Environment

State Park to Host Rural Folklife Days

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park is proud to present Rural Folklife Days November 4 through 6. More than 16 demonstrators will be on hand showcasing Florida traditions of yesterday and today during this three-day show.

Keeping Critters out of Your Home

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. -- They can cause the kind of damage that can lead to costly home repairs. They are the four-legged critters looking for a place to stay warm.

"There are rodents, squirrels and raccoons always around this time of year looking for nesting sites," said Jeff Saylor.

Saylor, with Arrow Exterminators, said those nesting sites are in First Coast homes.

Saylor the entry points are easy to find; just look near the air conditioning systems.

"Service lines are easy access points for rodents to get into your home," said Saylor.

He said another weak spot is the soffit, the area under the eaves of the roof. 

"Rats can get through an area the size of a quarter, mice can get through about the size of a dime," he said.

Even a tree near your home can become an access point.

Saylor's advice is pay attention to the surroundings.

A Family-Friendly Ghost Walk: Saturday October 30, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

By the light of the silvery moon with the owls and frogs we’ll croon… and we hope you’ll join us!

On October 30th, the Saturday before Halloween, come with family and friends for a night hike to the Morningside Living History Farm where you will meet ghosts from 1870 and hear about their lives in rural Florida.

The program begins at 7 p.m. and goes to 8:30 p.m. The admission gate will close when the program begins so be sure to arrive on time. Bring insect repellant and a flashlight. Meet in the parking lot. Admission for this event is one non-perishable food item for each participant. Admission to the event is one non-perishable food item for each adult or child. The donations will be given to a local food bank.

The Living History Farm is located at Morningside Nature Center, 3540 E. University Ave., three miles east of downtown Gainesville.

Take a WALK on the WILDflower side with us!

The Jean Dorney Memorial Wildflower Walks begin Saturday, Oct. 9, at Morningside Nature Center. The walks will take place every Saturday in October and start at 9:00 am.

The walks are guided by a Morningside Nature Center staff member. During the walk, participants will enjoy the spectacular fall wildflower bloom at the park. Each week, the walks will be different in focus, participants are asked to please call the office if they would like to find out the theme for the dates they wish to attend.

New Blood Perks Up Florida Panther Population

USA Today - By the early 1990s there were only 20 to 25 Florida panthers left out of what was once a large and thriving population – and those that remained were sickly and inbred, destined for extinction within 20 years, experts estimated. So in 1995 conservation managers moved eight wild-caught female pumas from Texas to the area – a reintroduction so successful that between 1995 and 2008 a total of 424 panther births have been documented.

Clay County Health Department Issues Rabies Alert

The Clay County Health Department has issued a rabies alert for the Middleburg 32068 zip code, south of County Road 218 to State Road 16. This is in response to a raccoon that recently tested positive for rabies.  There is an exposure to a pet and no human exposure from this raccoon. Rabies among wild animals in this area continues to be a concern as this is the second rabies alert issued for this area of Clay County in 2010. The previous alert was issued in February.