Protecting Wild Florida starts with you! Use the links below to follow us on social media or join our newsletter (main page). Do not hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org or text (352)339-8744 if you’d like to join the walk, get involved or contribute in any way, or to learn more! And if you can, take the challenge for wild Florida and challenge a family member or friend!
Take the Challenge!
5 steps to become an advocate for Wild Florida
As I walk to Tallahassee, I would love for every Floridian to get involved- not just reading about the walk but thinking about how they can take part in protecting the place they love. If you did this challenge all at once, it wouldn’t take more than an hour or two. I hope it can make you realize that saving the Florida we love is not something for demigods- it’s something you can be a part of when you take even a small action.
If you complete the challenge, email or text me the word “completed!” (email@example.com/ (352)339-8744) and you’ll receive a shout-out (if you want) and a special “Guardian of Florida” prize!
Step 1- Send a postcard or letter from Wild Florida-
Tell your legislator why protecting Wild Florida matters and tell them to support funding Florida Forever and other conservation programs. Some key information: Florida Forever protects crucial habitats, wildlife corridors, and watersheds; 75% of FL voters supported constitutional amendment 1 in 2014, which dedicated a $750 million fund to the “acquisition and restoration of conservation lands.” Legislature misused it for legislative purposes, only 2% went to Florida Forever (our main land acquisition program). Then convince someone you know to write their own postcard, letter, or email from Wild Florida! Go to https://www.flsenate.gov/senators/find to find your representative and find their contact information.
For Alachua County-
State Senator Keith Perry:
State Senator Keith Perry, Florida Senate, The Capitol, Tallahassee, FL- 32399-1100
House Rep. Clovis Watson ( Eastern Alachua county/ downtown GNV):
The Honorable Clovis Watson, Florida House, The Capitol, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
House Rep. Chuck Clemons address (West GNV/Alachua County):
The Honorable Chuck Clemons, Florida House, The Capitol, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Step 2- Call your legislator-
It’s been proven to work and is quick and easy! Usually you’ll reach a polite staffer who will ask you what your message is. Tell them why Wild Florida matters to you and that you expect them to fully fund Florida Forever and other conservation programs. Here’s a possible script
“Hi, my name is ________ and I am one of your constituents living in ZIP code _____. I wanted to call to urge Congress(wo)man ____ to follow voter’s wishes and fully fund the Florida Forever program and other crucial conservation programs. Florida’s wild areas are crucial to our economy and way of life and I want to see these places preserved for future generations.”
Who to call for Alachua County:
Senator Keith Perry: (850) 487-5008 / or try (352) 264-4040
State House Rep. Clovis Watson phone: (850) 717-5020
State House Rep. Chuck Clemons phone: (850) 717-5021
Step 3- Explore wild Florida!
You’re doing great so far! Now for some fun! The beating heart of Wild Florida is a short drive ( or walk!) away! I would recommend the La Chua Trail in Payne (gators and horses and bison, oh my!- SE of GNV), Morningside Nature Center (sunlit longleaf pines, cracker homestead- East GNV), Sweetwater Prairie (engineered wetlands and unbelievable birds- S GNV). For canoeing/kayaking, try Prairie Creek (beautiful wooded, “old Florida” feel, E of GNV), or any stretch of the Santa Fe/Suwannee. If you want a life-changing experience, find a random stretch of the Suwannee River (upstream of White Springs, from or example) and do a canoe camping trip! Email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org for advice. But spending a few minutes walking around your local woods counts too!
Step 4- Subscribe to an organization!
Florida is lucky to have incredible people working together to save the state we love. Subscribe to the email newsletter of a local environmental organization of interest to you. Don’t feel like you have to make a commitment yet, but read and see about getting involved!
Florida Conservation Voters- I’m partnering with this awesome organization- they advocate for political leaders that preserve the Florida we love, created the 2014 land conservation amendment- http://www.fcvoters.org/ (Get Updates)
Florida Wildlife Corridor Organization – they walked across all of Florida and now advocate a connected wild Florida- http://floridawildlifecorridor.org/ (click mail symbol on top right to subscribe)
Sierra Club- Legendary- explore, enjoy, and protect the planet- http://ssjsierra.org/ (our local chapter)
1000 Friends of Florida- Advocating for a vision of Florida with vibrant communities and protected wild spaces- http://www.1000friendsofflorida.org/ - “receive email alerts” on left side
Alachua Conservation Trust- Working to protect wild places of North Florida, restore native forests, run environmental education center- http://alachuaconservationtrust.org/ (subscribe at top right)
Springs Eternal- By the wonderful Leslie Gamble and John Moran- to inspire Floridians to protect the springs we love- http://springseternalproject.org/take-action-now/
Step 5- Become the change!
Think a little, read around a bit, and find 2 local environmental issues, places you love, or environmental political events. Maybe a company wants to build a phosphate mine near your river, or you want your county commission to protect more wild areas. Write them down somewhere prominent in your house or workplace.
That’s it for the challenge, but I hope you can start to think about how you can be the change in this issue- because you can and you will if you make your voice heard and involve others. If you need any mentoring, reach out to someone in the organizations above or a friend. Remember the words of Dr Seuss- “unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing’s going to get better. It’s not.” Email me for any advice!
Email email@example.com or text (352)339-8744 if you’d like to join the walk, get involved in any way, or to learn more!
Download the document below to print or challenge a family member or friend!