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Florida State Parks announces new, free mobile app

Florida State Parks announces new, free mobile app

Florida-- Trees, lakes, trails, wildlife- they're all things that come to mind when thinking about Florida's parks. Techonology, smartphones and applications, howeverm are probably the last things to come to mind- until now!

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Park Services department has announced the launch of their new, free mobile application, which will serve as an interactive guide for users on the go at any of Florida's 171 parks, trails and historic sites. 

No tax increase for SWFWMD

No tax increase for SWFWMD

Tampa Bay, Florida -- Although the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) increased its operating budget by $4.5 million for the coming fiscal year, property owners will not pay a higher tax to the state agency responsible for flood control and surface and groundwater quality in the Tampa Bay area.

Tuesday night the Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board approved the 2012-13 fiscal year budget and millage (or tax) rate. The fiscal year starts Monday, Oct. 1.

Hernando County teachers awarded grants

Hernando County teachers awarded grants

HERNANDO COUNTY, Florida -- Seven Hernando County teachers are among the 206 educators across the District's 16-county region awarded Splash! school grants this year through the Southwest Florida Water Management District. 

The goal of the Splash! school grant program is to provide hands-on learning opportunities that teach students about their local watersheds and the freshwater resources within them. Splash! school grants provide up to $5,000 per school on a reimbursement basis only and are available to public, private and homeschool teachers.

Mary Margaret Hull, lead communications coordinator, attributed the effectiveness of the grant program in Hernando County to the strong partnership with Hernando County Schools, which helped get the word out to teachers. Jeff Yungmann, curriculum supervisor for Hernando County Schools, serves as the District’s liaison to teachers.

Strawberry farmers water all night to beat season's first freeze

Strawberry farmers water all night to beat season's first freeze

Dover, Florida -- "I feel like it is going to be another one of them years," said Matt Parke, shaking his head as he looked out at his crops at Parkesdale Farms in Dover.

Sprinklers sprayed warm groundwater over the farm's acres of green strawberry plants throughout the night Monday and up until after sunrise Tuesday morning.

The last thing strawberry farmers like Parke want is a repeat of the January freeze that lasted an unprecedented eleven days straight. "Last year, it was a disaster," Parke reflected.

Sadly, this season is off to a similar start. It is the first week of December and farmers are already scrambling to make sure sprinklers and water pipes are working. The reason? As soon as temperatures drop near freezing, they have to water the plants to protect them.