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.

guidestar gold seal

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.

Upcoming events

  • 30 Mar 2019

    Natures Classroom Open House

    Imagine Our Florida, inc. will be one of many educational presenters at Nature’s Classroom’s Open House event. Come enjoy the…
  • 06 Apr 2019

    Explore Outdoors Winter Springs Arbor Day 2019

    Local Outdoor Recreation • Arbor Education • Live Entertainment • FREE Kid’s Activities • Food & Beverage Vendors!
  • 13 Apr 2019

    Ecofest Earthday Tampa Bay 2019

    EcoFest – Celebrates Earth Day Tampa Bay 2019 is a community event dedicated to the principles of sustainability – Ecology,…
  • 27 Apr 2019

    2019 Deland Water festival

    This free event will have many vendors and educational opportunities for people of all ages. The Water Festival is a fun and unique…

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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.
--- Roseate Spoonbill ( Ajaia ajaja) ---
The Roseate Spoonbill is a dramatic comeback bird. Plume hunters had reduced the bird to just 25 in 1901. With the banning of the plume-hunting trade, Florida set a national example for preservation. By the late 1970s, there were nearly 1300 nests.

This is an elegant, rose-colored, wading bird with a shovel-like beak. Spoonbills can be found in mangrove swamps, tidal ponds, and saltwater lagoons or other sources of brackish water. The bird is 30 to 36 inches tall with a wingspread approaching 3 to 4 feet. Spoonbills have a white neck with pink or rose feathers covering much of its body. The feathers on their wings are bright red to magenta depending on the age of the bird. The legs are pinkish red. The irises of the eyes of adult birds are bright red.

A Spoonbill's most distinctive feature is the greenish-gray, spoon-shaped beak. On the beak, the nostrils are located near the head, allowing the bird to breathe even with much of its beak underwater. Water must be present for feeding because they can not feed on land. They open their beaks slightly and begin to swing their heads back and forth in the water. This creates small whirlpools and the vibrations of escaping prey are felt by sensors in the beak. The beak then snaps shut, not allowing the prey to escape. Their prey includes shrimp, crawfish, small fish, insects, and other small mammals. Their red color comes from the red algae ingested along with the crustaceans.

Males are slightly larger than females but their coloration is identical. March through June is mating season. Spoonbills form mating pairs for the season but not for life. Females attract males by shaking branches with their beaks. The male approaches while nodding his head and attempts to perch next to her. Six days after mating, 2 to 4 eggs are deposited in the nest. Both male and female help incubate the nest and feed the young. The young Spoonbills leave the nest at 8 weeks. They reach maturity at 3 years.

“How can hope be denied when there is always the possibility of an American flamingo or a roseate spoonbill floating down from the sky like pink rose petals?”
Quote -Terry Tempest Williams

Photo credit -Dan Kon
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
!! -- Explore the State. Share your Photos. Imagine Our Florida -- !!

Built to serve as an "Eco-Insta" we invite you to share your photos of plants, animals, insects, landscapes, ecosystems and more with the Get Outside Discovery Center web application.

Exploring the Get Outside Discovery Center
1. Open the app http://bit.ly/IOF-Get-Outside-App
2. Close the Splash Screen by clicking "Ok"
3. Navigate the Map using the tools provided
4. Click on points in the map to view what was found there
5. Share the discovery with your friends and family

Sharing in the Get Outside Discovery Center
1. Get Outside to your backyard, local park, wildlife refuge, etc..
2. Take Photos of Florida with your phone or camera.
3. Open the Submission Form http://bit.ly/IOF-Get-Outside-Submit
4. Enter as much information as possible and about where you took the photo (you can use the locate me button on your smartphone device if you'd like)
5. Share the discovery and the app with your friends and family
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.Imagine Our Florida, Inc. shared a post.
These beautiful butterflies are another reason to plant Native Milkweed.
Watch for our next Tuesday Trivia post for your chance to win a packet of native milkweed seeds.
From our friends at the Cuplet Fern Chapter
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
----- O2B Kids ------

IOF Directors Andy, Dan, and Nancy had so much fun teaching the after school kids at O2B Kids about gopher tortoises, the ecosystems they make their homes in, and the friends they share their burrow with.

The children learned about the animals in a Longleaf pine forest and what they eat for dinner. They learned about the interdependence between the forest and the bears. Of course, they learned the importance of poop!

Slow Mama was the star of the show. She did a wonderful job meeting 112 kids and their teachers while showing the kids how they can coexist with gopher tortoises and other wild animals.

Connect. Respect. Coexist.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
--- World Frog Day ---

The Little Grass Frog (Pseudacris ocularis), is the smallest of frogs, they are 1/2 an inch long. They range in color from light beige to dark brown and tan. They have dark eye strips extending along the side of the body, and thin white strips above the lip and below the eye. They have tiny pads with slightly webbed toes. Despite its size, The Little Grass Frog can jump 20 times their body length.

The Little Grass Frog will lay between 1 to 25 creamy brown eggs on vegetation or submerged debris. The eggs hatch in less than 2 days. The metamorphosis happens in 10 days from tadpole to frog.

This frog can be found in wet prairies and flooded grassy meadows. They are active during the day climbing among the grasses.

The Little Grass Frog has a high pitched chirp which is difficult to hear. If you hear the chirping it is usually at night when the humidity is high or during rain and is coming from grassy areas.
To hear the Little Grass Frog call go to:
https://srelherp.uga.edu/anurans/sounds/pseocu.mp3
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
--- Agatized Coral ---
Agatized Coral (Cnidaria anthozoa) is Florida's state stone. The Florida legislature designated it the state stone in 1979.
Coral is the limy outside skeleton of tiny ocean animals called polyps. Agatized Coral, AKA Fossilized Coral, is formed when agate, a form of chalcedony replaces the minerals in coral. This process takes 20-30 million years and is known as pseudomorphing.
These fossils are from the Oligocene-Miocene period. Agatized Coral is between 38-25 million years old. These fossils are found in a variety of colors, from white, pink, gray, brown, black, yellow and red. Trace minerals in the agate create these colors. They are found in ancient ocean beds, where silica-rich groundwater has percolated through the limestone around them. This may give the fossil a banded stone look.
Agatized Coral is most often found in the Tampa Bay area, the Withlacoochee/Suwannee River, and the Econfina River. Most Agatized Coral found in Florida lived in the vast Eocene seas which covered the state when Florida was part of the continental shelf.
Agatized Coral was used by the first inhabitants of Florida to make spearheads, containers, tools, knives. Remains have been found in archaeological sites dating back to 5000 B.C. The Agatized Coral is highly prized by collectors today