9 Florida Keys State Parks Remain Closed

Nine Florida Keys State Parks remain closed, due to Hurricane Irma damage, until further notice, Florida Department of Environmental Protection officials said Monday. Those Monroe County parks are: • Bahia Honda • Curry Hammock • Dagny JohnsonKey Largo Hammock Botanical • Fort Zachary Taylor Historic • Indian Key Historic • John Pennekamp Coral Reef •  Lignumvitae […]
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Key Largo Rowell’s Waterfront Park Development Discussed

The Monroe County Parks & Recreation Advisory Board will meet at 6 p.m., Monday, Aug. 28, to discuss how the county is planning to move forward with the development of Rowell’s Waterfront Park. Park designers S&ME, formerly known as Little John Engineering, will be on hand to answer any questions the public may have. “This […]
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Middle and Lower Florida Keys State Parks Offer Plenty of Activities

In the Middle and Lower Florida Keys State Parks — Long Key, Curry Hammock, Bahia Honda and Fort Zachary Taylor — are easy to explore and offer multiple opportunities for recreation. Long Key State Park Located on Long Key, just southwest of the town of Layton, this park was once the site of railroad magnate […]
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My 3 Favorite Things To Do in the Upper Florida Keys

I have been in love with the Florida Keys most of my life. Having been born and raised in South Florida, the natural beauty of the area has captivated me since early childhood. The fortune of growing up in a boating family instilled me with an unending need to experience nature to it’s fullest. The […]
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Gumbo Limbo – Not a New Dance But Good for Native Landscaping

These days, most merry-go-round horses are made from molded fiberglass and plastic. However, in the days when they were carved from wood, most of them were made from gumbo limbo, Bursera simaruba. Gumbo limbo is one of the most recognizable trees in the tropical hardwood hammock of the Florida Keys. Its red, peeling bark has […]
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2017 Islamorada Priorities – Traffic – Park – Canal Improvements

Islamorada Mayor Jim Mooney said one of the governing board’s main focuses in 2017 will be tackling traffic issues, a recurring theme for much of Monroe County. U.S. 1 has long experienced lengthy delays due to holidays, community events and accidents, among other things. Mooney said the village is working on two solutions to alleviate […]
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San Pedro Wreck Site is Unusual Florida State Park

Located a mile south of Indian Key Historic State Park is the San Pedro Underwater Archaeological Preserve State Park. This park holds the distinction as the only underwater archaeological state park in the Florida Park Service. The San Pedro, a 287-ton ship, was one of a fleet of 21 ships that left Havana in 1733 […]
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Harry Harris Park Boat Ramp May Get Rate Hike

A calm-weather weekend turns the Harry Harris Park Boat Ramp into one of the busiest spots in the Upper Keys. In a waterfront community with limited public access to open water, the two ramps at the Monroe County public park in Tavernier lead straight to the beckoning expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. “Monday through Friday, […]
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Harry Harris Park Dock Repaired

Monroe County last week completed a $33,828 project to repair the dock next to the boat ramp at Harry Harris Park. They stripped the dock down to the pylons. Removing and repairing the old decking and the support structure. A new structural plastic decking, which is slip resistant and low maintenance, was installed.   More […]
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FAVORite People – Wildlife Biologist Kate Watts

Kate Watts monitors vegetation in the pine rockland ecosystem on Big Pine Key. Watts serves as Lead Wildlife Biologist for the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex, overseeing biologists, technicians and interns at the refuges in the lower Keys. “Although a scientist by trade, I find that it is extremely important to translate the technical […]
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Your Lower Florida Keys Vacation Bucket List

The Lower Florida Keys have some well known destinations. Lying between the Middle Florida Keys and Key West, with Big Pine Key’s Key Deer and Bahia Honda State Park’s beaches as well as one of the top diving spots, Looe Key, will keep visitors busy and happy. There are also may historic locations to satisfy […]
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Middle Florida Keys Suggestions For Your Bucket List

The Middle Florida Keys are an often overlooked destination. Lying between the Upper Florida Keys where you will find the Diving & Fishing Capitals of Key Largo and Islamorada and the Lower Florida Keys with Big Pine Key’s Key Deer and world famous Key West, the Middle Florida Keys is sometimes referred to as the Heart […]
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Ranger Kristie Killam Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Ranger

In her position Ranger Kristie Killam has a strong focus on education and outreach, working with schools and camp programs, leading guided tours, and assisting with biological research. Killam moved to No Name Key in 2008 after visiting the Keys for more than 25 years, drawn by its mix of outdoor opportunities, especially in and […]
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Upper Florida Keys Suggestions For Your Bucket List

Do you know how many parks there are in the Upper Florida Keys? Me neither. Between the City Parks: Islamorada’s Founders Park and Anne’s Beach, Monroe County Parks: Harry Harris, Florida State Parks: John Pennekamp and Lignumvitae and the National Parks-Refuges-Sanctuaries: Everglades, Crocodile Lake and the all encompassing Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, you are […]
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Pennekamp Park’s Well Hidden Secret Treasure

Florida’s 171 state parks vary in the natural and cultural resources that they have to offer. Many of them have at least one unique feature, and some of these are easy to miss. The Florida Keys are an island chain surrounded by saltwater. Finding freshwater has always been a concern. Freshwater holes were likely enough […]
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Key West To Break Ground On New Truman Waterfront Park

The city of Key West took ownership of the 32 acre Truman Waterfront on the island’s western shore back in 2002. The property had been used by the Navy since World War II as a submarine base and for other kinds of training. But in a round of downsizing, the land was given to the […]
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Florida Keys State Parks Offer Diverse Wildlife

During a recent visit to the Florida Keys State Parks I tried to do something I’d neglected in the past. I attempted to visit as  many of the state parks as I could to get a better sense of what they have to offer. My main destination was Bahia Honda State Park to look for butterflies […]
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Lignumvitae Key Was Once Known as ‘Isle of Firewood’

The history of Lignumvitae Key dates back in time when the islands of the Florida Keys were a living coral reef. Sea level has fluctuated over time and has been as much as 300 feet lower than today and as much as 60 to 100 feet higher than today, drastically changing the footprint of the […]
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Protecting and Restoring Seagrass at Lignumvitae Key

Visiting the Florida Keys usually means a trip to the coral reef, a habitat that is truly a wonder to behold. However, the lesser-known, but equally important seagrass habitat is worth mentioning. Seagrass beds provide food and shelter for numerous animals including fish, queen conch, lobster, shrimp, crab and smaller colonies of coral. Seagrass trap […]
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