“… we still join Thoreau in declaring that ‘in Wildness is the preservation of the World,’ for wildness (as opposed to wilderness) can be found anywhere: in the seemingly tame fields and woodlots of Massachusetts, in the cracks of a Manhattan sidewalk, even in the cells of our own bodies” – William Cronon

Welcome! This website is my attempt at inspiring Floridians and others to care about the wilderness that exists around them – not just in places like the Everglades, or the St. Johns River, or the many state parks and glorious beaches that embody the sunshine state – but also the wonders in our own backyards.

What is wilderness anyway? Is it an idea, a place, a spirit, a state of mind? Perhaps it’s all of those things. Some environmentalists, notably William Cronon, have posited that the notion of wilderness as being something “out there” that we set aside to protect (perhaps futilely) and occasionally visit, may be an outdated and disillusioned way of thinking of the world’s wild places. What about the nature in our backyards and neighborhoods? Or the ponds, puddles and ‘undeveloped’ woods of subdivisions where children play and bring their imaginations to life – places which can also be vital habitats to wildlife like birds and reptiles. Is there not something intrinsically valuable about these places? Should these not be appreciated and respected too?

In the spirit of Cronon’s The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature, this blog is about  Florida’s suburban wilderness and the microcosms of biodiversity that exist in our communities and neighborhoods. These places don’t get a lot of attention, but they deserve a chance to be explored and admired. I hope that learning about the unique facets of Florida’s ecology can help inspire more people to care about the environment – and empowers us all to stop thinking about nature as something that is ‘out there’ and far away, but rather something that is all around us and which we are deeply connected to.

Florida is a fascinating ecological gem. Yet much of Florida’s natural resources are undervalued. Most people know a bit about the Everglades, for instance, though I doubt we fully realize the many ways in which we affect and are affected by this unique ecosystem. Did you know that over 7 million people rely on the Everglades for their water supply? That is one out of every 3 people living in Florida.Yet at the same time, one only needs to look at the impacts of human development and the effects of invasive species like lion-fish and Burmese pythons to see proof that we are unabashedly destroying this crucial resource.

My desire is that this blog helps you reconnect to – and feel inspired by – the nature around you in Florida. I’ll try to find interesting stories about natural habitats, people, urban ecology, home gardening, ecosystem restoration, and environmental education that I hope allows you to find new ways of getting involved in local environmental issues and appreciating the many lessons we can learn from exploring the wild world around us.

Thanks for visiting!