park. In addition to the popular spring area, the park has converted their service roads, which spans approximately four miles. This portion of the park offers scenic views of upland, bottomland, and wetland areas. The trail is moderate terrain and suitable for hiking or biking. Recently burned in March 2018, new wiregrass and vegetation are reappearing in abundance. Along...

Red sorrel a common plant across Northwest Florida

Ever wonder what the red blooming plants are along our roadways and pastures right now? It’s called Red Sorrel (Rumex acetosella). It also goes by many common names. Area residents call it Indian grass or Indian cane, and many chewed the plant as a child. Across the U.S. it goes by many other names such as sheep’s sorrel, field sorrel, surette, horse sorrel, sour-weed, sour-grass, cow sorrel, red-weed, mountain sorrel, cuckoo-bread, gentleman’s sorrel, green-sauce, ranty-tanty, sour dock, toad’s sorrel. Red...

FWC provides tips for living with alligators

The American alligator is a conservation success story. Florida has a healthy and stable alligator population, which is estimated at 1.3 million and consists of alligators of every size. They are an important part of Florida’s ecosystem, but should be regarded with caution and respect. During spring when temperatures rise, alligators become more active. Although alligator incidents are rare, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recommends taking precautions when having fun in and around the water. Alligators inhabit...

Estuary Festival at Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park April 14

The 11th Annual Family Estuary Festival, a family and community event for all ages, will be held Saturday, April 14th from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park, located at 4281 Highway 20 East in Niceville. The park entrance fees do apply but the festival is free which offers fun activities, hand-on displays and environmental awareness. The event is hosted by the Mattie M. Kelly Cultural & Environmental Institute at Northwest Florida State College, with...