Florida Wildlife Festival in Umatilla to celebrate native species

The Florida Wildlife Festival will be held Sept. 10 in Umatilla .
The Florida Wildlife Festival will be held Sept. 10 in Umatilla .

UMATILLA — Nature lovers are invited to learn about the Florida black bear and other native wildlife species during the 17th Annual Florida Wildlife Festival.

The free festival, held in partnership with Lake County, the Umatilla Chamber of Commerce, the city of Umatilla, the U.S. Forest Service, Defenders of Wildlife, Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Cadwell Park, located at 4 Cassady St. in Umatilla.

The purpose of the Florida Wildlife Festival is to increase awareness and promote the safe coexistence of humans and wildlife by fostering community appreciation of the Florida black bear and other native wildlife species, as well as Florida’s unique ecosystems that serve as wildlife habitat.

This year’s event includes:

• Field trips that will take festival goers into the Ocala National Forest, where biologists will lead participants through natural bear habitats and explain their history.

• Tours of the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway, a designated national scenic highway.

• Wildlife-focused educational presentations.

• Free trips to the historic Carr Cabin.

• Children’s activities including crafts and educational activities.

• Arts and crafts, food vendors and more.

For more information about the festival visit www.floridawildlifefestival.org or contact Susan Martin at 352-636-3392. To find out why Lake County is “Real Florida. Real Close.”, and for more information on local festivals and events, check out www.visitlakefl.com.

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