Friday, May 31, 2013

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Florida Department of Environmental ProtectionMay 31, 2013 Newsletter

Celebrate National Trails Day Tomorrow, June 1
Join in the fun on a trail near you!
Two people hike at Alafia River State Park.
Two people hike at Alafia River State Park.
Celebrate National Trails Day tomorrow, Saturday, June 1. National Trails Day occurs annually on the first Saturday in June to celebrate America’s trails system. Showcasing the importance of trails in the United States, National Trails Day will feature a variety of outdoor activities across the country including: hikes, biking, horseback rides, trail running, paddling trips, bird-watching, gear demonstrations, stewardship projects and more. "National Trails Day offers an opportunity to explore Florida's natural treasures," said Donald Forgione, Director of the Florida Park Service. "Whether you hike, bicycle, ride a horse or paddle a kayak, you'll find a state park or state trail within an hour of where you live in Florida." The American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day was formed by trail advocates, outdoor industry leaders and political bodies in an effort to demonstrate their dedication and support to the National Trails System. Currently the country’s largest annual celebration of trails, National Trails Day offers individuals, clubs and organizations an opportunity to share their love of trails with their communities and loved ones. In Florida, numerous National Trails Day activities will be hosted around the state. Events on Saturday, June 1
  • National Trails Day Hike at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, 10 a.m. in Palm Coast
  • National Trails Day River Walk at O’Leno State Park, 10 a.m. in High Springs
  • National Trails Day Hike at Silver River State Park, 8 a.m. in Ocala
  • Celebrate National Trails Day Summer Plant Walk at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, 9 to 11 a.m. south of Gainesville
  • National Trails Day 2013 at Grayton Beach State Park, 9 to 11 a.m. in Grayton Beach
  • Ranger-Guided Dune Walk at Fort Pierce Inlet State Park, 11 a.m. in Fort Pierce
  • Connect with Nature during Great Outdoors Month
    Boating, fishing, camping and picnicking are popular outdoor activities for connecting with nature.
    Swimming at Wekiwa Springs State Park.
    Swimming at Wekiwa Springs State Park.
    Florida's Governor Rick Scott has proclaimed June as Great Outdoors Month. Join us as we celebrate the rich blessings of our state's natural beauty and learn about the wonders of the state's landscapes through fishing, biking and walking in nature.
    "June is a wonderful time to explore Florida's natural treasures," said Florida Park Service Director Donald Forgione, "Now that young people are out of school for the summer, parents have the opportunity to take them outdoors to enjoy fresh air, sunshine and recreation."
    In Florida, enjoy these special events in June:
    Northwest Florida
  • June 4 at 1:15 p.m. - Campbell Lake Canoe Trip at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, Santa Rosa Beach
  • Saturday, June 29 at sunset - Evening Under the Stars at Big Lagoon State Park, Pensacola
  • Northeast Florida
  • Saturday, June 8 and June 9 - three Geocaching challenges at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, south of Gainesville
  • Saturday, June 29 at 2 p.m. - Lawn Games at Fort George Island Cultural State Park, Jacksonville
  • Central Florida
  • Saturday, June 1 - 20th Annual Beach Bash at Anastasia State Park, St. Augustine
  • Saturday, June 8 - Youth Fishing Tournament at Colt Creek State Park, Lakeland
  • Saturday, June 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Battle of Bloody Mose Living History Program at Fort Mose Historic State Park, St. Augustine
  • Southwest Florida
  • Saturday, June 8 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Yoga, scavenger hunt, canoe tours and art at Little Manatee River State Park, Wimauma
  • Sunday, June 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Learn how to use a compass at Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey
  • South Florida
  • Sunday, June 2 at 10 a.m. - Learn to Kayak at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, North Palm Beach
  • Sunday, June 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Photography Class at Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Hobe Sound
  • Whether you prefer hiking, fishing, canoeing or sitting under a shade tree, Florida's state parks have the perfect place to explore Florida's great outdoors.
    VIVA Florida 500! History Lessons Continue
    Commemorate 500 Years of Florida History at a Florida State Park
    Reenacting the Battle of Bloody Mose.
    Reenacting the Battle of Bloody Mose.
    Throughout 2013, Florida's state parks have joined with the Florida Department of State to commemorate 500 years of Florida's rich heritage and diverse cultural history. You are invited to join us for first-hand experiences of the eras and events that shaped our past.
    The reenactment of the Battle of Bloody Mose will take place Saturday, June 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fort Mose Historic State Park in St. Augustine. This event presents the struggles and successes of the first free African settlement in what is now the United States.
    The Birth Place of Freedom, a lecture series, will be offered twice during June in St. Augustine. Join us on Wednesday, June 19 at 7 p.m. at the in the Flagler Room at Flagler College. Actor and Playwright James Bullock will present two one-person dramatizations entitled "Two 16th Century African Heroes of the Exploration of the New World." In the first dramatization, Bullock will portray Juan Garrido. The setting for this dramatization is Mexico City where Juan is writing a letter to the King of Spain asking for a pension in recognition for his years of loyal service to Spain and the Crown in its exploration of Cuba and Florida. After a brief intermission, Bullock will return as Francisco Menendez, who was instrumental in the establishment of Fort Mose in 1738. The setting for this portrayal is Havana, Cuba, after 1763 where Menendez is living in exile after the British takeover of Florida. Menendez will be reflecting on his life as a slave, freedman, leader of Fort Mose, the Siege of 1740, the Battle of Bloody Mose and the terrible impact of the British take-over on free and enslaved Africans living in Spanish Florida.
    Also join us on Wednesday, June 26 at 7 p.m. in the Flagler Room at Flagler College. Dr. Sherry Johnson, Associate Professor of History and Director of Academic Programs, Florida International University, will give a presentation on the Presidio of San Agustin - the role of this Spanish military town in the 18th century under increased pressure from the expanding British colonies to the north and pressure by British colonists blocked from western expansion to move south into Spanish Florida.
    This lecture series is sponsored by the Fort Mose Historical Society and funded by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council. The lecture series is also co-sponsored by Florida Living History, Inc., Florida Historical Society, España-Florida Foundation, St. Augustine Historical Society and the Flagler County Historical Society.
    Fort Mose Historic State Park is now officially part of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, that stretches from Wilmington, N.C. to St. Augustine. This connection honors those in the African-American community who made their way to Florida with a promise of freedom.
    Several state parks are hosting special events with a historic focus in June:
  • Saturday, June 1 at 10 a.m., Camp Helen History Tour at Camp Helen State Park in Panama City Beach
  • Saturday, June 1, First Weekend Union Garrison and Candlelight Viewing at Fort Clinch State Park in Fernandina Beach.
  • Friday, June 7 at 9:30 a.m., The Palm & People at Don Pedro Island State Park in Boca Grande
  • Saturday, June 8 at 9 a.m., A Historic Caching Event (Geocaching) at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in Micanopy
  • Sunday, June 9 at 9 a.m., Bartram Challenge - A New Mystery Cache at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in Micanopy
    Florida’s state parks and trails have joined the Florida Department of State in commemorating 500 years of Florida history throughout 2013. This significant milestone marks the anniversary of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon’s landing on the east coast of a mysterious land – a land he named La Florida.
    Join us throughout 2013 as we commemorate Florida's rich heritage and the events that have shaped the state.
    Summer Camps at Florida State Parks
    Upcoming Special Events
    Other Important News
      Mobile App for Smartphones Plan your state park adventures using the new Pocket Ranger® app for your smartphone.The FREE Florida State Parks Pocket Ranger® mobile app is available now on iTunes, Android Market and

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