Audubon Florida News

Topic: Assembly,Birding,Calendar,Chapters

Field Trips at the 2011 Audubon Assembly

posted on September 9, 2011 in Assembly,Birding,Calendar,Chapters

Field trips at the Audubon Assembly are always one of the most-anticipated events. These outings are a wonderful opportunity for nature-lovers to do what they do best – get outdoors in some of Florida’s Special Places! Going on a birdwalk with staff and local chapter leaders is a great way to learn about native wildlife and ecology – not to mention a fun way to spend some time with friends! Early-bird tickets to Assembly are still available, but not for long! Registration for the following field trips can be done at the registration table in the hotel at Assembly. We hope to see you in Lake Mary for Florida’s signature conservation event!

Birdwalks – Oct. 14th 

(Leaving the hotel lobby at 7:45-ish and returning by 11:30 to give you some time before lunch)

Seminole Audubon will host a trip to Seminole State Forest. There are birds (Florida Scrub-jays, Red-headed Woodpeckers, Bluebirds, etc…) and beautiful springs on the property. The distinctive character of Seminole State Forest is it’s ecological diversity which includes almost all of the naturally occurring vegetative communities found in Central Florida. There are more than 13 different natural communities, each with unique plants, animals and physical characteristics. A few examples are flatwoods, scrub, blackwater streams and bottomland forests. The forest contains approximately 1,725 acres of sand pine scrub, a rapidly disappearing biological community found predominately in Florida.

West Volusia Audubon will host a trip to Blue Springs State Park. The Park covers more than 2,600 acres, including the largest spring on the St. Johns River. Blue Spring is a designated manatee refuge and the winter home to a growing population of West Indian Manatees. You will take a board walk along the spring run and also see the river area where the spring run enters the St. Johns. Featured will be water birds, warblers and migrating birds & possibly some Florida Scrub-jays!

Jacqui Sulek of Fort White, Audubon of Florida Chapter Conservation Manager, looks for birds at Devils Millhopper Geological State Park, Gainesvilile. Florida. Photo by Lucy Beebe Tobias

Orange Audubon will host a trip to Rock Springs Run State Reserve. Sand Pine scrub, pine flatwoods, swamps and mile of pristine shoreline along Rock Springs Run and the Wekiva River make this reserve a refuge of natural beauty. The Florida black bear, Florida Scrub-jay, Sandhill Crane, indigo snake, gopher tortoise and a variety of more common species often are seen. This will be a driving trip with stops.

Late-comers Option: Friday at 9:30am –  Seminole Audubon is also providing a short option for a limited number of folks to the nearby Crystal Lake Preserve.  This group will be limited to the number of people that can fit into 4 cars since the parking at the site is very limited.

Birdwalks – Oct. 15th

(7:45am – 8:45am)

Seminole Audubon will be leading a limited number of folks on a short trip to the nearby Crystal Lake Preserve.  We hope to have everyone back in time to attend the conservation sessions that begin at 9:00.  More details coming soon. 

Birding on Your Own

Scrub Jay by RJ Wiley

There is a self guided loop trail on the lower Wekiva approximately 5 miles from the hotel.  This would be a great option for those of you who would like to do some birding on your own.  Directions will be provided at the Assembly registration desk at the hotel.

Make your plans to attend the Flyways Fiesta on Thursday (for a behind the scenes tour at the Center for Birds of Prey),  a Field trip to one of Florida’s Special Places on Friday morning and the exciting activities planned for this year’s Assembly in Lake Mary! To register, please click here.  (To register by mail, contact Jonathan Webber at 850-222-2473 or

Audubon Assembly 2011: Florida’s Premiere Conservation Event

posted on August 23, 2011 in Assembly

The 2011 Audubon Assembly is fast approaching. Have you registered to attend Florida’s premiere conservation event? As always, Audubon is dedicated to bringing you nothing short of a spectacular program that will leave you educated and enlightened about Florida’s one-of-a-kind environment. Please see the following information to learn more about what you will experience at the 2011 Audubon Assembly at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary. Hope to see you there!

Journey Through Florida’s Special Places

Beginning with the reception Friday evening, join us for a photo journey through Florida’s Special Places. Our keynote speaker John Moran, award-winning photographer and journalist, will present special places of Florida through outstanding photography and adventuresome story telling at the awards banquet.

Celebrate Audubon Chapters

The Saturday Chapter Awards Luncheon recognizes significant chapter achievements and milestones.  West Volusia Audubon turns 50 this year!  Visit exhibits on display throughout Assembly to view chapter efforts and projects. Dr. Ellen Prager, marine scientist and author, will be on hand to deliver the keynote speech at the Chapter Awards Luncheon. Dr. Prager is an expert at connecting people with nature, as evidenced by her new book  Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans’ Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter.

Friday Learning Sessions

Expand your knowledge and sharpen your conservation skills by attending Friday afternoon learning sessions where scientists, conservation leaders, and policy experts are on hand to share examples and case studies.  Come away with new contacts and ideas for taking actionTopics include:

Flyways Connect IBAs and Other Special Places

Floridais a critical component of the Atlantic Flyway and is home to numerous Important Bird Areas (IBAs) and other special places. As National Audubon is setting conservation priorities along the Atlantic Flyway focusing on IBAs and species that depend upon them, do places identified by Audubon and its chapters lie within these same areas or fill spaces in between?

One Everglades

A sawgrass stand similar to that the soldiers charged through (courtesy: South Florida Water Mgmt. Photo Archives, Patrick Lynch, Photographer)From the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, to Lake Okeechobee and south to Florida Bay, the Everglades is one ecosystem facing a myriad of challenges. What strategies must we adjust and pursue to restore this world-famous wetland before it is too late?  Discuss current restoration plans and how we will measure restoration success.

Payment for Environmental Services

Environmental services are the benefits people enjoy as a result of natural processes and biological diversity, and are often vastly undervalued by society. Payment for Environmental Services (PES)—such as water supply storage and filtration, carbon sequestration, etc—is a conservation tool for the next generation.  Explore the basics of PES including landowner’s perspectives, as well as Florida-specific examples.

Citizen Science in Florida’s Special Places

From banding least terns born on roof tops to documenting the nest success of bald eagles, citizen science is making important strides in protecting Florida’s special places. Discover projects supported by Audubon volunteers and learn how you can contribute to the conservation of a special place near you.

Spotlight on Strategies to Save Birds

Population declines of key ecosystem indicator species across Florida point to the need for action. What strategies is Audubon employing to save not only birds such as Everglade Snail Kites and Roseate Spoonbills, but also the wetlands and other habitats they need to survive?

Private Lands are Special Places, too

Wood Stork Chicks by RJ WileyIn some way, all of Florida’s special places and wildlife depend on private lands (from golf courses to urban back yards). With Audubon’s treasured Corkscrew Swamp Wood Stork colony as a case study, learn about the impact of habitat fragmentation, the importance of ecosystem connectedness, and what steps you can take to ensure private lands function as valuable wildlife habitat.

Take Action for Florida’s Special Places at the 2011 Audubon Assembly

posted on in Assembly

It’s that time of year again! The 2011 Audubon Assembly offers you the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, to participate in forming Audubon’s 2012 conservation priorities, to join exciting field trips, and to learn new conservation skills.

Most of all, the 2011 Assembly is the time and place to chart your course to take action for Florida’s Special Places. Join us for a time of discovery, reflection, celebration and planning for our next challenges together.

The all-inclusive Assembly registration package is only $120 per person if booked on or before October 1. Click here to register online today to reserve the special early bird price.

This package includes all Friday and Saturday programs: field trips, Friday luncheon, learning sessions, cocktail reception (cash bar), awards banquet, Saturday breakfast and lunch, conservation priority session and workshops. Audubon staff and chapter leaders are hard at work to ensure that this year’s Assembly is the best ever! We hope you can join us as we celebrate our state’s natural wonders.

Connect with People and Nature

Goldenrod in the Sandhill LakesAs always, Assembly field trips to nearby special places offer the opportunity to see new habitats and species, and also to make new friendships. The 2011 Assembly will feature a new event called the Conservation Leadership Initiative, a forum designed to connect Florida college students with Audubon members to network, share and learn from each other. This program includes facilitated walking workshops at locations such as Lyonia Preserve and Orlando Wetlands Park with local college students from UCF, Stetson and New College. Learn how to better reach and connect with the next generation of conservationists. Participation in the Conservation Leadership Initiative requires advance registration and a commitment to mentoring and engaging a young person. You can help play an important role in the future of conservation in Florida!

Contact Katie Warner at 407-644-0190 if interested in participating in this exciting event. Regular field trip sign-up occurs on-site at the Assembly registration table; additional info will be available at the Audubon of Florida News blog as it becomes available.

Please consider migrating to the Assembly in flocks by sharing transportation in order to reduce global warming pollution.

To register by mail, contact Jonathan Webber at 850-222-2473 or

The Assembly takes place at this designated Green Lodging facility. Call 1-800-380-7724 to reserve your room by September 24 and mention Florida Audubon Society to receive the special $90 rate.

Orlando Marriot Lake Mary
1501 International Parkway
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Take Action for Florida’s Special Places: The 2011 Audubon Assembly

posted on July 11, 2011 in Assembly

Florida's Special PlacesSave the Date! The 2011 Audubon Assembly will be held on October 14-15 at the Orlando Marriott in beautiful Lake Mary, Florida!

That special time of year is rapidly approaching – meet up with old friends, make some new ones and learn how you can help set our statewide conservation priorities in the coming year.

This year’s Audubon Assembly will be full of interactive programs and interesting learning sessions. Take advantage of your opportunity to work with Audubon staff, other chapters and conservation leaders from around the state. Learn how you can Take Action for Florida’s Special Places with special guest speakers John Moran and Ellen Prager.

Reserve your spot at the 2011 Audubon Assembly – CLICK HERE!

Find this event on Facebook by clicking here.

Shannon Estenoz Picked to Lead Everglades Restoration

posted on December 2, 2010 in Assembly,Everglades

Shannon Estenoz Receives Award at 2010 Audubon AssemblyEarlier this week, the U.S. Department of the Interior named Shannon Estenoz of the South Florida Water Management District as the new Director of Everglades Restoration Initiatives.  In October 2010, Ms. Estenoz was presented with an award at the Audubon Assembly in St. Petersburg for her work on Everglades restoration.

Upon hearing the news of Estenoz’s appointment, Audubon of Florida Executive Director Eric Draper said,

Shannon Estenoz is a true Champion of the Everglades – that is the award she received at the 2010 Audubon Assembly.  I have watched Shannon mature from a gutsy advocate to a seasoned diplomat for restoring America’s treasured Everglades.  She is an excellent choice to lead federal efforts.

The Miami Herald writes about her new position:

Estenoz will help shape Everglades decisions and coordinate restoration efforts of three federal agencies — the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Geological Survey. She’ll also work with the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, which is comprised of federal, state, tribal and local governments often at odds over issues.

Congratulations to Ms. Estenoz – Audubon wishes you the best of luck in the effort to restore America’s Everglades.

Audubon Assembly Highlights: The Everglades by Mac Stone

posted on November 1, 2010 in Assembly,Everglades,Videos

Audubon Honors Buermann, Estenoz as Champions of the Everglades

posted on October 26, 2010 in Assembly

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has announced that 2 of their Governing Board members, Eric Buermann and Shannon Estenoz received awards from Audubon of Florida over this past weekend.  At the 2010 Audubon Assembly in St. Petersburg, Estenoz and Buermann were given “Champion of the Everglades” awards for their leadership in acquiring lands to revive the admired River of Grass. Congratulations are in order for both of these conservation heroes.  

Proposed 2011 Conservation Action Agenda Published Today

posted on October 18, 2010 in Assembly

Brown Pelicans Courtesy of Christina EvansToday, Audubon of Florida has published a draft version of their 2011 Conservation Action Agenda, to be approved on Saturday, October 23rd at the Audubon Assembly in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Society members and the general public are encouraged to read these proposals and use the action items to coordinate with Audubon in protecting wildlife and conserving the places that make Florida special.

Audubon of Florida organizes its state policy and regional conservation plans to express both our policy agenda and to give members, chapter leaders, board members, staff and the public summary statements of our policy priorities and conservation goals in the form of short resolutions that are approved at next weekend’s Audubon Assembly and subsequently by the Audubon Board.

Inside the 2011 Conservation Action Agenda you will find reports and goals from Florida Audubon Society’s 6 state regions and an action outline of 4 major policy areas.

Florida Audubon Society has over 100 years of tradition and dedication supporting the goals set forth today.  Please join us as we help fulfill the promise of Florida.

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