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 ecosystems. 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 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, IOF is prepared to instruct folks of all ages 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 21 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, Inc.

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.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Today marks the 39th anniversary of the tragic death of John Lennon.
His song, Imagine, has inspired all of us to "Live as One." It was also the inspiration behind our name.
We imagine our Florida as our home where we peacefully Live as One with each other, with our wild friends, and within our shared ecosystems.

#imagineourflorida #imagine #iof

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Q0Eyw3l3XM&feature=share
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Imagine Live - John Lennon - 72
John Lennon and Yoko Ono Playing "Imagine" In Madison Square Garden.
youtube.com
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
----Florida Water War History---

Georgia, Florida, and Alabama,have been at war over water from two major river basins. Georgia and Alabama have been battling it out for the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa basin, and all three states are rumbling over the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint basin. The Water Wars have been going on for decades. So what's all the fuss?

Metropolitan areas such as Atlanta have been expanding over the years and they want more water to accommodate expansion. Meanwhile, Alabama uses water for power generators, municipal supply, and recreation. They fear Georgia will limit it's use of water. Florida's Apalachicola Bay has been under ecological stress and needs water to sustain it's shellfish industry.

Florida and Georgia have completed comprehensive water plans. Alabama has still not constructed one. These plans may help balance the water use and is one step closer to ending the decades long water wars. At least we hope so.

#waterwars #Florida #Georgia #Alabama #water
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
--- Saturday Saunter ---
---- Gemini Springs ----

Gemini Springs is a 212-acre park in DeBary, Florida. There are many trails on the outside and on the inside of the park allowing one to fully enjoy the beauty. There are also campsites within the park for primitive camping for a nominal fee. If you have a dog you'd like to bring along too, be sure he/she is on a leash while walking the trails. There is a dog park for them to run with a picnic area inside for the humans.

The trail on the outside of the park is part of the greater trail that goes to Osteen and beyond and is great for walking, jogging, and bike riding. The trails on the inside are for walking and jogging. There is a place to secure your bike. They have a nice playground for the kids and there are pavilions that can be rented for special occasions. There are also many benches and picnic tables around to just enjoy an afternoon of nature.

If you love taking pictures, this is a great place to catch birds, fish, turtles, snakes, gators, other wildlife, and an abundance of beautiful flowers. The oak trees with the hanging moss are magical to see and you just might see a woodpecker.

There are 2 springs inside the park and they are marked with signs. Approximately 6.5 million gallons of sparkling freshwater bubble up from the two springs each day.

Gemini Springs is a beautiful hidden gem in Volusia County with so much to see. So what are you waiting for? Make the short drive and become one with Mother Nature!
- Melanie Lulue - Featured Contributor

For More Information:
https://www.volusia.org/services/community-services/parks-recreation-and-culture/parks-and-trails/park-facilities-and-locations/ecological-nature-parks/gemini-springs-park.stml

Photo Credit: Melanie Lulue

#ImagineOurFlorida #IOF #Gemini Springs #GetOutside
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
--- Dainty Sulphur ---

The Dainty Sulphur, Nathalis iole, with its wingspan of no more than 1 1/4 inch is the smallest Sulphur in the United States They love sunny and dry open areas such as agricultural fields, disturbed areas, and grasslands. You will often find them flitting about in the grass along the side of a road.

Females generally lay a single egg on the upper side of a host plant of Spanish needles or carpetweed. Caterpillars are green with a purple stripe along the back and a pale stripe along the side. They dine at nite on the leaves and flowers of the host plant. In about 23 days, the caterpillar will begin the cocoon stage and emerge 15 days later as a beautiful Dainty Sulpher Butterfly.

Look for Dainty Sulphurs flying just inches above the ground or resting on a flower soaking up the sun.

#ImagineOurFlorida #IOF #DaintySulpher #Butterfly
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
- How to Compost in Bear Country -

Did you know there is a way to compost without enticing bears and other wildlife to your yard for a meal?

Check out IOF's brochure to see how simple it is to make your own compost for your gardens without inviting unwanted guests to dinner.

Special Thanks to Bear Smart Society for help with this brochure.

#ImagineOurFlorida #IOF #compost #BearSmartSociety
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Happy Holidays!

It's the time of year where people across the country go out and buy plants with very exaggerated bracts to enjoy through the winter.

Bracts? Whats a bract?

Great question! A bract is a modified leaf or scale, typically small, with a flower or flower cluster where the leaves meet the stem in the center. Bracts are sometimes larger and more brightly colored than the true flower.

So, do you know what plant everyone is getting now that exhibits this botanical feature? You got it! It's the poinsettia.

The poinsettia's bright, showy leaves are great examples of bracts. When you look at the base of these modified leaves, you can see the small flowers.

There are native species that exhibit the same feature. The sand swamp whitetop produces white bracts to highlight the flowers at their center. They are in bloom in the summer months in damp soils across the state.

As summer turns to fall, dotted horsemint begins to bloom. The purple bracts help draw in pollinators of all kinds to the spotted, white flowers at their center.

So, enjoy all your favorite winter holiday traditions and if a poinsettia is in your plans, enjoy the beauty of the bracts!

Photo Credit: Andy Waldo

#ImagineOurFlorida #IOF #PlantNative #Bracts