Outdoors

Stroll Springfield: Jacksonville Porchfest 2016

Springfield PorchFest, Jacksonville, FL, Photo by Debra Heuskin

There is something warm and inviting about a big cozy front porch. In , cozy porches transform into intimate stages as local and regional musicians gather November 5th for the third annual , presented by . The free, family-friendly event features more than 20 performers bringing porches to life throughout the neighborhood. Attendees can stroll from porch to porch and camp out on sidewalks and front lawns as they enjoy live music and a wide variety of food, drink, and arts vendors in Jacksonville’s oldest front porch neighborhood. This year’s event will be held in Springfield’s Southwest quadrant and will …

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Jaycees Trail of Terror: Generations of Jacksonville Screams

There’s nothing quite like gathering a group of family or friends together on a spooky Halloween outing. Catching the look on Grandpa’s face when Chainsaw Charlie grinds gruesome is priceless. For over 45 years, the scare-masters at the Jaycees have delighted young and old alike. The city’s oldest haunted attraction is scaring up some family frights with the Trail of Terror. Hosted on by the Jacksonville Jaycees, the Trail of Terror is a haunted trail located near the on the grounds of Paintball Adventures on 11850 Camden Road. Created in 1970, the attraction was originally called the Hall of Terror …

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On The River: State of the St. Johns 2016

BY SHANNON BLANKINSHIP, Outreach Director, St. Johns Riverkeeper For the ninth year in a row, researchers from , , and have compiled data and analyzed trends regarding the health of the Lower . This area, from to , runs over 100 miles and is a unique ecological system. The Report addresses four areas of river health: water quality, fisheries, aquatic life, and contaminants. This year, the report also included a poll about community access to the river. The idea is that the more people on the river, the more we will respect and care for it. Here is how we …

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Gopher-It!: Gopher Tortoise Hatchlings at Tree Hill

has exciting news: we found gopher tortoise hatchlings on site! The gopher tortoise is a vital part of north Florida’s unique ecosystem. Finding the gopher tortoise hatchlings is an encouraging discovery, as the number of gopher tortoises living in the wild is limited and the species continues to face serious threats from habitat destruction. The is a land turtle that lives exclusively in the Southeastern part of the United States, from Florida to the very southern tip of South Carolina and west into the southern portions of Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana. As a result of their limited range and limited …

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Fall For Planting

The time has come to get our fall gardens in the ground! has a number of gardens, such as the JEA Water Efficiency Butterfly Garden and the gardens surrounding the main building. Since 2010, Tree Hill has also been the home of the Arlington Community Garden. With 37 beds, the Garden is a partnership between Tree Hill and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville. All of the food grown in the garden is donated to the food pantry at Arlington Community Services. Without the Garden, the food pantry would only be able to give their families non-perishable items. Since the …

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Finding Pollution Solutions In Jacksonville

Jacksonville isn’t a city that usually comes to mind first when you hear the phrase “pollution solutions.” But, we can look to nearby cities and the remarkable green solutions they have already implemented for inspiration and to learn how to follow in their green footsteps. In Athens, Georgia, every bit of rainwater that falls on city streets flows into curb cuts that irrigate the native plants lining city sidewalks. In Atlanta, tourism is now solidly connected to the BeltLine, a sustainable redevelopment project that provides a network of parks, multi-use trails and transit along a historic 22-mile railroad corridor circling …

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Summer Sizzles!

The hot days of summer are almost upon us. Beach days, evenings spent catching fire flies and afternoons under the shade of a tree enjoying an ice cream are summer favorites.  Unfortunately, enjoying the natural wonders that Florida has to offer us comes with a price – bug bites and sunburns can make an outdoor adventure a lot less fun! At we spend a lot of time outdoors through the summer, caring for our animals and tending the gardens. We’d like to share with you a few of our favorite ways to stay cool and comfortable this summer. Cooling towels …

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Teaching Nature – Tree Hill hosts over 10,000 students annually

Tree Hill Nature Center, Old Arlington, Jacksonville, FL, photo by Fran Ruchalski

Nearly every weekday during the school year brings a field trip to . As a Duval County School District partner, Tree Hill’s educators provide 3rd grade students with an unforgettable experience. Students arrive in the morning, many with no idea that Tree Hill existed or what is in store for them during their trip. They settle into the amphitheater where they are treated to the Animal Encounter program. Preserving native species and their habits is an essential part of the work done at Tree Hill, and the Animal Encounter is no exception. Most mornings, students are introduced to three native …

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It’s a River Ruckus

BY SHANNON BLANKINSHIP, Outreach Director, St. Johns Riverkeeper A Free Family Festival celebrating the St. Johns River August 27, 10am to 4pm at the Riverside Arts Market, 715 Riverside Ave. The St. Johns River has been dealt some major blows over the past year. Algae blooms continue to anger residents that have been voicing concerns and seeking solutions for decades. The decision to allow higher concentrations of carcinogens in our water by the state has also been met with outrage. The dismal amount of Amendment 1 funding that has gone into conservation land acquisition has left citizens feeling like no …

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On The River: Swimming, Snorkeling and Florida Springs

Blue Springs State Park, Photo by @narcosis27 via #eujaxswimmingholes

BY SHANNON BLANKINSHIP, St. Johns Riverkeeper Outreach Director Swimming Holes It feels like divine intervention that Florida, with our year-round temperatures for swimming, also has the highest concentration of natural springs in the world. At a constant 72 degrees, Florida springs are best enjoyed in the summer months when the cool refreshing water is the perfect remedy for hot weather and the blazing sun. Our springs are natural formations where groundwater flows out of the ground. No two springs are the same, and not all are ideal for swimming. If you are looking to jump in and have some fun, …

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