Out My Front Door

My local wildlife corridor starts outside my front door, leading to my photography playground: Lake Dan Preserve. It’s my home. It’s also the home of my non-human friends and where one can experience the pure honesty of nature. It’s where magical moments are captured, and stories told. Every day is a new born adventure of being a kid again asking questions about the wonders of nature but not always having them answered. Never feeling bored or lonely, just grateful and inspired.

My name is Sonja Pedersen and I’m a local free range conservation wildlife photographer living on 5 acres in Odessa Florida. Living in central Florida for the past 58 years, I have witnessed the unintended consequences of the population boom. Less wildlife habitats and the demise of our beautiful freshwater springs. I consider myself fortunate to live in an area which is now protected.

Lake Dan preserve is approximately 1,600 acres and one of many lands under the Jan K. Platt Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program (ELAPP) in Hillsborough County. ELAPP was established in 1987. It is a voluntary program established for the purpose of providing the process and funding for identifying, acquiring, preserving and protecting endangered, environmentally sensitive and significant lands in Hillsborough County. It is a citizen-based program with volunteer committees involved in every key aspect of the program. Almost 64,000 acres are managed under the program.
For more information on ELAPP visit: https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/residents/recreation-and-culture/conservation/elapp

Thanks to people like Jan K. Platt and others for having the foresight to protecting and preserving these environmentally sensitive “wilderness neighborhoods”.

And, thanks to organizations like the Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation for keeping the ball rolling.

I’m always reminded how important these lands are whether it be the wildlife corridor or just someone’s backyard, we all benefit from such a diverse community of beings. Having this corridor out my front door lead me to The Florida Wildlife Corridor. Find your own corridor to enlightenment. May you discover magical moments in your own corridor and keep the balance between society and nature open.

Sonja Pedersen
Sonja Pedersen is a conservation photographer located in Odessa, Florida. Sonja has been a dedicated Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation volunteer for many years. Her lens captures not just moments, but the essence of our mission. From documenting expeditions to our Corridor Connect Summit, mentoring interns, and adding an artistic touch to countless events, Sonja’s dedication and talent amplify the impact of our initiatives.