Monday, April 18, 2011


Greetings Earth Residents!

This week is Earth Week and Earth Day is Friday (, and we'll be outside exploring and enjoying what we have. Its also National Parks Week (16th-24th) with free admission to the National Parks.

On the local political front, Alachua County commissioners added two more properties to the Registry of Public Lands list. Sweetwater Preserve, and Watermelon Pond join Cofrin Park, Odum Preserve, and Lake Alto Preserve. What didn't get included this go around was Barr Hammock, Pfifer Flatwoods, Mill Creek, and NE Flatwoods. Something about needing to parse out road right of ways, and acreage for future county buildings. Of which I don't think was the intent of the Alachua County Forever Program that the voters taxed themselves and voted on. The last four parcels will come back for consideration within 60 days. Stay tuned.

We had excellent paddling at Cedar Key on Friday, along with magnificent moonlight on our Rainbow River paddle. And Saturday we did the Waccasassa River due to the high winds on the Gulf. Which made for a lot of water to paddle on. Got into some places that are usually not wet. The spring flowers continue to show off: spider lily, indigo, blue flag iris, lizard tail, swamp dogwood, and ti ti.

So this weeks offerings include:

Monday 4/18 - Ichetucknee River/Springs Exploration, meeting at the old south parking lot at 10 am. This trip will be a round trip, up to the head springs, and back on the Ichetucknee. That way we won't have to shuttle vehicles before getting on the water. This gives one a different perspective seeing the river twice, but from a different angle. We should be out around 3-4 hours, with stops along the way to take breaks. We usually see plenty of coots, white ibis, kingfishers, and herons. The wild rice has been putting out seed stalks, and we'll look to see what else is in flower. We'll pass by the site of the Spanish Mission from the 1600's, which we'll discuss. The Ichetucknee is one of our most pristine water bodies in the area, but its not without upstream problems. We'll observe signs of impairment and talk about the causes/effects.
Price is $40 per person and includes kayak/equipment, insurance, and guide. Own kayak owners: special! $5 per person this day only. There is also a $5 per person river/use fee for the park. This trip is a go, as I have two customers from out of state.
RSVP deadline is 5 pm today.

Thursday 4/21 - Hiking at Prairie Creek Preserve, meeting at 5:15 pm. We haven't done this trail in awhile, so I'd like to go out and see what is in bloom along this trail. It’s a mixed habitat of pine flatwoods, and mesic hammock. The trail leads to Prairie Creek.
FREE with RSVP by Wednesday 4/20 by 5 pm.

Friday 4/22 - Potano Paddle Trail Clean Up and Cookout - meeting at the park at 5 pm, set up, socialize, eat first, then paddle the edge of Newnan's Lake into Prairie Creek. Bring a potluck dish to share, your own eating utensils/plates/beverages, and I'll provide the charcoal, hotdogs/buns/condiments. If you want to eat something else, bring it, and I'll cook it. Then we'll get on the water around 6:15 -6:30 pm to paddle and do a clean up of trash along the edges of the water way. I'll have some bags, but you can bring your own. Our way of celebrating Earth Day. We'll stay out till sunset on this down and back paddle (round trip). Sunset is at 8 pm.
Price is $20 if you need a kayak, $5 if you have your own, helps cover insurance.
RSVP on Thursday 4/21 by 12 noon.

Saturday 4/23 - Lime Key Paddle, meeting at the launch site near Cedar Key at 3:30 pm. This island is on the west side of Cedar Key, and we'll launch taking advantage of the tides to paddle among interesting mangrove islands and shell bars. We'll also do our part to clean up litter along the way among the marsh grasses. This is a beautiful area that not many people get to experience. Visits to other island are also on the route. Out around three hours with stops to take breaks and observe wildlife. Optional visit to the state museum ($2) if you arrive early.
Price is $40 per person and includes kayak/equipment. Own kayak owners, $20 per person, includes insurance.
RSVP deadline is Thursday 4/21 by 6 pm.

Sunday 4/24 - Shell Mound Sunset Paddle, meeting at 5 pm. We'll finish off Easter Day and Earth Week with a sunset paddle among the islands of the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge. This area is more remote than Cedar Key, and allows us the opportunity to see more wildlife. Possible sightings may include bald eagles, oyster catchers, kingfishers, and if back from their southern journey, magnificent frigate birds. Out around 2.5 hours on this round trip paddle, we stop along the way to take breaks on sandy beaches. Who knows, we may even find some Easter Shells.
Price is $35 per person and includes kayak/equipment. Own kayak owners, $15 includes insurance.
RSVP deadline is Friday 4/22 by 3 pm.

To reserve your spot of if you have any questions, get in touch with me soon. Please pass along to those that may be interested.

Thank you,
Brack Barker
Wild Florida Adventures


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