March 2024 Newsletter

Photo by Ethan Coyle

Spring is officially here!⁠ ⁠As the season unfolds, there’s a lot to look forward to: blooming wildflowers, longer days, excellent birdwatching, and endless opportunities for exploration.

March was a month full of remarkable conservation progress. At the first Governor and Cabinet meeting of 2024, 36,091 acres of the Florida Wildlife Corridor were approved for permanent protection—a huge win for Florida’s ecology, economy, and residents. Additionally, the 4-million-acre U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Everglades to Gulf Conservation Area was announced this month, supporting 70 federally or state-listed threatened and endangered species. And there’s good news for Florida Panthers, thanks to the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, who secured a $1.5 million National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant to support panther conservation efforts!

We have some incredible projects on the horizon, promising more opportunities to connect, learn, and make a difference. Thank you for being part of our community and for your unwavering support. Here’s to a month filled with celebration, progress, and a deepening commitment to wild Florida.

Warm regards,

Mallory Dimmitt
Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation

Corridor Conservation Updates!

Map by Angeline Meeks / Archbold Biological Station

On March 26, the State of Florida approved funding for the permanent conservation of 36,091 acres across five properties within the Florida Wildlife Corridor!

Thank you to the leadership of the landowners, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, The Nature Conservancy, Keith Fountain Law, Saunders Real Estate, Axel Real Estate, and other partners for coming together to make these opportunities possible.

Share the good news from the Cabinet Meeting!

Ethan Coyle

This month, the Florida Department of Agriculture finalized the protection of over 13,000 acres in Osceola and Highlands County through two conservation easements. This significant addition brings the total acres protected through the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program to over 100,000. Agricultural lands are crucial connectors for the Florida Wildlife Corridor, and protecting them is vital to preventing fragmentation and conserving key connections.

fStop Foundation

Good news for Florida Panthers!

Big congratulations to the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on securing a $1.5 million National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant to support panther conservation efforts! 

Check out the fantastic article in Garden and Gun shedding light on this incredible achievement. Special kudos to Tindl Rainey, Director of Conservation for Fish & Wildlife Foundation, for her insightful interview.

At the Corridor Foundation, we’re proud to contribute to this urgent need by advocating for Corridor conservation funding and by convening a collaborative working group focused on Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES). We recognize the essential role of private landowners and how incentivizing them through PES programs is an important tool to support conservation efforts.

Good News for the Florida Panther | Garden & Gun

Carlton Ward Jr

Big news! The establishment of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Everglades to Gulf Conservation Area was announced this month. This 4-million-acre conservation area spans 12 counties and is home to 70 federally or state-listed threatened and endangered species.

Conservation Group Celebrates Establishment of Everglades to Gulf Conservation Area | Florida Politics

Alex Freeze

Congratulations to the USDA Forest Service, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, and The Conservation Fund for receiving a 2023 Chief’s Award for restoring the Deep Creek watershed in Osceola National Forest, a key Suwannee River tributary!

This collaborative effort protected 14,000 acres, ensuring 80% of the watershed is within the forest. These lands will be restored to the historic longleaf pine ecosystem, benefiting water resources, wildlife habitat, and public access. Combined with previous efforts, over 23,000 acres have been conserved.

1000 Friends of Florida Webinar Series 

Between now and 2070, Florida could lose about 250 acres of land a day (90,000 acres a year) to development. Why is the Florida Wildlife Corridor vital to Florida’s future and how can you help protect it? Find out in a series of free webinars this April and May:

•    Part 1:  Looking at the Big Picture, Thursday, April 4
•    Part 2:  Fostering Community Vision, Wednesday, April 10
•    Part 3:  The Planning Toolbox, Wednesday, April 24
•    Part 4:  Building a Big Tent, Wednesday, May 1

RSVP for free today!

USPS Releases “Save Manatees” Stamp!

Kyle Soto

In honor of Manatee Appreciation Day, the US Postal Service released a brand-new “Save Manatees” stamp to spread awareness of Florida’s official marine mammal!

The health of waterways in the heart of the state impacts the wildlife that call them home as well as people and estuaries downstream. ⁠The Florida Wildlife Corridor connects these vital habitats, providing a lifeline for threatened species like the native Florida manatee.

Sadly, Florida manatees face many challenges including seagrass die offs, boat collisions, habitat loss and more. You can help raise awareness for these beloved creatures by using the new Save Manatees stamp!

Get yours today!

Alex Freeze

This month our fantastic board and staff explored Crystal Springs Preserve. Spending time together in wild Florida reminds us of the importance of our collective mission to connect, protect and restore the Florida Wildlife Corridor. We are so grateful for this dedicated group of individuals.

Art + Conservation = Connecting hearts and minds to wild Florida

Thank you to everyone who experienced Timeless: Art, Science and Nature at Archbold Biological Station at Wild Space Gallery! We loved connecting with you this month during the two-part speaker series with Archbold Biological Station’s Executive Director and CEO, Dr. Hilary Swain and Emeritus Research Biologist of Entomology, Dr Mark Deyrup.

Explore the Corridor Week Volunteer Opportunities

Thank you to the generous support of Bradley S. and Marta E. Pollitt and Family for making Timeless: Art, Science and Nature at Archbold Biological Station possible!

New Exhibit Alert – The Nature of Healing Opening April 13!

New Wild Space Gallery exhibit alert! Opening April 13, The Nature of Healing presents the work of two Florida artists who have found lifelong inspiration in our natural environment and its abundant resources. In a dynamic pairing of abstract painting and classically-infused sculpture, Genevieve Lykes Dimmitt and David Price explore the power of art to engage with nature, and find within it sources of wonder and solace.

This exhibition is in partnership with Love IV Lawrence / Community Foundation Tampa Bay.