Imagine Our Florida, Inc. 

 

Is on a Mission to Educate and Empower the people of Florida

to become a voice for our wildlife, advocate for environmental stewardship,

and coexist within our unique ecosystems.

Our purpose is to bring people together in a shared vision to preserve and protect Florida’s wildlife, habitat, and ecosystem. We plan to accomplish this via science-based education and the development of appreciation and respect for the natural world and our place within it.

Using our custom designed lesson plans,  IOF volunteers encourage critical thinking through exploration and discovery.  We make it a fun, hands-on experience while showing people of all ages how to put away their phones and connect with Florida’s wildlife and wild spaces. When folks understand the sentient beings with whom we share our state, they learn to respect them, rather than fear them. They begin to realize the importance of the land and water we share. Therefore,  IOF  offers opportunities for beach cleanups and teaches the importance of recycling. For those who want to advocate on behalf of  Florida’s wildlife or natural resources, we are prepared to instruct them on how to be most effective.  In addition, IOF will soon launch groundbreaking research which will provide a better understanding of human caused stress in Florida Black Bears and will potentially lead to the proposal of more responsible wildlife management practices.  There are over 20 million Floridians and 113 million annual visitors, all of whom can become voices for our voiceless wildlife. When each of us does our part, no matter how big or small, we can all begin to Imagine Our Florida where we peacefully coexist with our native wild friends.
Connect. Respect. Coexist.

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Imagine Our Florida
Happy Sunday!-- Good News for a Big Snake --20 Eastern Indigo Snakes just released to begin year two of the north Florida recovery. - The Nature Conservancy  Check back tomorrow to watch video of live release. Read all about it here: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/200a668?reqfrom=share
Happy Sunday!-- Good News for a Big Snake --20 Eastern Indigo Snakes just released to begin year two of the north Florida recovery. - The Nature Conservancy Check back tomorrow to watch video of
-----Foto Friday---------Thread Waisted Wasp----The thread waisted wasp (Ammophila pictipennis) is an ambush predator that will attack small worms, spiders, or other insects.  It carries the prey back to the nest made out of packed dirt and stores it with it's eggs.  When the eggs hatch the larvae feed on the treat left by the mother.  Adults are excellent pollinators and feed on the nectar from flowering plants, such as this firebush, or from small insects including those pesky aphids.  They are relatively docile but if they feel threatened will attack defensively.  However, they would much rather save their energy for something they can eat.  What is your favorite native pollinator?  Let us know in the comments.
-----Foto Friday---------Thread Waisted Wasp----The thread waisted wasp (Ammophila pictipennis) is an ambush predator that will attack small worms, spiders, or other insects. It carries the prey
-----Foto Friday---------Thread Waisted Wasp----The thread waisted wasp (Ammophila pictipennis) is an ambush predator that will attack small worms, spiders, or other insects.  It carries the prey back to the nest made out of packed dirt and stores it with it's eggs.  When the eggs hatch the larvae feed on the treat left by the mother.  Adults are excellent pollinators and feed on the nectar from flowering plants, such as this firebush, or from small insects including those pesky aphids.  They are relatively docile but if they feel threatened will attack defensively.  However, they would much rather save their energy for something they can eat.  What is your favorite native pollinator?  Let us know in the comments.
-----Foto Friday---------Thread Waisted Wasp----The thread waisted wasp (Ammophila pictipennis) is an ambush predator that will attack small worms, spiders, or other insects. It carries the prey
-----Foto Friday---------Thread Waisted Wasp----The thread waisted wasp (Ammophila pictipennis) is an ambush predator that will attack small worms, spiders, or other insects.  It carries the prey back to the nest made out of packed dirt and stores it with it's eggs.  When the eggs hatch the larvae feed on the treat left by the mother.  Adults are excellent pollinators and feed on the nectar from flowering plants, such as this firebush, or from small insects including those pesky aphids.  They are relatively docile but if they feel threatened will attack defensively.  However, they would much rather save their energy for something they can eat.  What is your favorite native pollinator?  Let us know in the comments.
-----Foto Friday---------Thread Waisted Wasp----The thread waisted wasp (Ammophila pictipennis) is an ambush predator that will attack small worms, spiders, or other insects. It carries the prey
-- Conservation Begins in Your Yard --Did you know that wetlands are Nature's storm systems? Wetlands once covered 1/2 of our state. To make room for people, many were drained and communities were built complete with man-made storm systems. Today, through our carelessness, we continue to pollute our most valuable resource. Learn about storm drains and how things like soap, fertilizer, and even pet poop pollute our waters. https://www.sjrwmd.com/static/education/Stormwater-systems-info-sheet.pdfThank you St. Johns River Water Management District for this Educational PDF.
-- Conservation Begins in Your Yard --Did you know that wetlands are Nature's storm systems? Wetlands once covered 1/2 of our state. To make room for people, many were drained and communities were
Deer enjoying fresh nutrient-rich sprouts while the fire is still smoldering.
Deer enjoying fresh nutrient-rich sprouts while the fire is still smoldering.
Hypoxis juncea sprouting in only 3 weeks post burn!
Hypoxis juncea sprouting in only 3 weeks post burn!
Turkey and Dear enjoying a meal together.
Turkey and Dear enjoying a meal together.
Note the charred tree in this Longleaf Pine area. It's amazing to see the understory this green so soon after the fire.
Note the charred tree in this Longleaf Pine area. It's amazing to see the understory this green so soon after the fire.
Lush green in only 3 months post burn. Nature is amazing!
Lush green in only 3 months post burn. Nature is amazing!
Newly sprouted Queen's Delight (Stillingia Sylvatica)
Newly sprouted Queen's Delight (Stillingia Sylvatica)
Wild Turkey walking thru a recently burned area of longleaf pine with wiregrass understory.
Wild Turkey walking thru a recently burned area of longleaf pine with wiregrass understory.
TUESDAY TRIVIAWe all know that a baby bear is called a cub.What are baby Manatees, baby Gopher Tortoises, and baby Florida Panthers called?The answers will be revealed tonight.
TUESDAY TRIVIAWe all know that a baby bear is called a cub.What are baby Manatees, baby Gopher Tortoises, and baby Florida Panthers called?The answers will be revealed tonight.
- Press Release from FDEP - Endangered SNAIL KITE is NESTINGat Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park~Sighting of rare species sparks interest among scientists, bird-watchers~Read all about it here: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLDEP/bulletins/1f8c14f
- Press Release from FDEP - Endangered SNAIL KITE is NESTINGat Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park~Sighting of rare species sparks interest among scientists, bird-watchers~Read all about it here:
-----Year to Date Progress-----We have come quite a way since our first year.  This map shows all the locations we have reached so far this year.  It has been through the help of our generous donors and dedicated volunteers that we have made so much progress.  We still have our upcoming fall events.  If you would like to help volunteer by teaching one of our science based lesson plans at an event, writing grants, being a guest writer, contributing artwork, or collaborating on creative projects, contact us today.  If you  would like to help organize a fundraiser in your area we would love to have you on board.  If you want to help us reach more people, donations help to pay for supplies and vendor space.  Do you own a business?  Consider being a sponsor.  If you can't help in any of these ways we certainly appreciate you following us through social media or our newsletter.  With everyone's help we can build a community that strives to protect our wildlife, natural resources, and land.
-----Year to Date Progress-----We have come quite a way since our first year. This map shows all the locations we have reached so far this year. It has been through the help of our generous
-----Artificial Reefs Part 5: Putting Retired Oil Platforms to Good Use----EcoRigs addresses the estimated loss of 1/3 of the 3,600 fuel platforms in the next 5 years.  While demolition might be the first thought for many, this research study addresses how these platforms become thriving marine communities as coral and other organisms make these rigs their home.  Suggestions including using the rigs for wind and hydropower, salinity gradients for electric energy, tourism, and isolation of greenhouse gases.  Keeping these structures can help facilitate the movement towards green energy while retaining the developed reefs that call these rigs home.http://www.ecorigs.org/EcoRigs%20Platform%20Removal%20Brief.pdf  #coral #reefs #artificialreefs #gulfofmexico #oilrigs #oilplatforms #Florida
-----Artificial Reefs Part 5: Putting Retired Oil Platforms to Good Use----EcoRigs addresses the estimated loss of 1/3 of the 3,600 fuel platforms in the next 5 years. While demolition might be
Do you ever wonder what IOF does with your donations and profits from our sales of t-shirts and merchandise? Dan here, your treasurer. Great news! Over 95% of donations that come in go right back out to what is necessary for our educational programs and what is needed for teaching materials, displays, hands-on items, and promotions of educational content. While we need funds to take care of our soon to be adopted non-releasable gopher tortoise ambassador,  research project, and eventually an educational center, everything we do remains true to our mission - TO EDUCATE AND EMPOWER THE PEOPLE OF FLORIDA TO BECOME A VOICE FOR OUR WILDLIFE, ADVOCATE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP, AND COEXIST WITHIN OUR UNIQUE ECOSYSTEMS.Imagine Our Florida, Inc. like most credible non-nonprofits, has an open book policy. Every year we will publish an annual report. IOF is proud to have achieved the Gold Seal of Transparency with Guide Star. We thank all of you, our donors, sponsors, and all of our future donors. Without you, it would not be possible to teach people to connect, respect and coexist with our wildlife and within their ecosystems.
Do you ever wonder what IOF does with your donations and profits from our sales of t-shirts and merchandise? Dan here, your treasurer. Great news! Over 95% of donations that come in go right back out
------ Monarch Butterfly on Milkweed ------  The Monarch Butterfly population is in trouble due to loss of habitat, pesticides, and climate change. As the only butterfly who migrates, a single Monarch can travel hundreds to thousands of miles. Monarchs are born with an internal compass that guides them on their migration.  Each year, three to five generations will be born. A Monarch's lifespan is 6 - 8 months but will live only 2-6 weeks as a butterfly.------ You can Make a Difference -----Plant native milkweed and nectar plants that have been grown organically.Milkweed contains glycoside toxins that are harmless to the Monarchs but is poisonous to its predators. ----- Conservation Begins in Your Backyard ------
------ Monarch Butterfly on Milkweed ------ The Monarch Butterfly population is in trouble due to loss of habitat, pesticides, and climate change. As the only butterfly who migrates, a single
A full-grown male skink whose stripes have faded and the head is a bright red color.
A full-grown male skink whose stripes have faded and the head is a bright red color.
The eggs look painfully larger than the young skink next to them. Don't worry. They are much smaller when laid. The eggs start out small but will swell with water.
The eggs look painfully larger than the young skink next to them. Don't worry. They are much smaller when laid. The eggs start out small but will swell with water.
Tthe vibrant color of the newborn skink. Newborns are about 4 cm in length
Tthe vibrant color of the newborn skink. Newborns are about 4 cm in length
This skink has just entered adulthood. The bright coloring has faded leaving just the black and yellow stripes.   The females will retain this appearance throughout their lives.
This skink has just entered adulthood. The bright coloring has faded leaving just the black and yellow stripes. The females will retain this appearance throughout their lives.
To All of you Papa Bears, Protectors of our Environment, Teachers of Coexistence, Animal Activists, and you who Work to Preserve our Natural Treasures for future generations -Thank You. YOU are making a Difference.🐻  Happy Father's Day!   <3💦🗣️🐾☀️🕶️🐢🌴
To All of you Papa Bears, Protectors of our Environment, Teachers of Coexistence, Animal Activists, and you who Work to Preserve our Natural Treasures for future generations -Thank You. YOU are
Happy National Rivers MonthGet out this weekend and celebrate on your favorite river.  Rent a kayak or canoe or take a river cruise. Imagine how all of the people who came before us relied on the river. Imagine the wildlife who will stop by for a cool bath or to quench their thirst. Imagine if all the people respected the rivers and treated them as vital treasures for all living plants and animals.Share in the comments one of your favorite experiences with your favorite river.
Happy National Rivers MonthGet out this weekend and celebrate on your favorite river. Rent a kayak or canoe or take a river cruise. Imagine how all of the people who came before us relied on the
It's Foto Friday.This Florida Softshell Turtle, aka. Apalone ferox, made her way into a human neighborhood. Softshell Turtles will lay their eggs under the edge of a driveway or sidewalk. The sun will warm the concrete and keep her eggs warm until they hatch. If you see a Softshell Turtle in your neighborhood, just give her space and she will make her way back to the pond here she akes her home.Softshell Turtles usually eat snails and small fish but have been known to eat waterfowl such as ducks and small herons. Florida Softshell turtles will hide in the sand at the bottom of lakes and streams and ambush passing schools of fish for lunch or dinner. Softshells take 10 years to reach full maturity. They play a role as predator and scavenger.  Animals who prey on these turtles are raccoons, bears, other turtles, skunks, snakes, eagles, otters, armadillos, and alligators.  Their biggest predators are human.
It's Foto Friday.This Florida Softshell Turtle, aka. Apalone ferox, made her way into a human neighborhood. Softshell Turtles will lay their eggs under the edge of a driveway or sidewalk. The sun
To our new followers, Welcome to Imagine Our Florida. Here you will discover places to go, things to do, and learn science-based facts about our wild friends and the ecosystems we share with them. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved. Whether you volunteer at an event, contribute to our social media, host a fundraiser, advocate on behalf of Florida wildlife or their wild spaces, or simply share your knowledge with your friends and family, know you are making a difference. Watch for our daily posts.  We will explore Natural Florida together and discover the wonders of nature and unique ecosystems right here in our own home state. We are happy to have you on our team. :-)
To our new followers, Welcome to Imagine Our Florida. Here you will discover places to go, things to do, and learn science-based facts about our wild friends and the ecosystems we share with them.
------- Injured Bear Relocated ----Recently, what is likely a well-known
------- Injured Bear Relocated ----Recently, what is likely a well-known "neighborhood" bear appeared to have been struck by a vehicle in one of the several Longwood subdivisions in Seminole County
---- World Oceans Day  ----It's hard to believe that our magnificent, powerful, and vital oceans are so incredibly polluted with plastic. We are to blame. World Oceans Day is the day to commit to eliminating single-use plastics.Keep reusable shopping bags in your car. Carry a metal straw and reusable silverware to restaurants. Get yourself a refillable water bottle. It's the small things that make a big difference.
---- World Oceans Day ----It's hard to believe that our magnificent, powerful, and vital oceans are so incredibly polluted with plastic. We are to blame. World Oceans Day is the day to commit to
----When Criminals Disrupt Conservation----Rules are in place for a reason.  Limitations of fish catch are established to reduce the chance of species degradation.  Some animals, such as the spiny lobster play an excellent role in their ecosystem as a predator. Preventing over fishing of these lobsters ensures there is food for their natural predators who otherwise would begin to consume a larger number of other species. We need to abide by these laws to ensure our ecosystems stay healthy.  #spinylobster #lobster #wildlife #illegal https://buff.ly/2spHFRk
----When Criminals Disrupt Conservation----Rules are in place for a reason. Limitations of fish catch are established to reduce the chance of species degradation. Some animals, such as the spiny