We are proud to feature the photography of Carlton Ward Jr. in Selby’s Museum of Botany & the Arts October 5 – November 27. Twenty original framed photographs will celebrate the beauty of natural Florida and showcase Carlton’s most recent adventure: The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition. Select Gulf Coast images will also be on display.
On January 17 four concerned Floridians kicked off a 1000 mile expedition over a 100 day period to increase public awareness and generate support for the Florida Wildlife Corridor project. Bear biologist Joe Guthrie, conservationist Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, filmmaker Elam Stoltzfus and photographer Carlton Ward Jr trekked from the Everglades National Park toward Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southern Georgia. They traversed the wildlife habitats, watersheds and participating working farms and ranches, which comprise the Florida Wildlife Corridor opportunity area. For more information, visit the Florida Wildlife Corridor Website.
Programming is planned to complement the exhibit and to educate Garden guests about land conservation. Informative labels and a gallery guide will be available so that visitors may follow the foot prints of the expedition as they enjoy the stunning images from the comfort of the Museum.
A free public opening will be held 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Thursday, October 4 and a gallery walk & talk led by Ward will be held on Wednesday, October 17 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm in the Museum. There is no rsvp necessary for the 7:00 - 9:00 pm opening on October 4 however, space is limited to 30 for the October 17 gallery walk & talk from 6:00 - 7:00 pm and does require an rsvp to firstname.lastname@example.org or 941-366-5731, ext. 239.
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. Recently, Selby Gardens Director of Botany Bruce Holst, Director of Education Jeannie Perales, Calrton Ward, Jr. and WUSF News reporter Steve Newborn took a field trip to the Everglades to check on the restoration. Read the full WUSF article here.
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.