Celebrate Florida in 2013

Little Talbot Island by Shirley Denton

Florida has so many wonderful parks and wild places to visit.

Show your support by visiting a bunch of them this year. The parks are working on slimmer budgets these days so your visits not only help them balance the budgets, but greater use also helps them justify their existence to the budget deciders in the state government. You can also support your state parks by volunteering on a regular basis and also by letting your state representatives know how you feel about our wonderful state parks.

Recently on Facebook, John M. sent us a message:

"Next week two of us from Birmingham Botanical Gardens will be traveling from Birmingham to Lee, FL, then to Florida Caverns State Park, and finally to the Pensacola area to participate in a sarracenia rescue. We are interested in visiting some botanically interesting areas along the way. Might you have any suggestions?
Kind thanks,

Instead of trying to answer the question myself, I posted it to the FNPS page to see what our fans had to say. Here are some of their suggestions:

1) Kristin: Chazhowitska Springs, Rainbow Springs, Blue springs, Everglades Weeki wacki springs and believe it or not, I like to walk around Busch Gardens and observe their plants.

2) Kelly: Wakulla Springs, St Andrew's State Park, Apalachicola River, any one of the hundreds of amazing natural springs in Northwest Florida. Falling water State Park

3) Jerrie: Near the area you will be Torreya State Park and a drive down SR 65 Apalachicola Wildlife and Environmental Area managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. Also along that route the Apalachicola National Forest.

FNPS field trip at Torreya State Park. Read my two-part blog post about it here.
Photo by Ginny Stibolt.

4) Gail: St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla Spings State Park, Apalachicola National Forest

5) Stroppy: Tiger Creek Preserve, The Nature Conservancy, Babson Park

6) Peggy: I purchased year passes for ten family members to Florida State Parks for Christmas. We are so looking forward to family time in our beautiful home state!

7) Sandra: Ocala National Forest

8) Terry: Kanapaha Garden in Gainesville & Paynes Prairie State Park: On the dike there are tons of gators and sandhill canes are in this time of year.

9) Bob: Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

10) Marilu: Hiking at Little Big Econ is a visit to old-time Florida, and Blue Springs to see the manatees.

11) Bill: The Dwarf Cypress swamp in Tate's Hell.

12) Patty-Kay: Silver River State Park. Beautiful and natural.

13) Carole: I'll be at the rescue also. In Gulf Breeze you may enjoy the Naval Live Oaks Reaserve. Here is the link to Florida Birding Trail Guides. Here is a nice trail at Edward Ball NatureTrail. For Ft Pickens here's a guide to Guide to the Flora and Fauna. Close to the rescue area you can visit: Jones Swamp Wetland Preserve and Nature Trail.

Thanks for all the suggestions and we know that there are many more treasures in Florida waiting for your visit and support. The good news is that the pitcher plant rescue where 5,000 of them would have been transplanted was cancelled! A deal was worked out so the land will remain undeveloped. Yay!

So here's to a greener new year! Please help to protect Florida's parks, springs and wildlands. And oh yes, please join FNPS and add an extra donation so we can continue our mission to to promote the preservation, conservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida. Go to www.fnps.org to join today!

Ginny Stibolt

Central Florida live oaks. Photo by Ginny Stibolt


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