John Bente on an Orchid Tour explaining the night vision and growth of White Fringed Orchids

Biologist John Bente in Deer Lake State Park

Innovation in Change 2016, Deer Lake State Park, FL

What is biologist John Bente telling us? $3 million worth of changes to Deer Lake State Park are funded by the BP oil spill. The smoking fires you drove by on Hwy 30A in February are part of the first year of five years of restoration. This back-to-the-future investment is enhancing our park no end.

What are we going back to? The environment stifled by the rampant vegetative growth that would have been kept in check by fire. We have subdivided the environment to the edge of extinction of life forms that depend on fire and related events. The park service has been remedying that with controlled burns and some replanting of Longleaf pine since the mid-1990s. But the wetland areas still suffer and require more drastic measures to revive. That involves cutting, clearing, propagating and replanting.

Here is what I've experienced, learned and discovered: How to Engage, State of the Park, Pitcher Plant Meadow, Orchid Tour, Seed Tour. Plus, Maps.

How to Engage

Engaging pitcher plants in a meadow The artist, hiker, activist and other parts of myself have different ways to engage the park.

State of the Park 2016

SOTP image 06 Focusing on the first year of the 5-year RESTORE grants, here are the main points. See also the Unit Management Plan update page.

Pitcher Plant Meadow

Pitcher plant meadow on 5/13/2016 Discovered this restored wet prairie area on 5/13/2016. It is not the only carnivorous plant site in the park. The pitcher plants in this meadow are particularly beautiful. See also a page of other plants at Pitcher Plant Meadow Plus.

Orchid Tour: Renewal and Restoration

Orchid Tour, August, 2016 Biologists Jeff Talbert and John Bente took eight people from the Facebook Group I <HEART> Deer Lake State Park on a tour celebrating the blooming of White Fringed Orchids on 8/26/2016.

Seed Tour: Clearing and Regeneration

Biologists Jeff Talbert and John Bente took seven people on a tour of restoration clearing and regeneration on 12/28/2016. This is an orchid seed capsule cluster. On 12/28/2016 the biologists took visitors Tim Radak and his family, with locals Pat 'Sheewho' Cummins and myself on a tour of seeds, an area being cleared and a visit (revisit for me) of the orchid site, which had been cleared the year before.

Continuing in 2017. Back to Deer Lake State Park 2016 page.

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