open public http://dudubluelagoon.com/ Fri, 18 Mar 2022 08:16:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://dudubluelagoon.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-11-120x120.png open public http://dudubluelagoon.com/ 32 32 Keep a Close Eye on Indian River County’s “Final” Growth Report https://dudubluelagoon.com/keep-a-close-eye-on-indian-river-countys-final-growth-report/ Tue, 15 Mar 2022 10:00:42 +0000 https://dudubluelagoon.com/keep-a-close-eye-on-indian-river-countys-final-growth-report/ The convening notice I received last week hit me with a shock, like the feeling you get when you see a huge wooded area bulldozed for another cookie-cutter housing estate. “This is an important meeting as Kimley-Horn & Associates will make the final presentation on the Land Use Vision Workshop results,” says the email from […]]]>

The convening notice I received last week hit me with a shock, like the feeling you get when you see a huge wooded area bulldozed for another cookie-cutter housing estate.

“This is an important meeting as Kimley-Horn & Associates will make the final presentation on the Land Use Vision Workshop results,” says the email from the Indian River County Metropolitan Planning Organizationthe intergovernmental agency responsible for local road planning.

“Important?”

Damn it.

Almost all of Indian River County’s major problems relate to its growth over the next 25 to 50 years. Rising traffic congestion, energy prices, housing affordability, jobs, education and the disappearing Indian River Lagoon are all linked.

If you don’t think growth is a problem, look at almost every other county on Florida’s east or west coasts — and many more in between.

Continued:COVID shows that preserving and encouraging agriculture is essential to Indian River’s vision

Farmers faith: Locally, their efforts please our palates, fill our bellies

Millstone Landing, located across from the less developed DR Horton development, Millstone South, is seen in an aerial photo taken by a drone August 13, 2019, in Indian River County.

Replicate Sarasota County?

How much do we want to replicate? Counties with seats such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach? How about those with Naples, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Bradenton or Tampa?

Kimley-Horn consultants told attendees at the October land use visioning workshop that Indian River County reminded them of Sarasota County – with a coast and a highway in it. lands. Have you seen the growth (and traffic) east of Interstate 75 in Sarasota? It’s frightening.

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CA’s new nature reserve to help species adapt to climate change https://dudubluelagoon.com/cas-new-nature-reserve-to-help-species-adapt-to-climate-change/ Wed, 19 Jan 2022 00:20:00 +0000 https://dudubluelagoon.com/cas-new-nature-reserve-to-help-species-adapt-to-climate-change/ Mountain lions, black bears, golden eagles, California condors and dozens of other sentient species thriving together in dense evergreen forests – it might sound like a scene from a Disney movie. But that’s the real glimpse of what a new nature preserve would allow for wildlife, just two hours from Los Angeles County. the Reserve […]]]>

Mountain lions, black bears, golden eagles, California condors and dozens of other sentient species thriving together in dense evergreen forests – it might sound like a scene from a Disney movie. But that’s the real glimpse of what a new nature preserve would allow for wildlife, just two hours from Los Angeles County.

the Reserve Frank and Joan Randall Tehachapi was created in a sprawling and breathtaking 72,000 acres in the Tehachapi Mountains and Southern Sierra Nevada. The wildlife corridor will provide much-needed shelter for animals still learning to adapt to climate change, according to Cara Lacey, director of Wildlife Corridors and Crossings at Nature conservation.

“[Animals] shift their ranges mainly as the climate warms. You have animals that can just move around like mountain lions or black bears. But you also have animals that need to live here and have a longer period of time that they go through to change with the climate.


The new nature reserve will serve as a wildlife link that will allow animals and trees to adapt to climate change, according to The Nature Conservancy. Video courtesy of The Nature Conservancy.

It’s not just the animals. Trees and plants are also in desperate need of a natural sanctuary as they also move in search of cooler places. They might not literally walk like Treebeard from “The Lord of the Rings” or Baby Groot from “Guardians of the Galaxy.” But as lower elevations become inhospitable, Lacey says species like blue oaks change location by moving their acorns.

“The wind, squirrels, chipmunks, or animals move the acorns to other places, and if that place seems [to have] a better climate, [trees] start taking root there. This allows the tree to grow there and allows other species to move around, as well as species that use that tree for food or resources.


Blue oaks, which thrive in cool weather, will be able to ascend in the Tehachapi area at the Randall Preserve. Photo courtesy of Jenna Schoenfeld/The Nature Conservancy.

The reserve is located at a point where four diverse ecological regions come together – the South Coast, Mojave Desert, Central Valley, and Sierra Nevada. As part of a larger network of open spaces that stretches from Canada to Baja, it will also serve as a vital link between the western mountain ranges, according to Lacey.

“The reserve fills this huge gap between the Castaic and the Transverse Ranges. … Protecting it forever allows us to say that this corridor can span not just California, but the entire West Coast.


The Nature Conservancy says it is working with Caltrans to upgrade an overpass, which will reconnect the habitat of some of California’s iconic species, like black bears. Photo courtesy of Greg Warrick/The Nature Conservancy.

The new reserve boasts of its beauty and size as it is five times larger than Manhattan Island. Of all the awesome places, Lacey picks Bear Mountain as her favorite, which is south of Highway 58.

“You can walk through several different plant species, from chaparral to coniferous forests. It has different elevations. And it’s one of the nicest places to sit and experience the whole reserve and also be able to admire the reserve.”

Frank and Joan Randall Tehachapi’s reserve is not yet open to the public. The Nature Conservancy is considering various options, such as docent-led tours.

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Jamaican restaurateur considers downtown Hazel’s Blue Lagoon https://dudubluelagoon.com/jamaican-restaurateur-considers-downtown-hazels-blue-lagoon/ Mon, 06 Dec 2021 17:29:24 +0000 https://dudubluelagoon.com/jamaican-restaurateur-considers-downtown-hazels-blue-lagoon/ [ad_1] AMHERST – Junior Williams, a Jamaican immigrant and restaurateur, plans to bring a taste of the Caribbean to downtown Amherst this month when he opens a new restaurant and nightclub, Hazel’s Blue Lagoon. “We’re trying to bring a different kind of atmosphere to Amherst,” Williams said of his plans to bring live music, fashion […]]]>


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AMHERST – Junior Williams, a Jamaican immigrant and restaurateur, plans to bring a taste of the Caribbean to downtown Amherst this month when he opens a new restaurant and nightclub, Hazel’s Blue Lagoon.

“We’re trying to bring a different kind of atmosphere to Amherst,” Williams said of his plans to bring live music, fashion shows, cultural themed parties and official galas to the stage at the downtown.

Its establishment, at 39 and 41 Boltwood Walk, will be divided into two distinct environments: a Caribbean-American gourmet restaurant on one side and a lively nightclub on the other.

The name, he said, evokes the natural beauty of Jamaica’s Blue Lagoon and honors his late mother, Hazel Smith, who died on Thanksgiving Day while Williams was attending college.

“My mother had a passion for cooking,” said Williams, which inspired her to open a restaurant in her name.

In 2017, Williams opened their first restaurant, Hazel’s Kitchen, in a small location on Chicopee Street in Chicopee. “We passed this place in seconds,” he said, which called for the need to move to 76 Main Street in Chicopee. During this time, he also opened another business, Courtyard Café, just down the street.

Closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the desire to relocate have prompted Williams to leave Chicopee and cause a sensation in Amherst instead.

“It was kind of like it was supposed to be,” Williams said.

Since there is a road named Hazel Avenue in Amherst, he said it was as if his mother’s name was “already carved in Amherst”.

Williams plans to start hosting parties for families and friends this Saturday to “clear up some flaws” ahead of their grand opening.

While he’s not sure when Hazel’s Blue Lagoon will be fully open to the public, he explained that a Christmas party and New Year’s party are scheduled for December 18 and 31, respectively.

The New Years Eve event “is going to be a bit like a gala,” he said, which will include “a five-course meal with live performances, a singer and a fashion show”.

Williams hopes to make events like this an annual tradition that will secure Hazel’s reputation as an Amherst icon. Commenting on Antonio’s Pizza reputation as a student favorite, he said: “We want to be known for who they are.”

“UMass is a melting pot,” said Williams, whom he hopes to reflect in his nightclub environment.

He explained that he wanted to organize themed evenings to promote the inclusion of people of all musical tastes and cultural backgrounds.

Some themes he suggested included Spanish music, Indian music, reggae, hip hop, jazz, R&B, and oldies. “We will also do live music and contact the artists,” he said of the coming months.

“I love giving back to the community,” said Williams, explaining that he had started a tradition of cooking free Thanksgiving meals for those who are food insecure since opening his first restaurant in 2017.

As someone who comes from a humble start, he said he knows that such generosity can mean the world to people.

Before Williams moved from Jamaica to Springfield at the age of 11, he remembered having only three outfits he would need to wash every day: one for school, one for church and one for the yard. “It’s a surreal feeling to come from nothing,” he said.

Now that Williams can give back to others, he tries to be generous because “you can’t take it to the grave,” he said.

“I want to be able to create a scholarship fund under the name of Hazel’s,” he added, to help students. Williams also said he wanted to pay tribute to local college athletes by putting up photos to celebrate their accomplishments.

His personal experience as a sports coach and as a soccer, wrestling and running player himself at Orange Coast College in California has taught him how important it is to value college athletes.

Since coming to the United States alongside his family, he has emphasized how important family closeness is to him.

“My son and daughter are great inspirations,” said Williams, behind his drive to do good. He also said his nephew, Patrick Chapman, was a driving force in supporting the restaurant and continues to help with the ‘behind the scenes’ work. “Patrick keeps my feet on the ground,” he said.

And, of course, Hazel Smith herself saw through the restaurant’s name and the smiling portrait of her on display just through the front door.

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Visit Atlanta’s Lake Charlotte Nature Preserve https://dudubluelagoon.com/visit-atlantas-lake-charlotte-nature-preserve/ Tue, 30 Nov 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://dudubluelagoon.com/visit-atlantas-lake-charlotte-nature-preserve/ After months of cleaning and preparatory work, the Lake Charlotte Nature Reserve in southeast Atlanta is open to the public. Why is this important: The 216-acre rustic forest home to shagbark hickories, white oaks and several towering beeches is a key element of a global vision to create a massive forest park along the South […]]]>

After months of cleaning and preparatory work, the Lake Charlotte Nature Reserve in southeast Atlanta is open to the public.

Why is this important: The 216-acre rustic forest home to shagbark hickories, white oaks and several towering beeches is a key element of a global vision to create a massive forest park along the South River.

  • Centered on the now-drained Lake Charlotte, the preserve is one of Atlanta’s finest largest mature forests and a wildlife house which is quite beautiful and special.

Big Picture: Located near I-285 and Moreland Avenue, the reserve abuts the South River Gardens neighborhood and feels secluded from nearby trucking companies and industrial uses (not to mention the capped landfill next door). .

  • This proximity to industry is part of the the story from regionitself a part of the larger story of post-WWII Atlanta about suburbanization, environmental racism, equity efforts, and how development affects neighborhoods to this day.

Mini-visit: About a quarter of a mile after entering the main gate entrance on Forest Park Road and through the woods you will notice small stone walls. The walls (plus some foundations and a single stone fireplace) are remnants of the old pavilions that stood on the property from the 1920s.

  • Like his sister preserves all along the citythe forest character of Lake Charlotte is intended and unlikely to change much from the current natural trail.
  • The thick tree canopy, tree stumps, and drained lake bed help maintain the forest ecosystem of deer, frogs, butterflies, and other wildlife.

Getting There : Street parking is permitted along Forrest Park Road. the Line 55 MARTA bus stops about half a mile south of the signage and main entrance to the preserve.

Anecdote: The purchase of wood was the first paid for using funds collected by the city from developers and landowners who cut down trees.

The city originally purchased the property in the early 1980s, but sold it about six years later to a developer with larger plans for an industrial park, according to a deeply researched story by Atlanta writer Hannah Palmer.

  • Plans fell through and Waste Management bought the property, leading neighbors to think the forest would become another dump, WABE’s Molly Samuels reported.

In August 2020, the city bought property of the Conservation Fund, a non-profit organization that helps local governments protect land.

  • Prior to the acquisition, the Lake Charlotte property “was in imminent danger of destruction for development,” Tim Keane, the city’s planning commissioner, told Axios.

Thomas thought bubble: If you like secluded nature spots close to town, grab some friends and see a mature, gentle forest that forms the basis of a bold vision of the park.

Signage and main entrance to the reserve along Forrest Park Road. Photo: Thomas Wheatley/Axios
Ferns dot the floor of a wooded forest
Ferns dot the property but fill the forest floor near the entrance to the reserve. Photo: Thomas Wheatley/Axios
Lake Charlotte, now drained, which can become a marsh after heavy rains
Lake Charlotte now drained. Photo: Thomas Wheatley/Axios
A photo of a short set of steps leading up to what was once a lodge or house
Crews are working to remove invasive plants like English ivy. Photo: Thomas Wheatley/Axios
A lone stone fireplace stands in a cleared section of the woods
An insulated chimney and foundations are the only reminder of the houses that once dotted the property. Photo: Thomas Wheatley/Axios
Three old bottles stand on a short stone or decorative retaining wall
Stone walls line parts of the wide nature trail. Photo: Thomas Wheatley/Axios
A photo of a relatively dense forest in the fall
The forest includes black cherry trees and several towering beech trees. Photo: Thomas Wheatley/Axios
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Van Scott Nature Reserve open to the public https://dudubluelagoon.com/van-scott-nature-reserve-open-to-the-public/ Wed, 03 Nov 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://dudubluelagoon.com/van-scott-nature-reserve-open-to-the-public/ [ad_1] The property offers panoramic views of the Catskill Mountains of southern New York State and High Point State Park in New Jersey. Upper Delaware River Region, Pennsylvania and NY — The Delaware Highlands Conservancy is pleased to announce that the 144-acre Van Scott Nature Preserve at Beach Lake, Berlin Township, PA is open to […]]]>


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The property offers panoramic views of the Catskill Mountains of southern New York State and High Point State Park in New Jersey.

Upper Delaware River Region, Pennsylvania and NY — The Delaware Highlands Conservancy is pleased to announce that the 144-acre Van Scott Nature Preserve at Beach Lake, Berlin Township, PA is open to the public.

Generously donated to Conservancy by the Van Scott family in May 2020, Van Scott Nature Reserve is Conservancy’s new headquarters and a welcoming and accessible place for people of all ages who want to discover, explore and enjoy nature.

The reserve includes more than three miles of publicly accessible hiking trails through forest, wildflower meadows and wetlands and will be home to year-round educational conservation programming including nature walks, forestry and land management workshops, demonstration projects and the Eagle Watch winter.

The property offers panoramic views of the Catskill Mountains of southern New York State and High Point State Park in New Jersey.

Located in the center of the Upper Delaware River region, the Van Scott Nature Reserve is a destination for residents and visitors that reflects our unique rural character and the needs of the local community.

GET OUTSIDE: Take in the natural splendor of Wayne County

A former dairy farm, the property incorporates diverse habitats providing ample opportunities for conservation, environmental education and outdoor recreation on self-guided trails including large open meadows, wooded areas, two ponds, a tributary of Beach Lake Creek. and wetlands. Other agricultural structures will be adapted over time for new and improved educational programming.

As steward of this historic dairy farm, the Conservancy will honor the land and the families who have cultivated it for generations while inviting the public to visit, experience the natural world and our shared local history, and explore nature. . The Conservancy has launched a $ 5 million fundraising campaign to support the future of the reserve.

“We are inspired by the Van Scott family’s commitment to conservation, environmental education and sustainability,” said Executive Director Diane Rosencrance. “We look forward to fully realizing their vision for this property and welcoming the public to discover this magnificent natural space.”

The Reserve will be open from sunrise to sunset every day, unless otherwise specified. To help protect sensitive wildlife habitat, dogs are not permitted in the reserve. More information about the property, including full reserve rules and a downloadable trail map, is available at www.DelawareHighlands.org/vsnr. Trail maps can also be picked up from the kiosks at the start of the trails.

The Delaware Highlands Conservancy works in partnership with landowners and communities to protect the natural heritage and quality of life of the Upper Delaware River region. For more information, call 570-226-3164 / 845-583-1010 or visit www.DelawareHighlands.org.

This article originally appeared on Tri-County Independent: The Delaware Highlands Conservancy is pleased to announce that the 144-acre Van Scott Nature Reserve at Beach Lake is now open.

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The old golf course of Rancho Vistoso will become a nature reserve https://dudubluelagoon.com/the-old-golf-course-of-rancho-vistoso-will-become-a-nature-reserve/ Wed, 13 Oct 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://dudubluelagoon.com/the-old-golf-course-of-rancho-vistoso-will-become-a-nature-reserve/ [ad_1] TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – Preserve Vistoso announced on Wednesday the planned purchase of the former Rancho Vistoso golf course. The non-profit organization was founded by residents of the Oro Valley interested in turning the 200-acre property into a nature reserve and trail system. “As a community group we have decided to organize […]]]>


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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – Preserve Vistoso announced on Wednesday the planned purchase of the former Rancho Vistoso golf course. The non-profit organization was founded by residents of the Oro Valley interested in turning the 200-acre property into a nature reserve and trail system.

“As a community group we have decided to organize ‘Preserve Vistoso’ to have our say in what happens to the property,” said Patricia Sturmon, member of the board of directors of the conservation group. “It’s a great story of the community that speaks to the city council, especially the mayor and the vice-mayor. We let them know what we wanted and they stepped up to help us!

The Vistoso Golf Course opened in 1995 as a ‘desert course’ meaning that over 70% of the property has been preserved as natural habitat. Romspen Investment Corporation, a non-bank lender, took possession of the land in 2015 when IRI Golf Group defaulted on its mortgage. Sturmon says attempts to sell the golf course failed and it closed in 2018.

When residents learned of Romspen’s request for rezoning and the potential development of dozens of homes, they formed Preserve Vistoso in 2019. The group is made up of nearly 2,000 members.

“Our community would not give up,” said Gayle Mateer, President of Preserve Vistoso. “Our volunteers have consistently raised the issue of property preservation with City Council members and city management. Membership in Preserve Vistoso has grown as more community members have supported our efforts to preserve property for community use. [The Conservation Fund] has been our valued and trusted partner. We also applaud the involvement of Oro Valley Mayor Joe Winfield, Deputy Mayor Melanie Barrett, members of city council, the city attorney and city manager in negotiations for the purchase. Their support and direction has been essential to our success.

Romspen signed an agreement for the Conservation Fund (TCF) to buy the property.

“The Conservation Fund is a very well known national organization,” said Sturmon. “They came to us and said, ‘We want you to raise $ 1.8 million by the end of December. We had a very successful fundraising campaign last year, and we expect the community to grow again.

Sturmon says the old Vistoso clubhouse and the surrounding six acres of land will be sold separately to the developers.

“[We are saving] 202 acres of some of the last remaining parcels of the Sonoran Desert in the Oro Valley, ”she said. “It will be open to our whole community to come and take a walk in the park, if you like.”

Sturmon says six miles of paved trails and three toilets will remain, the rest will be sent back to the wilderness.

If you would like to help Preserve Vistoso secure ownership, click HERE.

Sturmon says the non-profit organization plans to eventually cede the nature reserve to the town of Oro Valley.

News from KOLD 13 contacted Romspen Investment Corporation for comment. We are awaiting a return.

On Wednesday evening, a spokesperson for Oro Valley released the following statement:

“For more than a year, the Oro Valley City Council has been engaged in actions and negotiations aimed at preserving the old Vistoso golf course as a space open to the public, and they have held to numerous executive sessions on this subject. Under state law, city council discussions in executive session are privileged and may not be disclosed publicly; however, on September 8, Council voted publicly to ask staff to enter into a settlement agreement with Romspen that will facilitate the Conservation Fund’s purchase of the former Cours Vistoso property. The City is aware of and acknowledges the efforts of the Conservation Fund to raise the funds necessary to consummate the purchase of 202 acres of the property.

Copyright 2021 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.

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Frenchville grants 120-acre nature reserve for forestry education and recreation https://dudubluelagoon.com/frenchville-grants-120-acre-nature-reserve-for-forestry-education-and-recreation/ Mon, 11 Oct 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://dudubluelagoon.com/frenchville-grants-120-acre-nature-reserve-for-forestry-education-and-recreation/ [ad_1] FRENCHVILLE, Maine – Off the back roads of Frenchville, 120 acres of woodland, fields and wetlands are now forever protected from development. With a grant of $ 55,500 from the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program, Frenchville placed a conservation easement on a piece of tax-acquired property that the University of Maine at Fort Kent […]]]>


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FRENCHVILLE, Maine – Off the back roads of Frenchville, 120 acres of woodland, fields and wetlands are now forever protected from development.

With a grant of $ 55,500 from the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program, Frenchville placed a conservation easement on a piece of tax-acquired property that the University of Maine at Fort Kent and the St. John Valley Technology Center used. for forestry and ecological research. .

It is also the only public land in the city that has walking and cycling trails that do not allow the use of ATVs or other motorized vehicles.

Maine is one of the most private states in the nation – only about 10 percent of all land in the state is public. Although northern Maine remains relatively undeveloped even on private land, the easement will prevent any future development and subdivision of the conservation property, leaving it in its natural state for the use of future generations.

Frenchville has owned the land for years, and Steve Young, a wildlife biologist and expert in habitat management, mapping and maintenance since 2006. Young is with the Upper St. John River Organization, which is a land management and land trust organization in far north Maine. .

The process of obtaining the conservation easement began in 2009, when Frenchville City Manager Philip Levesque gave Young the green light to seek funds to protect the parcel of land which is now the only public conservation in the nature of Frenchville.

“Our goal is to maintain all ecosystems, to maintain biodiversity and things like that,” Young said. “We are trying to promote [the St. John Valley’s] woods as wood for habitat – not for fiber.

Young worked with local students to study the flora and fauna already present on the property – creating maps to track species growth and competition in different parts of the land – as well as planting new wildlife. Student-planted milkweed, red oak and apple plants grow in the few acres of land bordering the property.

Bears, moose, hawks and even a rare species of indoor sandpiper have all been sighted on the property. One of the many nesting boxes in the conservation area is usually run over by one of the forest’s largest dwellers – Young suspects a bear.

As an educational tool, hands-on experience is particularly useful for students studying forestry, Young said.

“It puts into perspective how long it takes,” Young said. “If you cut cedar, it will probably take you 200 years to see it again. “

The Frenchville Dark Sky Observatory is also parked on the property, at the end of a rocky dirt road overlooking the grounds. The Upper St. John River Organization is measuring light pollution levels there in hopes of certifying the observatory with an official dark sky designation.

Frenchville City Manager David Cyr received a check for $ 55,500 from the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program which finalized the easement on the land. Cyr said it’s good to know that the area will always be a place for Frenchville people to study and enjoy nature.

While the income is a nice addition to the city’s budget, Cyr said that wasn’t necessarily the intention when his predecessors called on Young to help preserve the land years ago. The fact that Young held on for over a decade to see the project come to fruition is remarkable in itself.

“An inferior mortal would have given up long ago,” Cyr said.

The land conservation area remains open to the public.

Correction: A previous version of this article contained an error in the name of the Upper St. John River Organization.

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195-acre nature reserve in Columbia County to open to public in 2022 https://dudubluelagoon.com/195-acre-nature-reserve-in-columbia-county-to-open-to-public-in-2022/ Thu, 07 Oct 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://dudubluelagoon.com/195-acre-nature-reserve-in-columbia-county-to-open-to-public-in-2022/ [ad_1] Before a team of volunteers joined forces on Saturday morning to clear an area dubbed “Little Awesome Preserve,” it was littered with metal cans, car parts, vintage coke bottles and a deer skull. Fourteen people including families, UF students, former teachers and residents of Alachua County concerned with local conservation efforts gathered near a […]]]>


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Before a team of volunteers joined forces on Saturday morning to clear an area dubbed “Little Awesome Preserve,” it was littered with metal cans, car parts, vintage coke bottles and a deer skull.

Fourteen people including families, UF students, former teachers and residents of Alachua County concerned with local conservation efforts gathered near a small fence opening along the road. County 138 about 40 minutes from downtown Gainesville.

Volunteers worked together from 9 a.m. to noon to clean up debris from the 195-acre reserve, which will soon be open to the public. The land was purchased in July after outbid a property development group based in Jacksonville.

According to Heather Obara, associate director of the Alachua Conservation Trust, Alachua Conservation Trust officials were informed of the sale of the land about a week before it was auctioned through newspaper advertisements and calls. worried citizens wanting to see him protected.

“Normally when this happens you usually can’t go fast enough to get the money you need to do it,” Obara said. “But this property was so beautiful we had to find out. It’s such an important part of protecting this river and the features there are so important that we had to do something about it. We just couldn’t let go.

The clean-up event, which was hosted by the Alachua Conservation Trust, provided an opportunity to comb through and pick up the litter left behind after the land was used as a dumping ground and hunting area, as well as d ‘get people to see the reserve before it is officially unveiled to the general public, Obara said.

“It turns people on, they’ve never been on the property before so it’s a chance to see it before anyone can see it,” Obara said. “And also to fall in love with him, hopefully, and to want to protect him.”

Public enthusiasm

For volunteers like Ruth McIlhenny, who brought her two sons, Noah and Nathan Gorme, and mother, Joanne McIlhenny, to the clean-up event, conservation efforts are important.

McIlhenny and his family participated in other cleanup events such as the Cedar Key Beach Cleanup. She said they always try to clean up the trash whenever they meet them and leave no traces of it themselves, a set of ethics the Gorme brothers learned from their time as Boy Scouts.

Ruth McIlhenny said her parents taught her to love and be in awe of nature. Her mother, Joanne, is proud to see these same values ​​shared by her grandchildren.

“It becomes their world,” she said, “and they really have to take care of it. “

By the end of the clean-up event, volunteers had gathered around 20 extra-large garbage bags and a mound of metal car parts.

James Lasley, a former Alachua Conservation Trust volunteer and avid Prairie Creek hiker, was motivated by a similar thought. He said he was frustrated with the amount of sad environmental news that his daughter Julia, 29, and her generation are bombarded with. Lasley, who attended the event on his own, was happy to be surrounded by like-minded and environmentally conscious people during the event.

“I hope it will multiply one day around the world,” he said.

Ecology of the ‘Petit Génial’

Within the nearly 200 acres of space are a number of natural features of ecological significance to north central Florida. Its namesake is a siphon, which is a natural feature that allows water to flow underground, called Little Awesome, also known as “Little Awesome Suck”, which takes after Big Awesome, a different siphon that sits just beyond the property lines. The land is also home to a fissure that locals affectionately named “Myrtle’s Crack,” as well as several small springs, including Camp Spring, all of which are components of an intricate cave system enjoyed by many North Florida divers.

The lands that make up the reserve were purchased in 6 different parcels, each just over 30 acres. In total, the Alachua Conservation Trust paid $ 1.9 million for the property with the help of a bridging loan from The Conservation Fund, a national organization that helps fund environmental conservation efforts across the country. The Conservation Fund previously assisted the Alachua Conservation Trust by funding Orange Lake Overlook in Marion County, a reserve that will open in 2021, and a project at the Santa Fe River Reserve, according to Tom Kay, executive director of the Alachua Conservation Trust. .

Kay said turning the 195 acres into conservation land is an important part of maintaining this part of North Florida’s water systems. He said much of the land is located in a centennial flood zone, otherwise known as a special flood zone, a title given by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). So protecting the area and preventing the development of buildings is a matter of public safety as it ensures that in the event of a flood the area will function as it does naturally instead of disrupting people’s homes and businesses, according to Kay. .

Kay also sees economic benefits in turning the land into a reserve. He says that by preventing the development and installation of septic tanks or agricultural infrastructure, the surface water resources connected to the florida aquifer, including siphons like Little Awesome which reload, or replenish groundwater, will not be disturbed or contaminated, subsequently protecting drinking water.

Promote ecotourism

Another focus of land preservation along the Santa Fe River is stimulating ecotourism, which Kay says is a growing part of the local economy in areas like High Springs and Fort White.

About 62% of the river, on one side or the other, is currently designated as protected territory. The Alachua Conservation Trust aims to acquire an additional 75,000 acres in the Santa Fe River basin to designate them as protected land by 2045.

Kay said he and his team are working to open up the land they acquire to the public within a year or a year and a half of their purchase, so Little Awesome Preserve should be accessible to the public. general public by the end of 2022.

Once opened, the reserve will have minimal infrastructure, but will include parking areas, hiking trails, seating benches and possibly a kayak and canoe launch pad, Kay said. There are also areas of the reserve that would constitute potential bathing areas depending on water levels.

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McLean Nature Preserve welcomes butterflies and baby animals https://dudubluelagoon.com/mclean-nature-preserve-welcomes-butterflies-and-baby-animals/ Wed, 16 Jun 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://dudubluelagoon.com/mclean-nature-preserve-welcomes-butterflies-and-baby-animals/ Midland Daily News June 16, 2021 1of8 A baby raccoon perches on a tree stump at the McLean Nature Preserve. (Photo provided) Show moreShow less 2of8 A yellow swallowtail butterfly perches on a sweet william plant at McLean Nature Preserve. (Photo provided) Show moreShow less 3of8 4of8 A fawn explores its surroundings at the McLean […]]]>


Butterflies return and baby animals are born as we transition from spring to summer.

Earlier this month, McLean Nature Preserve trail cameras recorded the first fawn of the season at the reserve. The cameras also recorded baby raccoons and cottontail rabbits.

The butterflies arrived with the first monarch sighted on June 7. Viceroys, yellow swallowtails and skippers are also active in flower meadows. Milkweeds have emerged, some with flower buds, so monarch caterpillars will soon be spotted.

The public is invited to take a walk in the meadows at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 19 to admire the wildflowers and butterflies. Sunshine and fresh air always make good medicine.


This event is co-sponsored by Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy and is free and open to the public. McLean Nature Preserve is located at 2199 N. Flajole Road, Rhodes (about a quarter mile north of Erickson Road) in northwest Bay County. For directions or more information, call Jim or Shirley McLean at 989-631-3067 in Midland. On the day of the program, they can be reached at 989-698-6239.

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Everything you need to know about Iceland’s Blue Lagoon before visiting https://dudubluelagoon.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-icelands-blue-lagoon-before-visiting/ Sun, 02 May 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://dudubluelagoon.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-icelands-blue-lagoon-before-visiting/ [ad_1] The Blue Lagoon is special in many ways and although it was not created by Mother Nature, it offers all of its benefits. Few hot springs are mentioned as much as Iceland’s Blue Lagoon. As one of the country’s most popular attractions, it draws thousands of people year after year to its warm, warm […]]]>


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The Blue Lagoon is special in many ways and although it was not created by Mother Nature, it offers all of its benefits.

Few hot springs are mentioned as much as Iceland’s Blue Lagoon. As one of the country’s most popular attractions, it draws thousands of people year after year to its warm, warm waters. Before arriving at the Blue Lagoon, it is quite possible that many people don’t even know what makes it so special or the fact that it is not even made by nature. It’s a large, man-made geothermal pool that is said to have healing powers as well – but how? And why?

Related: Everything You Need To Know About Summer Road Trips From Reykjavik, Iceland

These are just a few of the questions visitors should know the answers to before setting foot in the cool blue waters of this lagoon. It’s an amazing place to visit and take a bath, but it’s even more admirable if you know the why and how of its inner workings. It’s the only one of its kind in the world that has placed it pretty high on everyone’s destination list, and if it’s on yours, then you’ve come to the right place. That’s all you need to know about Iceland’s easily accessible geothermal pool before you go.

It sounds completely natural, but it’s actually man-made

Even so, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the water in the lagoon – if anything, it is actually incredibly healthy for the skin (more on this later) due to the minerals that exist in it. water through a natural process. The lagoon was formed in 1976 due to the geothermal power plant which is located right next to it. The job of the geothermal power plant is to drill for hot water and steam, and the water runoff is what helped create the Blue Lagoon.


aerial view of the blue lagoon

via Edwin Verin / Shutterstock.com

When people hear “sewage, they often think of something dirty, polluted and contaminated – and the Blue Lagoon is none of that. The water that is piped into the lagoon is clean, fresh and supercharged with natural minerals that have been shown to relieve skin conditions. In fact, the water is completely replaced every 48 hours as new runoff constantly replaces the water that is channeled into the lagoon. Therefore, the inner workings of the Blue Lagoon are not only fascinating, but also incredibly intelligent. Rather than letting the water go to waste when it is so full of minerals – which cannot be used by homes for heating and the like – it is instead used as a holistic thermal spa.

How it works and why it is so “healing”

All of this obviously raises the question of how and why people started swimming in the lagoon. It’s not every day that a person walks by a giant thermal pool and decides to take a dip in it, but the Blue Lagoon was a unique case. For starters, the origin of water and its mineral content were well known, unlike other natural hot springs which must be chemically tested before they are considered safe. The first person to dive into the pool was Valur Margeirsson, and it was he who gave the lagoon its name. Margeirsson suffered from psoriasis, an often painful skin condition, and was eager to try something new as a treatment. Knowing how beneficial the minerals in the Blue Lagoon could be, he went for a swim and, voila, found some relief. This was in 1981 and in 1987 the lagoon was open to the public for people with similar skin issues.

Related: All About Reynisfjara, Iceland’s Black Sand Beach

Interestingly, while relief from some skin conditions has been attributed to minerals in lagoon water, it is not clear exactly why this helps improve skin conditions. Besides silica, the lagoon is also home to a specific type of bacteria that only grow in its waters, as well as blue-green algae that give the Blue Lagoon its characteristic hue. Apart from this, chloride and natron are also present and create natural sea salt, which has long been praised to be beneficial for the skin. Additional minerals include calcium, sulfur, magnesium, and carbonate.


a woman with mud on her face in the blue lagoon

via Shutterstock

These things are so beneficial that Lagoon started offering specific skin treatments in 1994 and continues to offer personalized treatments today. When visiting the Blue Lagoon, it is not uncommon to see people picking up mud from below and applying it to their faces, arms, legs, and wherever they might be irritated. With the surrounding volcanic landscape being such a beautiful setting for this lagoon, it’s easy to see how healing these waters would be just from the stress that vanishes when you relax in them.

Next: Know Everything About Reynisfjara, Iceland’s Black Sand Beach


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