Little Talbot Island, FLMar 4th, 2017 to Mar 11th, 2017
Trip Logistics & Participant Requirements:
We will be either renting vehicles or using participant vehicles to drive to the park site, which in total will be approximately a ten hour drive. Participants must be willing to make that drive in one day; we are planning on taking Saturday as a travel day to get to the park and set up so that we will be able to start work bright and early Sunday morning!
We plan to be camping in the park in tents throughout the duration of our trip. This means no AC, no internet connection, and being willing to cook over a campfire. There are bath houses which we will be allowed to use.
Because we will be doing environmental service work, participants must be willing to get muddy and be exhausted at the end of the work day. We want to make an impact and assist the Park Service employees in any way we can; we’re looking for determination and flexibility from our participants, as well as a good attitude and expectation to simultaneously work hard and have fun.
During our time at Little Talbot Island State Park we will be at the disposal of the Florida Park Service. Spring break is the time of year that they are getting prepared for our shorebird and sea turtle nesting season and need lots of help with litter/debris removal, construction and installation of nesting closure area signage and habitat prep. Additionally, trail work and exotic plant removal are priority. Some light facility maintenance to get the park ready for the following busy season may also be incorporated. We should have lots to do to keep busy!
General James Oglethorpe named the Talbot Islands in honor of Charles Baron Talbot, Lord High Chancellor of England, in 1735. Prior to that Native Americans had been the first humans to inhabit the barrier islands before in 1562 the French Huguenots arrived. The French Huguenots named the island Timucua and until from then until James Oglethorpe renamed the island, French, English, and Spanish colonists lived there. The park went through several changes of hands between the Spanish, French, and British. Plantation agriculture remained an enduring feature of the park area until the late 1800s when tourism to the park increased dramatically, and several hotels were built to accommodate the influx of visitors. Little Talbot State Park was officially opened by the state in 1952. In the 1980’s several surrounding areas were also named state parks and the Talbot State Parks System grew.
Little Talbot Island is a barrier island, meaning that the dunes which comprise the park are always changing due to erosion. Use of boardwalks and fencing throughout the park to direct pedestrian traffic has helped to preserve the natural wilderness. The park is particularly known for having good birding, but there is a wide variety of life that calls the park its home, including bobcats, river otters, and rabbits.
Little Talbot Island has more than five miles of beautiful beaches within the park, as well as a number of tidal streams that we would be able to swim in. We plan to spend time hiking some of the many gorgeous trails that the park has to offer, as well as rent kayaks to further explore the streams and marsh areas. Bicycles are also available for rental, so time permitting we will rent bikes one evening.
There are also a number of nearby parks including Fort George Island Cultural State Park, Amelia Island State Park, Big Talbot Island State Park, George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park, Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park, and Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park. These 6 parks in combination with Little Talbot State Park comprise the Talbot Islands State Parks. We hope to dedicate one afternoon after our work to visit one or more of these other parks within the TAlbot Islands State Park system.
In addition, we plan on taking one afternoon to drive into Jacksonville, the closest city. Depending on participant interest, we can choose from a number of options. These include visiting the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, the Museum of Science and History, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary, the Kingsley Plantation, and seeing the Friendship Fountain,
About the Site Leaders:
Hannah and Heather are both super excited to lead this ASB trip. They met after playing for the Virginia Women’s Club Rugby team first year and have remained friends. Heather is third year Foreign Affairs and Economics Double Major. She went to San Juan, Puerto Rico through ASB her first year.
Hannah is also a third year double major in Biology and Public Health. She has participated in ASB the past two years, going to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky her first year and leading a trip to Congaree National Park in South Carolina this past year.