The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recently approved continued development of Species Conservation Measures and Permitting Guidelines for four state-listed beach-nesting bird species, including the American oystercatcher, snowy plover, least tern and black skimmer.

All four species of state-listed beach-nesting birds are included in one set of draft guidelines, which is now available at MyFWC.com/wildlifehabitats/wildlife/species-guidelines/

Staff will return to a future commission meeting for final approval of the guidelines.

For more information on Florida’s shorebirds, go to MyFWC.com/Shorebirds.

The guidelines are designed to be a tool for landowners, consultants, agency partners and other interested parties on…

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The Seaside School Half Marathon + 5K will be back in-person for the 20th anniversary running on Sunday, February 20th, 2022, in Seaside, Florida. The three-day charity race weekend kicks off with the coastal cuisine event Taste of the Race on Friday night, then proceeds to a fun-for-all-ages Race Expo on Saturday, and culminates on Sunday morning with the running of the half marathon + 5K along the iconic Highway 30A starting and finishing in Seaside.

Both in-person and virtual race registrants will receive the following:
• A virtual goody bag full of surprises
• Vera Bradley® ReActive Sling Backpack in either the Really Regatta, Black or Neon Ivy fabric
• Iconic race shirt, designed by Billie Gaffrey
• A virtual training program
• A customized playlist
•…

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The annual Valentine Tour of Homes is a fundraiser for the Cultural Arts Alliance’s Art for All program, which provides much-needed funding for arts education initiatives in Walton County, including grants and scholarships for students, teachers, artists and arts organizations.

The two-day event is a self-guided tour through some of South Walton’s most beautiful, unique, and art-filled homes, which range from historic cottages to gulf-front mansions.

Details can be found at CulturalArtsAlliance.com.

Source: Visit South Walton

https://www.visitsouthwalton.com/events/valentine-tour-of-homes/

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The 30A Wine Festival, underwritten by The Alys Foundation, returns to the beautiful community of Alys Beach for its 10th year: Wednesday, February 23 through Sunday, February 27, 2022.

The festival showcases renowned distillers, vintners, and culinary favorites over five days of celebration – a series of events and workshops where wine enthusiasts and bourbon lovers alike relish in the festivities within the captivating town of Alys Beach. All proceeds from the festival benefit the Children’s Volunteer Health Network, a local charity which provides health services to uninsured or underinsured school children in Walton and Okaloosa Counties.

The festival kicks off on Wednesday evening at Caliza Pool and Restaurant with an intimate wine dinner…

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After working through the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, city officials have managed to press on in 2021 and get some big-ticket items accomplished. 

Topping the list of accomplishments was acquiring a new public beach for residents and visitors to use in the Crystal Beach area. 

“Two parcels were acquired this past year, tripling the public beach area available at the Shores of Crystal Beach Park,” Destin City Manager Lance Johnson said in an email.

Those parcels are located on the east end of Destin. 

Next on the list, but not visible to folks yet, was the city staff completing revisions to the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Districts. 

"This was a huge accomplishment that will help guide Destin’s future development and redevelopment,”…

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The 34th annual ArtsQuest to take place May 7 and 8 in Grand Boulevard.

The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) invites visual artists of all disciplines to apply to participate in the juried 34th annual ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival planned for May 7 and 8 of next year in south Walton County.

ArtsQuest will take place in the Town Center of Grand Boulevard, which is also home to other large-scale events including the 30A Songwriters Festival and the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival. Located along the Scenic Highway 98 corridor, Grand Boulevard is easily accessible from regional drive and fly markets, including Dallas, Houston, Memphis, Atlanta, Nashville, Birmingham, Mobile, Pensacola and Tallahassee. The Town Center also offers upscale shopping, restaurants and three on-site hotels.

Artists may…

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CALL TO ARTISTS

The CAA is calling all artists who are current members of the Cultural Arts Alliance to submit an application to be considered for the 2022 Spring Rotation of The Foster Gallery located in Grand Boulevard’s Town Center scheduled to run February 7 - June 5, 2022.    Please study the criteria and submit application ONLINE prior to 11 pm on January 18, 2022. ABOUT THE FOSTER GALLERY  The Foster Gallery is named for the late Susan Foster, a founder of the Cultural Arts Alliance.  It is an artist collective featuring regional artists and special exhibitions on a quarterly rotating basis.  We host artist receptions and openings, workshops, events, and serve as a community gathering point symbolizing the support the CAA…

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The St. Joe Community Foundation has approved grants totaling more than $4.4 million in 2021 to be paid to local non-profit organizations, the highest for a single year since its inception in 1999. Additionally, the Foundation created the No Ordinary JOE Scholarship program which will provide scholarships to three students from every Bay and Walton County public high school beginning in 2022.

The grants approved support local non-profit organizations working in the areas of education, environmental stewardship, healthcare and cultural arts with the goal of enriching the quality of life of the people who live, work and play in Northwest Florida.

“We are very proud to see this money go to work here in our local communities,” said April Wilkes,…

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As we are about to move into a new year, I wanted to share with you a gardening resource that you can use throughout the year. It’s the UF/IFAS Extension North Florida Gardening Calendar created by Sidney Park Brown, Associate Professor Emeritus with the UF/IFAS Department of Environmental Horticulture. For each month, there is a section on “What to plant” for that month and a section on “What to do” in our North Florida lawns, landscapes and gardens.

Here is the calendar for January. As you can see, there’s much to do even in January here in North Florida. Each month follows a similar format.

What to plant

Annuals/Bedding plants: Cool-season annuals include pansy, viola, petunia, and snapdragon. See…

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Why Selling Your House with a Real Estate Professional Is Essential | MyKCM

Selling your house is no simple task. And when you sell on your own – known as a FSBO (or For Sale by Owner) – you’re responsible for handling some of the more difficult aspects of the process without the expert guidance you need.

The 2021 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) surveys homeowners who recently sold their house on their own and asks what difficulties they faced. Those sellers say some of the biggest headaches are prepping their house for sale, pricing it right, and handling the required paperwork.

Working with an agent is the best way to ensure you have an expert on your side to guide you at every turn. Agents have the skills and knowledge that are essential to navigating each step with…

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