October 5 – November 27, 2012
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota, FL
Earlier this year a team of conservationists and explorers made a 1,000-mile trek over 100 days from Florida’s Everglades National Park to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southern Georgia to bring attention to the need to protect and restore connected landscapes and to create a viable wildlife corridor throughout the Florida Peninsula. The account of their adventures enabled a rapt audience to follow them vicariously and form a better understanding of the fragile balance between natural and man-made worlds. Their efforts documented how panthers, bears, native cultures, ranchlands and rivers are connected, which will hopefully bring the Florida Wildlife Corridor closer to becoming a reality.
On October 5, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens will host the exhibit premiere of Exploring the Florida Wildlife Corridor, a collection of photographs from native Floridian Carlton Ward Jr. Experience images captured during the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition and additional Florida nature scenes. The exhibit will remain on display through November 27 in Selby’s Museum of Botany and the Arts, located within the historic Christy Payne Mansion.
Scientists at Selby Gardens are also interested in the Wildlife Corridor from the perspective of native plants, and are currently engaged in two related conservation projects. In one study, Selby botanists harvested and cultivated seed and spores from several rare orchids and ferns that are endangered or threatened with extinction from the Everglades due in part to changes in water levels and poaching. The propagated plants were introduced to a natural habitat in the Everglades last July with the hopes of revitalizing their endangered populations. The second study involves the careful extraction of spores from two rare species of fern from within the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve in southwest Florida to be cultivated and reintroduced to a park in Miami-Dade County for the purpose of restoring a population that was lost to this region several decades ago.
Exploring the Florida Wildlife Corridor is being sponsored by Mosaic and WSMR 89.1. The exhibit is open from 10:00 am – 4:30 pm daily. Admission is included with Selby Gardens Admission. As always, Selby members are admitted free of charge.
900 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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