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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--- Foto Friday ------ Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly  Family: Papilionidae --- The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail can be found from Ontario Canada down to the Gulf states and west to the Colorado plains.  There are 10 swallowtail species in Florida. The most familiar is the yellow and black striped Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, which can be seen from the Georgia border south to the Big Cypress Swamp. The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail has an average wingspan of 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 inches. They love to eat the nectar of many plants including wild cherry, honeysuckle, lilac, Joe-Pye weed, azalea, and milkweed. This beauty is identified as a male because there is no blueish coloring in the hindwings.  Some females are melanic (dark colored). An adult swallowtail's lifespan is only about 2 weeks. They produce 2-3 broods a year in the south. Females lay a single egg on host leaves. Caterpillars will eat the leaves and rest on silken mats on the upper surface of leaves. The caterpillar is brown and white when it is young, but it changes color as it grows older to green with orange and black false eyespots. The eyespots are thought to scare away predators.Photo credit: Dan Kon.
--- Foto Friday ------ Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly Family: Papilionidae --- The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail can be found from Ontario Canada down to the Gulf states and west to the Colorado
----- What is Sustainability? -----Sustainability is a complex concept. It is most quoted as
----- What is Sustainability? -----Sustainability is a complex concept. It is most quoted as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their
--- Tuesday Trivia --Animals who feed off of decaying organic matter from either plants or animals are called detritivores.The organic matter which they consume, known as detritus, includes decomposing plant and animal parts and fecal matter.  Earthworms are the most commonly known detritivore. Their digestive system runs the entire length of their body which allows them to dine on organic matter, digest it, then deposit neutral pH nutrients such as potassium and nitrogen into the soil.Nature proves again that in the absence of human intervention, ecosystems have been provided with everything needed to remain healthy and thrive.Connect. Respect. Coexist.
--- Tuesday Trivia --Animals who feed off of decaying organic matter from either plants or animals are called detritivores.The organic matter which they consume, known as detritus, includes
-- Tuesday Trivia --An animal who primarily feeds off of meat is called a carnivore and an animal who feeds primarily off of plants is called an herbivore. What are animals who feed off of decaying organic matter from either plants or animals called?What benefit do these animals provide the ecosystem?Answer revealed tonight at 8pm.Be the first to know
-- Tuesday Trivia --An animal who primarily feeds off of meat is called a carnivore and an animal who feeds primarily off of plants is called an herbivore. What are animals who feed off of
--- Rat Poison Kills more than just Rats ---Do you hear a critter in your attic or walls?  Rat Poison is not the way to send them scurrying back outside. - Rats, squirrels and other critters will eat the poison. But they don't die immediately. They will become lethargic and move through your yard slowly. - - Here they are easy prey for raptors, snakes and larger predators. When these predators become sick from the poison, they too will die or the large animals at the top of the food chain will eat them. - Many of the larger animals will die.  In some, the rat poison may suppress the larger animal's immune systems and make them susceptible to secondary diseases such as mange.--- In an attempt to kill one rat, you may kill 3 animals!!! ---All animals have a necessary function in Trophic Cascade.- Keep them Wild - Keep them Alive -Seal up all spaces where an animal can enter your home before one finds a way in.
--- Rat Poison Kills more than just Rats ---Do you hear a critter in your attic or walls? Rat Poison is not the way to send them scurrying back outside. - Rats, squirrels and other critters will
--- World Animal Day ---While he may be rolling in his grave to discover that he was not the first person to be able to talk to animals, Doctor Doolittle would almost certainly be a keen advocate of World Animal Day which takes place on the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, October 4th. Its purpose is to raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe. The celebration of World Animal Day unites the animal welfare movement, mobilizing it into a global force to make the world a better place for all animals.  It's celebrated in different ways in every country, irrespective of nationality, religion, faith or political ideology.  Through increased awareness and education we can create a world where animals are always recognized as sentient beings and full regard is always paid to their welfare.--- Educate. Empower. Make a Difference --- Message us for Volunteer opportunities.
--- World Animal Day ---While he may be rolling in his grave to discover that he was not the first person to be able to talk to animals, Doctor Doolittle would almost certainly be a keen advocate
Water is one of our most vital resources, and when our water is polluted it is not only devastating to the environment, but also to human health. The US relies on public water systems to treat and deliver just over 44 billion gallons of clean water each day to our homes, schools, and businesses. Much of that water comes from rivers, lakes and other surface water sources as well as aquifers. Before it is delivered to our homes it is treated to remove chemicals, soot, silt, and bacteria. This clean, potable water is then used for cooking, drinking, cleaning, bathing, watering our lawns. Pollution is affecting our beaches as well. The number of beach closings and advisory days has reached the third highest level in the 22-year history of analyses, totaling 23,481 days. More than two-thirds of those were due to bacteria levels that exceeded public health standards, indicating the presence of human or animal waste in the water. Illnesses commonly caused by sewage contamination in water systems include diarrhea, hepatitis A, meningitis, ulcers, myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) and a number of other diseases. These high numbers confirm that the nation's beaches continue to suffer from serious water pollution. This should be a serious concern to Floridians. The quality of our water is directly linked to the quality of our lives. By supporting clean water initiatives that improve our water and wastewater treatment systems, we can each ensure clean, safe water for our families and our communities. ----- What Can You Do? ------ Learn about Floria's hydrologic environment here: Map by Clearview Geographic https://cleargeo.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=5d940355c6404f46b82e460c7287d320&extent=-93.8754,23.1992,-72.7817,32.3041- Organize and lead an IOF beach or river cleanup.- Learn how to be an effective advocate and speak up about clean water where you live. https://imagineourflorida.org/advocacy/
Water is one of our most vital resources, and when our water is polluted it is not only devastating to the environment, but also to human health. The US relies on public water systems to treat and
Baird's Sandpiper and Sanderling
Baird's Sandpiper and Sanderling
Baird's Sandpiper normal range
Baird's Sandpiper normal range
Baird's Sandpiper
Baird's Sandpiper
Baird's Sandpiper
Baird's Sandpiper
Baird's Sandpiper and Snowy Plover
Baird's Sandpiper and Snowy Plover
--- Shinrin-yoku - Forest Bathing ---Shinrin-yoku is Japanese for 'Forest bathing.'Shinrin-yoku means taking in the forest atmosphere.In the 1980's, scientists in Japan researched the benefits of walking through a forest while mindful of the beauty and wonder of nature. They discovered people benefit mentally, emotionally, and biophysically simply by taking a walk among the trees. In 1982 the agriculture ministry of Japan endorsed Shinrin-yoku as a form of healing that happens by spending time in nature. -- How you can 'forest bathe --🌲 Leave your phone and any distractions behind.🌳Leave behind your expectations.🌲 Slow down and forget about what time it is.🌳 Think about the present - not the past or future.🌲 Find a spot to sit - on the grass, park bench or beside a tree.🌳 Focus on what you see and hear around you.🌲Notice what you feel🌳Stay for 2 hours if possible, however, you may start to notice the effects after only 20 minutes.🌲Between every two pine trees is a doorway leading to a new way of life.🌲 -John MuirPhoto credit - Aymee Laurain
--- Shinrin-yoku - Forest Bathing ---Shinrin-yoku is Japanese for 'Forest bathing.'Shinrin-yoku means taking in the forest atmosphere.In the 1980's, scientists in Japan researched the benefits
Lightning bolts made on 3D printer by student at Seminole County PSI High School
Lightning bolts made on 3D printer by student at Seminole County PSI High School
Jr. Educator Rowan
Jr. Educator Rowan
Jr. Educator Rowan.
Jr. Educator Rowan.
We are growing! Please WELCOME our new members. What is Imagine Our Florida?Imagine Our Florida, Inc. is a science-based educational non-profit organization.  We are 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.How Can You Help?- Many people help by simply sharing our posts. You never know who you will inspire to become an advocate for the wild spaces and wildlife in our state. - Invite your friends and family to like our page.  We can all learn together.- Share what you have learned with your family and friends.- Advocate using the knowledge you acquire to protect our ecosystem and the wildlife who inhabit them for future generations.- Volunteer. We have opportunities to table events, write posts as a guest writer or to request grants, solicit sponsors,  volunteer in a classroom or with a scout troop, join our beach cleanups or lead one in your area, set up a library display with one of our educational programs, or host a fundraiser. Learn more at www.ImagineOurFlorida.org Message us for more information. Together we will show folks of all ages how to connect with our wildlife, to change fear into respect for our wild friends, and to coexist within Florida’s wonderfully unique ecosystems. Educate. Empower. Together, We Will Make a Difference.
We are growing! Please WELCOME our new members. What is Imagine Our Florida?Imagine Our Florida, Inc. is a science-based educational non-profit organization. We are on a mission to educate and
🍂Happy Autumn! 🍂It’s the First Day of Fall which means being outside in cooler temperatures will be more bearable. 12 Ways to Enjoy Fall in Florida1. Take a hike through a state park. Have any of the trees changed colors?2. Rent a canoe or kayak and explore what is around the bend on your local river.3. Go to the beach and enjoy a sunrise or sunset. Beaches are less crowded in the fall.4. Drive through a wildlife drive with your car windows down.  What sounds will you hear?5. Visit an island and discover the unique ecosystems and local wildlife. 6. Make a picnic lunch and simply enjoy dining outdoors.7. Sit on your porch in the evening with a warm cup of spiced apple cider and listen. What do you hear? 8. Take a road trip on the backroads. You might be surprised at the wildlife you see on roads less traveled. 9. Go horseback riding. 10. For a real outdoor experience, go camping.11. Share your experiences with your friends and family so they will get back to nature too. 12. Volunteer: Imagine Our Florida has several upcoming opportunities where you can help educate folks of all ages how to connect, respect, and coexist with wildlife. Take part in a beach or river cleanup or take a leadership role with IOF to set up one. Do some behind the scenes work by researching or writing while sitting outside.  Educate. Empower. Make a Difference. Please share how you experience Nature during Fall in Florida in the comments.
🍂Happy Autumn! 🍂It’s the First Day of Fall which means being outside in cooler temperatures will be more bearable. 12 Ways to Enjoy Fall in Florida1. Take a hike through a state park.
-----Constitution Day-----Today we celebrate Constitution Day.  Did you know that the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution is an important way for the U.S. Government to help protect our environment?   Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution allows Congress to have control over foreign trade, interstate relations, and negotiations with Indian tribes.  This means if a corporation performs an act that is unsafe to air, water, or human health, Congress can intervene.  The tenth amendment of the U.S. Constitution also states that matters that aren't the responsibility of Congress are left for the state government to decide.  Here in Florida, we have our own state constitution.  Article X Section 11 states that the state legislature makes decisions about public land which is in the best interest of the citizens.  This means that we as citizens can use our voice to vote for who will make our environment a priority and we can make public comments to encourage legislatures to protect our environment.  Article X Section 16 outlines the regulations for fishing nets that must be used in order to protect sea turtles.  Section 17 establishes the Everglade Trust Fund which is used to provide funding for projects that help protect the Everglades ecosystem.  Section 18 states that conservation land can only be sold if the state government decides it is no longer needed for conservation purposes and only if two-thirds of the state legislature vote to support the sale.  Section 28 establishes the Land Acquisition Trust Fund which uses 33 percent of excise tax for conservation projects protecting land, water, and habitat improvement.  As you can see, both the Federal and State constitutions are important in helping to protect our environment but we must remember that our elected officials make these decisions.  Check with your Supervisor of Elections website and see if they have a posted example of your upcoming ballot.  Research the listed candidates and make sure to look at their position on the environment.  Do they have a plan that would benefit the environment?  If you can't find one listed you can contact them and ask.  Most people are not one issue voters but even if you aren't, it never hurts to let candidates or legislatures know that air, water, and wild spaces are important to everyone.  *Imagine Our Florida, Inc. is non-partisan and does not endorse any political party or candidate.
-----Constitution Day-----Today we celebrate Constitution Day. Did you know that the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution is an important way for the U.S. Government to help protect our
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