Florida Wildlife Festival
Florida Wildlife Festival Presentations Schedule

2017 Schedule Posted
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All Presentations will be held in the Cadwell Park building.
(The Cadwell Park building is located in the center of festival grounds and the entry door is located on the north side of the building)



• 9:30 am – “Uncommon and Common Fishes of Lake County” Ron Hart Water Resources Director Lake County Water Authority

A presentation of the important anatomical features of fish and identifying features of each species, including the unique behavioral and reproductive characteristics along with preferred habitats. Mr. Hart has served as the Water Resources Director for the Lake County Water Authority and has a degree in Limnology. He currently serves as the president of the Florida Lake Management Society.

Black Bear in the forest


• 10:30 am - "Florida Panthers in 2017 and Beyond” – The status of the population of Florida's iconic state animal. Lisa Östberg, Florida Coexistence Coordinator, Defenders of Wildlife

With only an estimated 120 -230 remaining in the wild, Florida panthers are one of the most endangered mammals on the planet. Over the last 30+ years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has worked closely with FWC, as well as other Federal agencies and private partners to make significant progress toward Florida panther recovery. However, the growth of the panther population in recent years has come with challenges: due to the resulting geographic expansion of the population, the number of panther deaths on roadways has increased significantly and we've seen as a rise in loss of hobby livestock and pets as well, as panthers adapt their feeding habits to living on suburban fringes. Lisa Östberg of Defenders of Wildlife will share exciting information about the current state of the panther population and Defenders' efforts to foster the peaceful coexistence of panthers, livestock, pets and people in the ever-changing landscape of Florida.


• 11: 30 am – “Bear Awareness Exhibit at the Central Florida Zoo” Stephannie Allen, Director of Marketing & Public Relations, CFZ

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens recently opened a new Florida black bear exhibit and interactive Bear Awareness Exhibit. As a community conservation and education resource, the Central Florida Zoo is dedicated to providing experiences that excite and inspire children and adults to learn and act on behalf of wildlife. At this new exhibit, Zoo guests can step inside a typical home to learn about the variety of items that may attract a bear, ranging from food in your refrigerator in a garage to a grill on your back patio. After learning important tips for reducing human-bear conflict, guests can enjoy watching our two Florida black bears swim in their pool, climb trees, or rest in the shade. With over 300,000 guests annually, the Central Florida Zoo has the important role of educating local families and individuals the importance of being bear aware.


• 12:00 – 2:00 pm (Community Partner Area) – Central Florida Zoo – Native species presentation


• 1:00 pm “Living safely in Bear Country”, Mike Orlando, FWC Wildlife Biologist

Florida black bear biology and behavior, and the science and techniques used to Discover the secrets of a bear’s life. These discoveries help people understand and appreciate Florida’s largest land mammal. Learn about interactions and contact between bears and people in Florida – where, how and why they occur and how to ensure these interactions will be positive and safe experiences.


• 2:00 pm “William Bartram and the Historic Wildlife and Ecosystems he encountered during his Travels in 1774” – Mike Adams, Senior Florida Representative, Field Conservation, Defenders of Wildlife

A living history reenactment of William Bartram, colonial naturalist who explored our region in 1774. This interactive interpretive presentation will identify many plants and animals including gopher tortoise, black bear, whooping crane, painted vulture, ivory- billed woodpecker, manatee, red wolf, scrub jay, panther and bison. Additional information will be provided about our unique ecosystems including the St. Johns River, longleaf pine forest and freshwater springs.


Umatilla Historical Museum

Go Out and Make History!

The Umatilla Museum will be hosting “story time” with the board members of the Greater Umatilla Historical Society. Listen to the history of Nature’s Hometown and understand how the founders and early occupants cherished the land that came be called Umatilla.
10:30 to noon        Students of Peggy Willis, local piano teacher, play their favorite songs.

Stories Presented by


Kaye Adams, President of the Great Umatilla Historical Society, Inc.     

Kaye talks about her childhood and work history in Umatilla, as well as her in-law’s family history in Umatilla. People have always loved Umatilla for its beauty and bounty, and Kaye talks about how the whole town would come together. From cool facts about family-friendly Uncle Tom’s Bar to rare insights that even some board members were surprised to hear about. (Hint: Make sure you ask Kaye about the “Pontiac dealership.”)


Cathie Sebree Tarby, descendant of founder Nathan J. Trowell
Cathie will talk about her great-great-grandfather Nathan J. Trowell, who founded Umatilla in 1856 and served as its first postmaster in 1878. She also talks about Sis Sebree who established the old school house in Umatilla as a historical museum, with the help of others, in 1999. The school house stopped functioning in the early 80s, and needed to be restored.


Ed Lisle & Lowell Collins, board members/restoration committee
Ed & Lowell will discuss the hard work and joint efforts of the reconstruction, which included new floors, new lights, and the careful display of hundreds of interesting moments of the past.

Students still have a lot to learn at the old school house.

Sitting quietly on none other than N. Trowell Avenue in Umatilla is the Umatilla Museum, formerly the original school house.

In the early 2000s, a museum restoration team worked hard to restore the school house and preserve the history of the town. Although the school house stopped functioning in the early 80s, it stands today to reach future generations and teach them about how the town began.

The board works hard with educators to ensure that students experience the museum as part of their curriculum. Local fourth grade students participate in a “Walk About,” where they walk down from the elementary and partake on a scavenger hunt within the old school house.

Volunteers dedicate their time organizing exhibits, like vintage signs, awards, town relics, pictures and newspaper clippings, and the sort. Care is taken to keep objects accessible, yet well-maintained or preserved.

New residents like to come in to learn about their new hometown’s beginnings, generational residents like to reminisce of the past or talk about their family members, and students like to absorb the past in wonderment.

Florida Wildlife Festival
23 South Central Ave
P.O. Box 300
Umatilla, Florida USA 32784
Phone: (352) 669-3511 Fax: (352) 669-8900 ~ Email


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