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.

Upcoming events

  • 26 Jan 2019

    Manatee Festival

    The Festival is a Fund Raiser for the Orange City Community. The proceeds will benefit “Friends of Blue Spring State…

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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.
----Coexisting with Our Native Coyotes----

We applaud the efforts to promote coexistence with coyotes. This article outlines the importance of their role as a tertiary consumer including how they may indirectly be protecting sea turtles. Biologist and coyote expert Angeline Scotten with FWC gives some excellent advice on how to safely coexist with these intelligent creatures.

"Coyotes are true Florida natives, with fossilized evidence that they lived in Florida before the Ice Age, Angeline Scotten, of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), told Longboat Key residents on Monday..........Coyotes eat almost anything, including vegetation, insects, fish, birds, nuts and berries. Examinations of coyote stomach contents show they eat dog food, cooked chicken, McDonalds wrappers and candy wrappers. They also eat mice and roaches, she said, adding, “If that’s all they ate, that would be great.”

https://www.amisun.com/2018/12/17/fwc-learn-coyote-coexistence/
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
----Farwell Mary Oliver----

This week a lover of words and nature passed away in her Florida home. Today we recognize Mary for her many works which celebrated the beauty of nature and our spiritual relationship with it. "Tell me what you plan to do with your one wild and precious life" was a quote from one of her most famous poems "The Summer Day." In the comments, share with us what you plan to do with your one wild and precious life. #MaryOliver

https://www.npr.org/2019/01/17/577380646/beloved-poet-mary-oliver-who-believed-poetry-mustn-t-be-fancy-dies-at-83
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
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Robins - Florida Snow Birds

* Robins prefer cooler temperatures which is why they fly north to escape the southern heat.
* Robins will start to migrate back north when they feel a 37-degree average daily isotherm ( ground temperature above 37*).
* Male robins will arrive at their northern destinations about 2 weeks earlier than the females. This gives them time to claim their territory.
* Robins do not mate for life, however, the male will stay to help feed his chicks.
*Chicks leave the nest in August and live to be 5-6 years old.
* Robins begin to migrate south when the temperature causes the ground to become too hard to dig for earthworms, their main source of food.
* Robins will resort to eating berries and insects until that food supply starts to dwindle.
* During migration, robins can fly up to 36 mph and cover 100-200 miles a day.
*Winter months are spent in Florida, southern Louisiana, southern Texas, southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, Southern California, and northern Mexico.
* Most robins migrate intermediate distances but some have migrated from Vancouver to as far south as Guatemala.

As the temperature warms in our neighboring states, robins will begin to make their way across Florida. Keep an eye on your bird bath. A flock of robins just might stop by for a quick dip and drink.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
----Coral Reef----

Florida is the only state in the continental United States with shallow coral reef near its coast. Coral reefs create specialized habitats that provide shelter, food, and breeding sites for numerous plants and animals. Florida's coral reef system stretches hundreds of miles. It is the world’s third largest, with nearly 1,400 species of plants and animals and 500 species of fish. Marine scientists have found nearly half the reef was missing. Where once there were reefs, now are just sea grass and mud. The only reefs still intact and alive with fish and plants were far from the shore. Natural forces such as extreme rainfall and heatwaves may have played some part, but it is more likely that man was responsible. It probably took the combination of intensified fishing off the Florida Keys, the building of cities, causeways, pollution, the flow of freshwater, sediments, and nutrients from the land. Any of these factors may have led to the stress and decline of the reef. But it would have taken a combination of all of them to kill off half the Coral reef. Reefs are recognized as being essential to the whole marine ecosystem. Fish spawn and grow around coral, which in turn helps to regulate carbon dioxide levels in the oceans. They also protect coastal areas from erosion. Take out any part of the reef system and the whole is threatened. Protected reserves are urgently needed and fishing must be controlled, regulated and policed. Not only do farmers, cities and mining companies need to reduce their pollution as well as prevent the runoff of sediment and nutrients into the seas but climate change must be addressed. If oceans continue to absorb CO2, the increased acidity will be fatal and coral bleaching will continue to worsen. All we may have left will be the deeper reefs, and Florida's rich, diverse and astonishingly beautiful coral reefs may all but disappear within a lifetime.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
FWC reports Several Florida species no longer warrant listing.
One of those species, the southern fox squirrel was previously known as the Sherman's Fox Squirrel. The name change came about after research discovered the Sherman's fox squirrel is not genetically distinct from other southeastern squirrels.
Learn more about the success of conserving these and the other animals who have been delisted here: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/2281282?reqfrom=share
Photo Credit: Andy Waldo
Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
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The Shark Valley Visitor Center will soon get solar panels, thanks to Florida Power & Light and the National Park Service.