Displaying contempt for the public and the environment, Gov. Rick Scott's Department of Environmental Protection has provided only scant notice of its plan to turn over portions of up to 56 state parks to private corporations to build and run campgrounds.
Three Rivers State Park, located approximately two miles north of Sneads, Florida on Highway 271 (River Road) is on the western bank of Lake Seminole in Jackson County. The Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers of Georgia converge here to form the Apalachicola River of Florida and, with the introduction of the Jim Woodruff Dam in 1957, Lake Seminole was formed.
Lake Seminole, which covers 37,500 acres and has 376 miles of shoreline, covers an area with a rich geological history. The bed of a prehistoric shallow sea with its now fossilized seashells and mostly covered by thousands of years of river sediment, is still occasionally visible in some areas due to limestone uplift. The area is characterized by lime sinks, cypress ponds, hardwood and pine forests, and steep ravines.
This unique topography is home to a variety of plant and animal species. The Florida Torreya tree is found only in this area. The black swamp snake, the map turtle and the gopher tortoise are animal species uniquely found here. Commonly seen around the lake are whitetail deer, fox squirrels, rabbits, opossums, skunks, armadillos, mink, gray fox, bobcats and turkeys. The bald eagle and peregrine falcon are seen during migratory periods. Ospreys can often be seen nesting atop dead trees in the lake.
The area has a rich Native American history and arrowheads can still be found near springs, streams, and swampy areas, or while diving.
The white tail deer, the most abundant large game species in North America, is at home in the Park. Remarkable by the white underside of their tails,their body color is reddish-brown in summer and grayish-brown in winter. Bright white spots are scattered on the coats of juveniles less than 6 months old. Bucks, who grow a new set of antlers each year, can get up to six feet long and weigh up to 300 pounds. Does, the adult females, are smaller. Living primarily in wooded and brushy areas, white-tails are commonly seen in Three Rivers State Park.
We captured this video of some white tails grazing in Lake Seminole in June, 2011.
To honor the millennia of spiritual co-existence of Native Americans and white-tail deer in this area, we have chosen “Deer Spirit” and “Wind Scent” from Deer Dancer by Jessita Reyes and Grupo Yaqui as the musical background for this video. You can find this and more of their music at More On This Album
While highrise beachfront condos and theme parks have come to define Florida in the minds of many tourists, the locals know there is another Florida – the 'Real Florida' lying inland. From its natural springs and caverns, to some of the world's most beautiful rivers, creeks, and trails, the inland Florida Panhandle lies waiting to be discovered.
A relativity new organization, RiverWay South, is working its way down from Georgia and now seeking to enhance the natural resources in the lower Apalachicola – Chatahoochee – Flint River Basin and promote tourism in this area of the Florida Panhandle. Riverway South, a service-learning initiative led by the University of Georgia's Fanning Institute, works with communities in the lower Apalachicola – Chatahoochee – Flint River Basin to advance creative, sustainable and economically viable development alternatives. They seek to promote this area, with its bass filled waters of Lake Seminole, the quiet beauty of the Apalachicola River, and the historic charm of Chattahoochee and Sneads, beckoning visitors who seek an authentic Florida experience. Efforts continue down to Apalachicola as well.
Meet the board. John Alter, Joe Brown, John Thornton, Heather Lopez, Homer Hirt, Lee Garner, Marti Vickery, Frasier Bingham. Sharon Liggitt is the Project Director.
The Board met in Marianna on June 23, 2011, to explore its objectives of promoting tourism to this area. The discussion focused on the large number of natural attractions in the area served, while noting the lack of websites for the various businesses that would serve tourist in the area. Tourist needs these websites to plan their trips.
Project Report by Sharon Liggitt, focusing on the tourism amenities needing to be addressed, including a general tourist industry perspective and the need for service industry websites.
One project of RiverWay South is to open the old bridge in Chattahoochee so that sightseers can access the view that would be available from the bridge. We try to help make that case with this video.
RiverWay South has a new website, located at http://rwsfl.org, which promises to be a useful website for those interested in enjoying the Northwest Florida area.
If you are with one of the Northwest Florida businesses lacking a website needing to attract the new tourism, NorthwestFlaENews' parent company, Panhandle On-Line, Inc., is now offering state-of-the-art custom website design, website builders, and web hosting through its PortEasy Web Division. Be glad to help!
The areas included in the Northwest Florida (a/k/a Florida Panhandle) vary depending upon the context. For our purposes for this site, we have included the following counties and, for organizational purposes, have divided them into three regions:
Western Panhandle includes: Escambia County (Pensacola, Century, Pensacola Beach, Perdido Key), Santa Rosa County (Gulf Breeze, Jay, Milton, Navarre, Navarre Beach, Pace, Oriole Beach), Okalossa County (Crestview, Destin, Ft. Walton Beach, Laurel Hill, Mary Ester, Niceville, Shalimar, Valparaiso, Cinco Bayou), and the northern part of Walton County (DeFuniak Springs, Freeport, Paxton)
Central Panhandle includes: Jackson County (Marianna, Alford, Bascom, Campbellton, Cottondale, Graceville, Grand Ridge, Greenwood, Jacob City, Malone, Sneads), Calhoun County (Altha, Blountstown), Gulf County (Port St. Joe, Wewahitchka), Holmes County (Bonifay, Esto, Noma, Ponce de Leon, Westville), Washington County (Chipley, Caryville, Ebro, Vernon, Wausau), Bay County (Panama City, Panama City Beach, Mexico Beach, Callaway, Lynn Haven, Parker, Springfield), and the sourthern part of Walton County 'South Walton' (Grayton Beach, Miramar Beach, Seaside, Santa Rosa Beach, Alys Beach).
Eastern Panhandle includes: Madison County (Madison, Greenville, Lee), Taylor County (Perry, Dekle Beach, Hampton Springs, Keaton Beach), Jefferson County (Monticello), Leon County (Tallahassee), Wakulla County (Sopchoppy, St. Marks, Crawfordville(uninc.), Gadsden County (Chattahoochee, Havana, Quincy), Liberty County (Bristol), and Franklin County (Apalachicola, Carrabelle, St. George Island, Eastpoint).
Other terms oftern associated with Northwest Florida are:
Florida Panhandle - essentially synonumous with Northwest Florida. Sometimes the term is used to include eastern counties that are not considered to be included in Northwest Florida.
30A - This is an area defined by State Hwy 30A which runs along the beach in southern Walton County. 30A is characterized by modern planned communities including Alys Beach, Grayton Beach, Seagrove Beach, Seaside, Santa Rosa Beach, and Miramar Beach.
South Walton - Includes the "30A" area with some expansion north into Walton County to include Point Washington and other areas.
Emerald Coast - Generally refers to the beach area west of Bay County through Okaloosa County, with Ft. Walton Beach in Okaloosa County as its hub.
COMMENTS . . . 1
Admin There is a bit of controversy over the term 'Emerald Coast' as this article points out
in the NWFDailyNews
We created this site as a sister site to Panhandleonline.com a/k/a Florida Panhandle Pages (with the shorter URL, phonl.com,), which has been around since 1995. Given its age and particular evolution, the Florida Panhandle Pages evolved as a reference site. While it is full of rich media and videos, bringing the Florida Panhandle to life for its viewers, it is not well suited as a blog site. Thus, NorthwestFloridaEnews was conceived as a complimentary blog oriented site to round out our Florida Panhandle Network. (We have also maintained PanamaCityBeachENews.com(pcbenews.com) since 2009.)
Notice our microblog in the left hand column of the home page. The microblog keeps you informed of current news articles, blogs and websites of relevance to the Florida Panhandle/Northwest Florida area. On a daily basis, we capture various feeds with keywords for the Florida Panhandle, Northwest Florida, and the Emerald Coast, making sure that anything of interest is published in our microblog. If you are unaccustomed to the term 'microblog', just think of it as being similar to Twitter and Facebook – a way to share items of interest, both original and those published by others.
Speaking of Twitter and Facebook, we also share the information from this site (as well as its sister site, panhandleonline.com) through our Twitter account and our Facebook page. But, for the purest, we also share both our microblog and main blog as RSS feeds. Thus, however you like to keep up with your subjects of interest, we have a way that suits your habits.
In addition to our microblog, main blog, Twitter, Facebook, and RSS channels, our Panhandle network also includes another Twitter account and Facebook page just for Florida Panhandle/Northwest Florida events. For those who really like to keep up with what's happening in Northwest Florida without any distraction, simply go to panhandleonline.com/events.cfm to see how to connect with our events information in the manner that suits you best.
For organizations and businesses who promote events in the Florida Panhandle/Northwest Florida area, we have just what you need to make your promotions easy. Simply follow nwfla on Twitter or “like” our nwfla page on Facebook and then tag us in your event posts. We will be happy to repubish your events in our network.
Finally, on the right side of our home page, you will see RSS feeds for a number of Northwest Florida news sources. Since we republish these news sources, we reserve our microblog for items that they have missed or that come from national or unusual sources. With these tools and strategies all integrated, we put everything you need to stay completely informed on Northwest Florida in one spot!
Please connect to us in the manner of your choosing and stay with us. We are proud to be the oldest and the best online destination for Northwest Florida and we are grateful for all of you who network with us.
COMMENTS . . . 3
NorthwestFlaEnews Very good suggestion, Mary. We are familiar with David's photography and agree. We will do so.
Mary Fabulous job, George!!! If I might add a suggestion for an added blog...this is the most fabulous photography of this area I have ever seen.
nwflaenews admin We will very much welcome your comments to our blogs. Please share with us!