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Learn about WWII and its connection to South Walton at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Jan. 12

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and the Coffeen Nature Preserve on January 12, 2018 from 10 – 11 a.m. Come learn about the connection between Coffeen Nature Preserve, Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and WWII. This program is free with regular park admission. Topsail Talks is a monthly educational discovery series with presentations from organizations and government agencies from outside the park. Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is located at 7525 W. Scenic Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida...

Recycle your old Christmas tree

Don’t let your Christmas tree go to waste, recycle it! Waste Management will pick up your old tree at the curb on your designated yard debris pick up day.  Waste Management asks that any tree taller than 6 ft. be cut in half. The trees will be transported to the Walton County landfill, then processed on their chipper. Mulch should be available in January to county residents. For those that do not have garbage pick up, the County is accepting...

Walton County moves forward with plans for bay side park, public workshops Jan. 11 and 18

On Nov. 28, 2017 the Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) discussed preliminary plans for the 6 ½ acre bay side park located at Bay Grove Road and U.S. Hwy. 331 in Freeport. Before final plans are approved, the Walton County Public Works Department will hold public workshops on Thursday, January 11, 2018 and Thursday, January 18, 2018 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at Freeport City Hall, 112 Highway 20 West, Freeport. The purpose of these workshops are to...

The swallow-tailed kite: Graceful raptors of our wetlands

Florida’s birding trail symbol is often spotted gliding around Walton County The swallow-tailed kite is a snack-food junkie if ever there was one. It spends most of the day aloft, eating on the run – catching bugs and eating them in one swoop, then circling and diving to devour another. Elanoides forficatus is also an energy miser. The kite uses thermal uplifts and winds to spend the day gliding, merely flipping one side of its forked tail to change direction....

Beautiful railroad vines help protect South Walton beaches

Beautiful plant strengthens sand dunes Always a pleasant sight along South Walton’s beaches, the beautiful blooming railroad vine is also an important protector of our sand dunes. As with the sea oats, the plant helps to stabilize the dunes by rooting at nodes all along its length, and is often planted for that purpose. Each flower opens only once, in the morning, but keep blooming almost all year long, peaking from May through November. The railroad vine (Ipomoea pes-caprae) is...

Freeport resident restoring historic home

A historic home in Freeport will soon be brought back to life after many years of neglect. Local resident, and new owner of the home, Kevin Bloom has big plans for the Queen Anne style home built in the late 1800s. Bloom drove by the deteriorating home located on North Street many times over the years, never giving it a second look. That is, until one day he spotted it up for auction online. He called his realtor and was...

Thomas Pilcher Park along Clyde B. Wells Bridge now open

The Thomas Pilcher Park along the Clyde B. Wells Bridge (U.S. Hwy. 331) is now open. Amenities of the park include: • 380 ft. fishing pier • Four boat ramps • Five 55 ft. docks along the boat ramps • Two 24’ x 24’ picnic shelters • Restrooms • Fishing platforms • Scenic overlooks • Western scenic walkway/bike path • Parking for 21 boat trailers and 69 spaces for other vehicles • ADA access The park is named after Thomas...

Portuguese man-of-war can pack a powerful punch

Don’t touch or come in contact with the blue “bubbles” that wash on shore Many interesting things wash ashore along the beaches of South Walton. Often we find interesting creatures within the beach wrack and the tide often washes in beautiful seashells. However, there is one creature, the Portuguese Man o’ War (Physalia physalis), also known as man-of-war, or bluebottle that is not a fun critter to come in contact with. Although spectacular to behold with its blue “bubble,” it...

U.S. Hwy. 331 from Choctawhatchee Bay Bridge to State Road 20 slated to open July 6

The U.S. 331 widening project between the Choctawhatchee Relief Bay Bridge and State Road 20 in Walton County will reach a milestone on Wednesday, July 6 when all four lanes of traffic will be open to drivers. Work to widen 4.6 miles of the roadway from two to four lanes began fall 2012 and is scheduled to be complete late summer 2016. Motorists can expect intermittent lane closures as crews complete punch list items. Construction activities are weather dependent and...