Florida state parks

Highlands Hammock State Park

Did you know that Highlands Hammock State Park is one of the most biodiverse areas in Florida? You can see all sorts of ecosystems including pine flatlands, scrubs, uplands, hardwood swamps, marshes, and this beautiful cypress swamp. Biodiversity is very important. Could you imagine working in a place where everyone only knew how to do one job? Nothing would ever get done and the business would fail. Ecosystems are a lot like a business. Every organism has a job and when you have many workers who conduct a variety of tasks the business, or ecosystem, is successful.

As a bear, my job is to occasionally use my claws to dig out turtle eggs. They area great protein source for me and it helps to keep the turtle population from over populating. Bears aren’t too popular in this area but if you look in the mud you might spot a few paw prints. You can also count all the different types of tracks the variety of other animals leave behind.

#highlandshammock #florida #biodiversity #bearinachair

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Hontoon Island

Have you ever wanted to take a boat ride to one of Florida’s great state parks? Hontoon Island is a great place to explore. As a bear, I can’t take the ferry across the St. Johns River to Hontoon Island, but you can take a free ferry or a boat of your own over to the island. I have to swim.

Besides hiking and boating of all kinds, you can have a great picnic, use one of the park’s many grills and picnic tables all while learning about the many Island’s inhabitants at the visitor center. You will even see evidence of Native American inhabitants from over thousands of years ago.

I like to comb through the park and look for other wildlife like Ospreys, Egrets and Great Blue Herons. Bears like me enjoy sauntering down to the river to watch the West Indian Manatees as they make their way up to the warmth of the springs for the winter months. It’s time for you to grab a kayak or canoe, or hop on a ferry and explore the island and surrounding water. I hope to see you there!

Hontoon Park is open all year round from 8 am to dusk and admission is free. It is located on the St. Johns River in Deland Fl.

#bearinachair #hontoonisland  #StJohnsRiver #florida#biodiversity

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