Letter from our Executive Director
We’ve had an exciting, impactful last few months! With the support of a top-quality professional staff and a fully committed board of directors, I am pleased to say we are becoming a stronger and more versatile organization by the day.
In August, we underwent an important rebrand, updating our name from Conservation Trust for Florida to Conservation Florida. This change reflects our forward progress and momentum. It’s also easier to say and remember, which will better serve our mission to protect Florida’s natural and agricultural lands. It’s short, it’s sweet, and it explains what we do and where we do it.
In October, we hosted our inaugural statewide bioblitz, and it was a hit! Our bioblitz welcomed people from all backgrounds to explore the natural world, engage in science, and connect with some of Florida’s most special places. We invited Floridians to join us at three locations to count and photograph as many species as they could spot. From guided kayaking tours to swamp buggy adventures, we had a great turnout and logged some rare species along the way.
We knew that capturing a snapshot of our State’s biodiversity could only happen if we approached the event in a big way. So, we went statewide. We planned to feature a coastal habitat encountering annual monarch butterfly migration, a sand pine scrub forest with a first magnitude spring, and a dry prairie, but Hurricane Michael had other plans and hit our coastal location days prior to the bioblitz. This forced a postponement at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge location. We hope to host our bioblitz there next year, and in the meantime, we offer our assistance and support to our friends in the Panhandle. Our remaining two events are highlighted in this issue.
As we continue to expand our programs and services, know this: Conservation Florida remains as dedicated as ever to protecting Florida’s special places. We’re committed to achieving meaningful land protection, serving as a trusted partner, advocating effectively for conservation and conservation funding, and educating policymakers, leaders, and our fellow Floridians about the importance of conservation here in Florida.
We believe the future is bright. Why? We have you on our side, and together, we can do great things. From the Florida Panhandle to the Everglades Headwaters, we have land conservation projects that are truly shaping Florida’s conservation future. In fact, the large, statewide projects we target have global significance and will help protect some of the rarest habitats and species in the world.
As an incredible year comes to an end, I can’t wait to share with you all that’s on the horizon for 2019. Stay tuned!