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The Green Life: Tracking TrekEast: Week 5

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April 08, 2011

Tracking TrekEast: Week 5

TrekEast John Davis's TrekEast adventure from Florida's Everglades to Canada's Gaspe Peninsula has as its goal to raise awareness of the East's remaining wild places, and to inspire people to help protect them. We at the Green Life are logging weekly updates of Davis's progress as he completes his 4,500-mile, human-powered trek.

Week 5 of TrekEast began with Davis's visit to Ocala National Forest, an important piece of a Florida wildlife corridor called the Ocala to Osceola Greenway. Camping and swamp-walking in the continental U.S.'s southernmost forest provided Davis with an up-close glimpse at critical wildlife connections.

Davis then made his way to Gainesville, where he spoke with University of Florida men's basketball coach Billy Donovan. Fascinated by wildlife himself, the Gators coach was impressed with Davis's journey. "To go 5,000 miles, I think, is a great testimony to what (Davis) is doing, and how passionate he is about wildlife," Donovan said. "He's creating a level of awareness that there are a lot of passes that need to be created for these animals so we can continue to enjoy them."

Next, Davis cycled to a floodplain forest along the Suwannee River, set up camp, and joined conservation colleagues for hikes around some of the hammocks. He then biked north to Tallahassee for the Florida Forever Rally, an annual event highlighting the state's environmental programs (under Florida Forever and Preservation 2000, Florida has protected more than 2.4 million acres of land.)

Heading out of the city and back into nature, Davis joined fellow trekkers at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. The group explored sinks along the Aucilla River; saw Pygmy rattlesnakes, armadillos, and a flock of great blue herons; and settled into camp as rain fell down.

--Molly Oleson /photo courtesy Wildlands Network


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