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.
--- Opossums ---

Opossums, Didelphis virginiana, are North America's only marsupial.

Mother opossums have 2 litters each year and like other marsupials, nurse their babies in their pouches where they keep them safe and warm. Baby opossums, called joeys, are about the size of an acorn when they are born and immediately crawl into their mother's pouch. They will stay there for almost 3 months before they take a ride on their mother's back. At a little over 3 months, the joeys are weaned and set off to live on their own.

Opossums love trees. Their long prehensile tails, thumbs on all 4 paws, and sharp claws make them skilled climbers. You may find them resting on a branch or nesting in a tree hole.

When encountering a human, an Opossum may hiss, growl, and show all 50 of his/her teeth in an effort to tell you to leave. The 50 teeth are used to chew the different types of food in an opossum's diet. Opossums are not picky eaters and will eat fresh fruit, grass, nuts, carrion, worms, birds, mice, insects, and snakes. They are immune to bee stings and snake bites. You will often find them enjoying a free human meal in unsecured garbage cans and open dumpsters.

Opossums play "possum." When threatened, they will roll on their sides and play dead. Their eyes may be open or closed, they may urinate, let their tongue hang out, foam at the mouth, and secrete a foul scent from their anal glands. They will remain this way until the threat has passed.

Fun Fact: Each opossum can eat up to 5000 ticks each season.

Photo Credit: Dan Kon.
#ImagineOurFlorida #IOF #Opossum #ConnectRespectCoexist
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
----Reduce Water Use with Free Mulch----

Did you know many areas offer free mulch to local residents? Mulch helps prevent water from being absorbed. This allows the soil to retain water longer. Your plants will be happy and your water bill will be lower, which makes you happy. Mulch also offers a buffer from the heat, reduces weed growth, and prevents soil from compacting. Check with your local area. Some areas that offer free mulch include Alachua county, Miami-Dade county, Pinellas county, Sarasota county, Seminole County, Volusia County, and the city of Plantation. Check with your local municipality and see if they offer free mulch.
#ImagineOurFlorida #IOF #mulch #water
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
--- Common Ground ---
Let's all meet on common ground. While we may disagree about politics or the actions of agencies, we are all United with our love of Natural Florida.
We can be the best stewards for our wildlife and wild spaces by acknowledging good policies while working together to advocate for changes that will benefit all of us, humans and animals alike.
#ImagineOurFlorida #IOF #connectrespectcoexist #United #CommonGround
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
-----FWC Approves New Rule to -----
- Stop Illegal Trapping of Songbirds -

Songbirds, particularly Painted Buntings, are highly prized pets for some. This has created a profitable black market. Migratory birds, such as the Painted Bunting pictured below, already face too many threats to their habitat and survival. Do your part. If you see bird traps or know of an illegal operation to capture birds for profit, call FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (888-404-3922) or by email or text to Tip@MyFWC.com.

According to Florida Audubon, "Songbird trapping has been illegal in the United States since the passage of the Migratory Bird Act, but nevertheless, a profitable black market in songbirds continues to thrive, particularly in South Florida. “These traps are the tools of an illicit black market," said Audubon Florida Executive Director Julie Wraithmell. "Florida is a leader among states, taking steps to prohibit their possession.”"

"The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) today approved a rule to help protect Florida’s native songbirds from illegal capture. The new rule within Chapter 68A-16, F.A.C. (Rules Relating to Birds) includes regulations regarding the use, placement and possession of bird traps, and will go into effect later this year.

Background:
The illegal trapping of native birds has long been a concern in the state, particularly in south Florida where trapping is believed to be widespread. Birds are lost from the wild population and, in many cases, may be mistreated and are sometimes killed or injured when illegally trapped. The new rule will provide an additional tool for law enforcement officers to help stop the poaching of these birds, while still allowing for lawful uses of bird traps."

Report any instances of illegal trapping to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (888-404-3922) or by email or text to Tip@MyFWC.com.

Photo credit: FWC
#ImagineOurFlorida #IOF #PaintedBunting #songbirds
https://myfwc.com/news/all-news/cm-bird-trapping/
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.Imagine Our Florida, Inc. shared a video.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Science Insider
Here's why all hurricanes, like Irma and Harvey, spin counterclockwise.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.Imagine Our Florida, Inc. updated their cover photo.