The Angler's Paintbrush An Interview with Alan Woolford
From the Gulf of Mexico to Escambia Bay, Pensacola is rich with underwater adventures
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Editor’s Note This summer, my mother was happy to host all of her children and grandchildren for much of the season. To celebrate, she purchased an armada—no ships, mind you, but multiple kayaks and paddleboards for all of the kids to enjoy. What a blast! We’ve enjoyed spending time on the waterways and we intend to spend even more as the warm months linger on. There is something so peaceful about paddling yourself out and just enjoying the natural beauty that surrounds us. While August in Pensacola might seem a bit hot for an outdoor focused issue of Pensacola Magazine, the truth is there is still plenty of opportunity to get outside and enjoy all of the incredible landscapes our region has to offer. This year, we have focused on a variety of trail options—hiking, kayaking and birding. Each of these categories hosts multiple trails that are part of larger Florida-wide trails. Looking at all of these gorgeous outdoor options and their respective designations really makes one appreciate this specific area of the world that we live in. We also profile a few good spots for exploring what’s under the water via snorkeling and fishing—two favorite water community pastimes. It’s also turtle season along the Gulf Coast and it’s so important for locals and visitors alike to understand the way in which humans impact this fragile species and to learn the ways in which they can limit those impacts. Chances are, if you’ve seen some vibrant and detailed paintings of fish around town—on tournament brochures, t-shirts, hats or canvases—it’s likely the work of local artist Alan Woolford, whom we have profiled in this edition as well. If you’re not familiar with his work, you are in for a treat. I hope something in this issue piques your curiosity and inspires to get outside and have some fun. Here’s to enjoying our uniquely stunning and diverse Emerald Coast! Happy Trails!
Kelly Oden Executive Editor
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Contents underwater escapes 14 From the Gulf of Mexico to Escambia Bay, Pensacola is rich with underwater adventures
the angler's paintbrush 17
An interview with Alan Woolford, a mainstay of Pensacola underwater artwork.
adventures on the beach
Premier Adventure Park offers something new and different for your next day at the beach
sea turtle nesting season is here! 23 Sea turtle season is upon us! Learn how you can protect this incredible species.
five places to cast a line 27
Whether from ship or shore, Pensacola offers a wide array of excellent fishing locations.
Explore the best of northwest Florida's kayaking, birding and walking trails
In Every Issue
Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Letter 6 Page 10 10 Pensacola Seen 12 Play/Live/Give 45
Special Sections Business Climate On the Market
ON THE COVER
Kayaking at Bruce Beach photo by Guy Stevens
8 Pensacola Magazine
august 2019 Owners Malcolm & Glenys Ballinger Publisher Malcolm Ballinger email@example.com Executive Editor Kelly Oden firstname.lastname@example.org Art Director Guy Stevens email@example.com Graphic Designer/Ad Coordinator Bara’ah Jaraiseh firstname.lastname@example.org Editor Will Isern email@example.com Assistant Editor Kaitlyn Peacock firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing Writers DeeDee Davis Jenny Diamond Sean Smith Sales & Marketing Paula Rode, Account Executive ext. 28 email@example.com Geneva Strange, Account Executive ext. 21 firstname.lastname@example.org
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PAGE 10 with DeeDee Davis
I hope that you have had an opportunity to hear one of the many speakers who has come to Pensacola as part of the CiviCon series. These experts have addressed subjects from parking, to happiness, to walkability. This lecture series is important because it lays the foundation for the future of our City. We didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t invent the process, but thankfully, we have taken action to replicate the success other communities have seen. One great example is New Albany, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. This town implemented a plan to leverage public/private partnerships to enhance the quality of life for community stakeholders. They have seen incredible results, with educational improvement, responsible business development and significant job growthjust to name a few of the benefits. And it all started with a speaker series. Bringing in the pros is the way to engage the community to heighten awareness as to ideas about improving our City. Dialogue and open communication leads to effective planning and planning is the blueprint for action. But the speakers need to keep coming and the conversation has to continue because improvement is a journey, not a destination. Another great lesson in community is the story of The Lion King. The good King Mufasa has a jealous, treacherous brother who goes nuts when the King has an heir. He sees his shot at power
10 Pensacola Magazine
have arts that would rival any big city. We have wonderful restaurants. We have a nightlife. We have a long way to go, but when you look at how far we have come in the last 10 years, the future is looking pretty rosy.
evaporate and so greed and corruption take control of him. Nothing is too horrible to stop his grab for the top spot, including killing his own brother and blaming it on the heir, Simba. Simba flees the community and spends time with all sorts of unusual creatures as he lives and grows in understanding. The time finally comes when he realizes he must go back home to help restore order in the kingdom. He has matured, he has seen the world and now he is ready to take on the challenges and lead. Our City has grown and matured and we are seeing our 30+ kids come back home. When my own children went away to college, it was understood that upon graduation they would not be returning to their home town. Too few good jobs and too little culture and nightlife. They both developed successful careers in other cities. Time has passed. Pensacola is a different place and our Simbas are coming home. Through the efforts of local business entrepreneurs and a restructured governmental system, we have evolved into something highly desirable. We
One of my Simbas is moving back after 15 years in big cities. Nothing could please me more. Our childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experiences, travels and exposure to the world away from home does nothing but improve their education and contribute to developing the skills we so desperately require in order to build on our recent progress. This is a place I and so many others love and have given blood, sweat and tears to make it better. For our young to recognize that and want to be a part of it (finally) is incredibly satisfying and makes me believe it has all been worth it and inspires us to do even more. August birthdays 7
Corbett Davis, Jr
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1. Jim Reeves, Sarah + Garret Walton 2. Alicia Christy 3. Nicole Ferry 4. Donny Hanto 5. Tommy Tait, Bob Cole + Jim Reeves 6. David Peaden, Olevia McNally 7. Shawn York 8. Hal George + Friends 9. Todd Thompson + Autumn Blackledge 10. Tommy Tait, Chad Leidner + Jim Reeves
Mr. Tutu Competition at Seville Quarter to Benefit Ballet Pensacola (from left to right) Wes Reeder, Bubba Bechtel + Hal George
Jenn Cole's 50th Birthday Celebration 1. Friends celebrate with Jenn 2. Fred Levin, Jenn Cole + Phillip Morris 3. Romana and John Lopez with Gena Raymon 4. Jenn Cole + Steve Del Gallo Pensacola Magazine
underwater escapes by Will Isern
It’s easy to appreciate Pensacola’s natural beauty from the sandy white shores of Pensacola Beach or the bow of a Pensacola Bay ferry, but an equally stunning world brimming with life awaits below the water’s surface for those willing to seek it out. 14 Pensacola Magazine
Snorkeling and diving in the Pensacola Bay area provide a unique sense of adventure in an other-worldly setting with a relatively low barrier to entry for curious adventurers. Both the Gulf of Mexico and Pensacola Bay offer unique ecosystems, diverse wildlife, warm temperatures and good visibility for a day spent under the waves. Pensacola Beach includes two artificial reef systems for snorkeling. Park East is located about 1.4 miles east of Portofino on Pensacola Beach. The reef is located 500 ft. off shore and attracts a wide variety of fish, sea turtles and Gulf wildlife. The second reef is located on the Bay side at Park West, just before the entrance of Fort Pickens. This bayside reef is ideal when conditions are too rough or unclear in the Gulf.
Johnson Beach on Perdido Key in the Gulf Islands National Seashore is home to the area’s third artificial reef, located about 500 feet off shore at the public beach area off Sandy Key Drive. Robert Turpin is the Marine Resources Division Manager for Escambia County and is generally responsible for promoting access to area waterways for residents and visitors in Escambia County. Turpin spearheaded the creation of the area’s artificial reefs, developing a model that has since been adopted across Northwest Florida. Getting to see Pensacola’s marine environment firsthand, Turpin said, inspires an appreciation for responsible stewardship of local waterways.
“I firmly believe that providing opportunities for people to put their hand in the water is the best way to get them to care about our stewardship of our natural resources. Nobody cares about water quality as much as someone who gets in the water.” “I firmly believe that providing opportunities for people to put their hand in the water is the best way to get them to care about our stewardship of our natural resources,” Turpin said. “Nobody cares about water quality as much as someone who gets in the water.” In addition to the area’s artificial reefs, snorkeling can be enjoyed just a few steps into Gulf along all of Santa Rosa Island and Perdido Key. Gulf seashells accumulate by the thousands along the shorebreak and shell collectors can find uncommon and beautiful varieties in an abundance unlike that on land. where no wildlife viewing experience on terrestrial land can compare …
For those who find pleasure in snorkeling but want to be even more immersed in the teal Gulf waters, opportunities for scuba diving around Pensacola are even more plentiful than those for snorkeling. While scuba diving requires special training and equipment, Turpin said getting into the sport need not be intimidating for the average person.
“Diving isn’t just for Jacques Cousteau or Navy SEALS, it’s for everyone and we have program for people of all abilities. The range of diving opportunities is not just limited to the macho man that is sometimes portrayed,” Turpin continued
“(With snorkeling) your glimpse into the marine life is generally only as long as you can hold your breath,” Turpin said. “On scuba you’re able to get down and take up a position of observation
Scuba sites including the Joe Pattie Memorial Reef, the Russian Freighter and many other wrecks, tanks and rubble abound just a few miles out of Pensacola Pass and attract thousands of
divers each year. According to a 2015 study by University of West Florida professor Dr. Bill Huth, Florida’s artificial reefs generate roughly 40,000 jobs, $3.1 billion in economic impact and $250 million in state revenue. For more information on snorkeling and diving opportunities in Escambia County, find the Marine Resources division on the county website at MyEscambia.com.
Pensacola Magazine 15
Kids do better when we work together. Nemours and West Florida Healthcare are working together for Gulf Coast Region families. At Nemours, we’ve always believed that every child deserves pediatric expertise—close to home. Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, located on the same campus as West Florida Hospital, makes accessing the highest quality of care that much easier. For over twenty years, Nemours has provided pediatric specialty care for Northwest Florida families. From complex conditions to simple check-ups, our teams work together with researchers, physicians and specialists to achieve the best outcome possible. Rest assured that our collaboration promises the highest level of compassionate care for your child in the Gulf Coast region.
To explore our collaboration, visit Nemours.org/westflorida.
Will and Juliette Nemours cardiac patients © 2019. The Nemours Foundation. ® Nemours is a registered trademark of The Nemours Foundation.
Paintbrush An Interview with Alan Woolford of Big Lagoon Design
round the Gulf Coast, fishing is kind of a big deal. Casual anglers share the piers while you can take a fishing charter out at almost all times of the year. Professional fishermen take boats out to catch shrimp and fish for local restaurants and Joe Patti’s has remained one of the largest seafood markets in the area for decades. Fish are a big deal. It’s no wonder why we’ve become captivated by them.
Local artists may take their pencils and paintbrushes to a gorgeous beach scene, but some turn their attention to what’s under the water. If you’ve seen a fish painting around town, especially if you’ve noticed the bold art of some of the city’s popular fishing tournaments, then chances are you’ve seen the artwork of Alan Woolford. You would know his work if you’ve seen it before, which usually features fish you can find in any of the local watering holes. Woolford focuses on depicting fish as they actually are and not how most people perceive them. A fisherman will tell you a silver fish is everything but just silver, and Woolford has set about capturing this in both his commercial and personal artwork. Pensacola Magazine had a chance to sit down with him and talk about his long career as an artist, why he was so excited to get to draw city hall and how jumping off dangerous things has become a center of his personal work.
PM: Your biography says you were born in Pensacola. What was your childhood like? AW: I grew up in the East Hill area, close to Bayou Texar. My mom was born in a house on Gonzalez Street. She was one of nine children so my grandparents pretty much fished to feed the family, fishing and crabbing out on Bayou Texar. My dad was a city fireman and he grew up in Warrington. Between the two of them I was always around the water. Both of my sisters learned how to drive first and they would take me to the beach whenever they went. Back in those days, Casino Beach was the place to be. It’s pretty crowded nowadays but back in those days it was a family beach. They’d even allow you to jump off the pier. You can’t do that any more and I think it’s about thirty feet higher than it used to be when I was a kid. Then when I got old enough to move out on my own, I moved to the Warrington area and started spending a lot of time in Perdido Key. It was a little closer and it wasn’t as crowded, fishing was a little better. Then when I got old enough to have a family and kids, we moved out to Perdido. So I’m always within a stone’s throw of the water, it seems like. I love it so much I’ve just got to have it. You can breathe it and smell it. Pensacola Magazine
THE ANGLER'S PAINTBRUSH
PM: Most of your art features water and marine life. AW: Yeah, it does. You know, I’ve not always done marine life. I started out as a commercial artist drawing everything from aardvarks to zebras. When I first started out I was working for a small screen print company. Customers would come in and want baseball designs or something for the family reunion. I was a jack of all trades for a long time in my career, but I finally got to the point where I was pretty good at drawing fish. The fishing tournament business back in those days was a big thing. They’d order 700,000 shirts for just one event, so they wanted someone who could draw fish fairly well, and they came to me. PM: How do you organize your artwork? AW: When I got to be a teenager I took diving lessons. Once I was old enough to start scuba diving, I really got intrigued with underwater life and seeing how fish actually lived instead of laying on the deck or down at the Fish House dead. I happened to get this underwater camera that I took everywhere with me and took as many pictures as I could, until I ran out of film. Got those processed and realized that I wanted to do more with them than just hang the photos on the wall so I started using them as reference to draw the fish. I started composing actual paintings where I’d put several fish into a painting with a background and a foreground and light source. It just kind of went on from there. PM: You draw a lot of inspiration from what you’ve seen in the wildlife in this area I assume.
18 Pensacola Magazine
AW: Oh yes. I try not to do sand and sea paintings. They’re a dime a dozen and I really can’t do them that well. I tend to stick with what I do best, which is underwater scenes. I really do feel like I’m there when I’m painting an underwater scene. Now, recently, within the last year, I’ve started a series of paintings that are above water. The series is called “No Jumping.” It’s a series of paintings that reflect back to when I was a kid, we used to jump off things, I told you about the pier we used to jump off. We jumped off that pier, we jumped off the Bob Sikes Bridge. I try to do more than just fish. Fishing, the charter boat industry and the diving industry have got me to where I am now, but I want to do more than that. Now that I’m getting older I want to go back to my youth and paint those things that I’m probably never going to be around again. The days of jumping off the pier are gone. The days of jumping off the Bob Sikes Bridge are gone. But, they will carry on in paintings that I’ll give to my kids and they’ll be able to give to their kids the story about how grandpa was stupid enough to jump off the pier. PM: What was the first big project you worked on? AW: It wasn’t a big project, but it was the most exciting project for me because I thought I’d made the big time. I worked for the city of Pensacola for several years. I quit and went to Florida State in the Studio Art program. When I came back for Christmas break that year, 1979, I got a call from Jack Tuttle, who was a City Clerk for the city of Pensacola. He asked me to do a rendering of city hall. At the time they were considering converting city hall
to the T.T. Wentworth Museum. He knew I knew the building and he knew I was an artist so he gave me that project, which I did over Christmas break. I did in pencil because it had to be done quickly, turned it in to him, and I think they paid me $100. That was big money to me at the time. I remember I went out and bought a Bose sound system with it for my dorm room. Anyway, when I got back from Christmas break to Florida State I got a letter in the mail from my mom. It was an editorial in the Pensacola News Journal about how they wanted to convert city hall to the T.T. Wentworth Museum, and it included my drawing. I was so excited about that. I showed everybody at college that I had made the big time, I was basically published. I had some artwork that they had paid for, which meant I was a professional artist, and it got published. PM: It’s funny thinking about how your first exciting project was a sketching of city hall and now you’re the mainstay for these big, bright fishing artworks. It’s interesting to see that transition. AW: You know that transition happened I think back in the 90s. Like I told you before, I was doing everything; you had to draw everything and be a jack of all trades. I was able to specialize in fish, which I really loved, and I think that’s the reason I was really good at it. I had actual reference material whereas the normal artist had to use photographs from a magazine or a dead fish at weigh-in hanging up on a hook, because there was no Internet back then. I was actually able to get in the water and watch fish swim. My friends would catch fish,
bring them up to the side of the boat and I would jump into the water with my camera and take photos of them swimming away or swimming toward me. Those kinds of angles are really hard to get unless you take photos of them or unless you take them home and pose them with string, which I’ve done before. That really helped a lot in establishing a reputation as somebody who can draw fish, which is really important to those fishing guys. They know their fish. If an eye is too far forward or the mouth is too wide or the gill plate is too far back, they’ll nitpick it to death. They were the toughest customers to ever please, the tournament directors. The shirts wouldn’t sell to the anglers if it didn’t look right. PM: I think people who aren’t around fish very often have this really weird concept of what a fish actually looks like. Typically you can tell when somebody’s been around fish because fish are weird looking. AW: Exactly. They’re weird looking and most people think fish are just gray, silver-gray, but when you haul them up and you shine them in the sunlight, that white belly suddenly turns pink or a turquoise green, you can see stripes of yellow in there. That’s really the hardest part of capturing a silver fish, is capturing the reflection of all the different wavelengths of color that shine off that fish. The darker fish are really easy, like dolphins or sharks, but silver fish like king mackerel, are hard to do, but I’ve gotten pretty good at it. PM: You have a pretty big reputation. You’re doing stuff for people in, you said Guam right? So it’s all over the world, not just Pensacola. AW: You know the reason that is because of the Internet. Thank God for the Internet. Before the Internet I was restricted to just local business. I developed a website back in the late 90s, back when it was the thing to do. I didn’t think I could get business from that. I just wanted to show my work off. Next thing you know, I’m getting an e-mail from people in California, down in Guatemala, South America, wanting me to do shirts for their tournaments. My website has really opened doors for me. PM: What’s your biggest challenge? AW: My biggest challenge is how to price my work. PM: Oh really? I feel like after so long you would figure that out. You’re still having trouble with it? AW: I am because I’m living in Pensacola and in Pensacola you can’t charge the same thing as you can for the same piece of art in
the Bahamas, but to be fair, I have to charge the same thing. I try to be fair to everybody so I have to price myself at the low end of everything. What I charge might sound like a lot to some people and to some people it’s not a lot. So that’s my biggest challenge, trying to keep income coming in but yet not scaring people away by charging too much.
I go over there, I feel like it’s 1820 again, with no technology, there’s no worries, the pace of life is slow. The sun comes up. The sun goes down. And it’s just like it was 200 years ago. Today, everything’s just so fast paced. Once you get in the car and head home, you’re right back to 2019 again, but while you’re out there it’s like going back in time.
PM: What do you think it is about the water and the wildlife that really inspires you?
PM: Was there anything else that you would like to share?
AW: I think I was born inspired by the water. When I was kid my mom taught me how to swim in Bayou Texar, and ever since then I’ve felt so unencumbered. When you’re in the water, you can just float; it’s like being weightless. There’s always something to do at the beach. Even if it’s a rough day you can surf, if it’s a calm day you can go snorkeling. The water itself, I don’t know, it’s just a miracle that I live here and I can have access to it anytime I want. It’s like a pressure valve that pops and it makes you forget all your problems. When
AW: My career here in Pensacola started out really slow, but I’m glad I stuck with it because I love it so much. I’m glad I get to do this instead of getting a job and doing something else. At one time I was a barback, a bartender, and I really actually hated that. Working at night and you have to sleep during the day when you could go fishing? No thank you.
Adventures on the Beach by Kaitlyn Peacock
A day on the beach sounds like paradise, but let’s be honest. Pensacolians have had lots of days on the beach. The beach doesn’t change. Even if you love the sun and the sand and the waves, there’s only so much to do. Luckily, there’s something a little different just across the Bob Sikes Bridge. The newly upgraded Premier Adventure Park may just have something to switch up your beach routine. 20 Pensacola Magazine
Located on the sound side of Pensacola Beach, this activity complex offers a go-kart racetrack, Jet Ski rentals, a splash pad for children and an impressive threestory beach ropes course, among other things. The go-kart track is recently refurbished with an improved track, a redone bridge and brand-new go-karts for both children and adults to enjoy. Certain activities do require tickets, but purchasing a ticket for any activity also allows access to other areas of the complex, including the splash pad.
Located at the park is also the newly opened Sandbar restaurant. The restaurant is open to anyone who visits the park and is also open to anyone who just wants to come in and grab a bite. Check in at the front desk, then come up and enjoy hamburgers, pizza, nachos and other finger-food goodness with a view of the beach below. According to Stephanie Powell, director of marketing at Premier Island Management Group, the Sandbar is “the hidden gem of Pensacola Beach.”
“The best part is you can eat and participate in all these activities at the same place,” she said. “It’s in an ideal location, on the sound side with a nice view and beautiful sunsets. … You can stay at the park all day, come in and get out of the sun, eat something, then go right back out and continue to play. It keeps you from having to pack up and move, rent chair sets. If you wanted to sit and just enjoy a little quiet area of the beach, that’s available here as well.” Looking for something to do that’s a little more on the adventurous side? Premier Adventure Park also offers parasailing, paddleboards and a Jet Ski dolphin tour during certain times of the year, typically until October or November. Throughout August, test your balance with a paddleboard yoga class every Wednesday at 6 pm. While some of the activities at the park sound a little intense for some children, don’t be fooled. Many of the activities can be fun for children, Premier Adventure including the ropes course. Park offers an The course includes a safety impressive threeharness along a track to keep story ropes course children, and even adults, for children and from falling. It’s safe for children and a challenge for adults. Participants even some adults. However, are hooked onto a there are height restrictions safety line, however on some of the activities, the course can be including the parasailing. quite challenging for any height “The park upgrades truly junkies. enhance the variety of entertainment options available on Pensacola Beach – especially for families looking for activities that everyone can enjoy or a place to rent beach chairs and lounge,” Powell said. “The convenience of having so much
to do and easy, quick access to food and drinks is something we’re uniquely positioned to offer guests who are looking to make the most of their beach day.” Maybe you need some time away from your family, but still think this sounds like the place to be. With or without children, if you’re not having fun, you’re
probably trying too hard. Between flying high on the ropes course, parasailing through the sky or cruising through the water on a Jet Ski, you’ll find summer some unique new adventures on Pensacola Beach this year. •
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Sea Turtle Nesting Season Is Here! By Jenny Diamond
As summer hits its peak and the beach hosts crowds of tourists and locals alike, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also a busy time for the incredible wildlife on Pensacola Beach and the surrounding coasts. Shorebirds like terns and plovers make their nests and hatch their chicks in the dunes, and sea turtles lay their eggs closer to the shore. Sea turtle nesting season runs from May to October. Female sea turtles drag themselves from the sea and use their strong back flippers to dig a hole and lay roughly 100 eggs per nest; female turtles usually come ashore to lay their eggs at night and return to the water by dawn, though some species like the Kempâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ridley have been known to come
ashore during the day. Different volunteer groups and county and government organizations monitor different areas of the coast, and so far this season, there have been 100 nests recorded: 21 nests laid on Pensacola Beach, seven nests in the Escambia County portions of Perdido Key, seven nests in Navarre and 65 nests laid within the collective beaches of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Most of these nests were laid by loggerhead turtles, though of this 100, there have been five green sea turtle nests and two Kempâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ridley nests. These numbers are likely to increase throughout the season. At the time this article was written, no nests have hatched yet. Pensacola Magazine
Sea Turtle Nesting Season Is Here! “We’ve learned the importance of these species and are working to protect them. The beaches are the socioeconomic engine of this area, and we seek to maintain healthy and sustainable access to this resource for both people and marine animals alike – we can correct the sins of the past and coexist with all inhabitants of the beaches.”
photo by Jenny Diamond
Since nearly all species of sea turtles are currently classified as endangered, dedicated employees and volunteers work tirelessly to protect these nesting mothers and their hatchlings. Turtle patrols travel the shorelines in the mornings to watch for adult turtle tracks and mark new nests. If you’re a frequent beach goer, you might have recently noticed the appearance of small structures, marked with wooden posts and cordoned with rope, dotting the beaches. Small yellow signs read “Do not disturb! Sea turtle nest!” and advise readers of the legal ramifications of disturbing a turtle nest in any way. Robert Turpin, department manager of the Escambia County Marine Resources Division, notes that sea turtles have been historically harvested 24 Pensacola Magazine
for meat or to make products from their shells, but since the passing of the Endangered Species Act in 1973, the decline in turtle populations has ceased, which is why it is so important to continue to protect these animals. “We’ve learned the importance of these species and are working to protect them,” Turpin said. “The beaches are the socioeconomic engine of this area, and we seek to maintain healthy and sustainable access to this resource for both people and marine animals alike – we can correct the sins of the past and coexist with all inhabitants of the beaches.” Despite the protections put in place by the Endangered Species Act, sea turtles still face numerous threats. Sea turtles frequent our Gulf
waters year-round, and thus they are at risk of being struck by boats, snagged by fishing line and tangled in marine debris. During nesting season, laying mothers and hatchlings face additional hazards, both natural and man-made. High tides from the recent Tropical Storm Barry submerged several nests for days, most likely eliminating the potential for any hatchlings to emerge. Mark Nicholas, program manager of the Escambia County Marine Resource Division which monitors the nests on Pensacola Beach, estimates that four to five nests were totally destroyed by Barry, noting thankfully that the Kemp’s ridley nest was still high and dry, a relief since Kemp’s ridley turtles are one of the rarest and most endangered species of marine turtles. Additional hazards to nesting turtles and hatchlings are compounded by the impacts of summer crowds enjoying the beach. Turtles can become tangled in chairs, canopies and trash left on the beach
and can become stranded in holes or sandcastle structures that have not been filled in. Beachgoers can help reduce these risks by following the “Leave No Trace” philosophy. Additionally, nesting mothers and hatchlings can become disoriented by artificial light on the beach at night, from beach-combers with flashlights to structural lights on homes and hotels. If a mother turtle feels threatened by the presence of too much light, she may return to the water without laying her eggs, and artificial light can cause hatchlings to move away from the water. People who want to walk the beaches at night should avoid using flashlights or cell phone lights in favor of red-filtered flashlights as red lights do not have the same disorienting effect on turtles. As of 2018, a Barrier Island Lighting Ordinance requires all residential and business structures to use turtle-friendly lighting practices: closing blinds and keeping outdoor lights shielded at night and using
low-wavelength or wildlife friendly bulbs available from local retailers. Once the first nest of the year has been laid, Gulf Islands National Seashore provides car magnets to the public at no cost. These turtle-shaped magnets declare “Turtles Out Lights Out!” and are a way to make the public aware that nesting season has started and serve as a reminder to follow safe sea turtle lighting measures. “The magnets have been a fun way to get the message out,” said Kelly Irick, the National Resource Manager for Gulf Islands National Seashore. Echoing Robert Turpin’s message, Irick claims that sea turtles and beach goers can easily coexist. “Making minor adjustments to how you enjoy the beach
can have huge impacts for sea turtles,” she noted. “Plus, we have a lot of amazing volunteers and caring people in this community doing a lot of good.” Those who want to learn more about these incredible animals will have an opportunity to do so on August 10 from 11 am to 2 pm at the annual Sea Turtle Baby Shower hosted by LandShark Landing at Margaritaville Beach Hotel on Pensacola Beach. The free, family-friendly event will not feature any live sea turtles but will provide fun and educational opportunities. “The Sea Turtle Baby Shower is a great day of fun for the entire family! We are glad to be a part of it. There are all types of activities, educational booths, animal
encounters, games, sea turtle obstacle courses, mermaids and lots of giveaways,” said Cathy Holmes, founder of the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Center. See the Sea Turtle Baby Shower Facebook page for more information about the event.
If you spot an injured, stranded, deceased, or harassed sea turtle, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Sea Turtle Emergency Line at (888) 404-FWCC (3922).
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Five Places to
Cast a Line Fishing is a lifestyle for many folks around here, but you don’t have to be a pro to enjoy fishing in the Pensacola area. All it takes is a quick stop at the tackle shop or a call to your one of our many charter fishing captains and guides. Next thing you know, you’re hooked – well, hopefully just the fish. We are blessed with a unique geography. Rivers, bays and bayous rich with nutrients flow into the Gulf of Mexico, luring a bounty of fish species.
By Sean Smith Courtesy of Visit Pensacola
Redfish, black drum, speckled trout and flounder cruise the inshore waters and bays. Our beaches with gentle, sloping shoreline offer the chance to relax in the sun while your bait waits for a passing pompano. They fight like they mean it. And on the grill, wrapped in tin foil and spices: wow. So, from spending a little to a little more, you can find your hookup in our beautiful waterways. Check out my picks on the next page.
Pensacola Magazine 27
Five Places to Cast a Line fish from the shore in shallow water. Fishing pros tell you to use live sand fleas, which are available at bait shops or by digging them up in the wet sand. Live shrimp work too. When there’s a light shore break, the waves stir up sand fleas, which roll into pockets of deeper water — where pompano like to prowl. Look for these darker-colored pockets in the shallows. Other spots are the little troughs on either side of the sand bars.
4. Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier 1. Charter Fishing the Gulf Our fleet of charter captains know how to find the fish. While the season for our famous red snapper is short, its snapper cousins are plentiful and just as tasty. And our charter captains will can hook you up with a variety of snapper, along with grouper, triggerfish and the powerhouse of the offshore reef: (and sandwich-worthy) the amberjack.
2. The Fort Pickens Pier, Beaches and the Pensacola Pass The crown jewel of Gulf Islands National Seashore, Fort Pickens, hosts numerous fishing habitats for saltwater anglers. The fort’s fishing pier is perched on Pensacola Pass, where Pensacola Bay converges into the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a fish haven during the right conditions, hosting massive redfish during the fall, and
28 Pensacola Magazine 28 Pensacola Magazine
Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, flounder and other species in the summer. My advice to you: fish for sheepshead around the pilings. They like live shrimp and fiddler crabs, careful though, they are specialists at stealing your bait. Either side of the pier there are spots to fish the protected bay waters or walk around the point to surf-fish for pompano.
3. Surf Fishing for Pompano: Johnson Beach (well just about any beach) Another part of Gulf Islands National Seashore, Johnson Beach, juts into the western flank of Pensacola Bay from Perdido Key. Fish such as pompano move all along the Northwest Florida beaches, so surf fishing is pretty much the same. But I enjoy the quietness of Johnson Beach. Pompano is the prize catch in the surf. A relative of the amberjack and jack crevalle, the pompano is a magnificent fighter, pound-for-pound, and you can
It’s a one-stop fishing shop. You can stop here on your way home from breakfast and fish on one of the longest piers in the Florida Gulf. A quarter mile from base to tip, the pier juts into the Gulf. Fishing costs about $7.50 for adults and is free for children under 6. The pier offers rod and reel rentals (about $14) and is licensed, so all you need is sunscreen, your wallet and some spooled-up fish stories. King and spanish mackerel, bonito, pompano and flounder are the most common catches here. Massive cobia cruise through here in the early spring.
5. Inshore Fishing Hits the Spot Some great fishing spots are tucked away into protected waterways and even neighborhood bayous. On Perdido Key, the
Real. Expert. Security. Gulf Intracoastal Waterway from Galvez Landing through Johnson Beach is chock full of inlets and haven for redfish, flounder and speckled trout. You can take a kayak and slip along the shoreline and hear the trout and redfish slurping in baitfish. Live bait, such as minnows, shrimp or lures work best. Speckled trout (we call ‘em specks) love to fish the lights around docks and piers. My pick: try a guided trip on a small boat. Numerous inshore fishing charters from Pensacola Beach to Perdido Key can take you and your family to their secret spots. You’ll be hooked. Just remember: Before you grab your gear, check requirements for fishing licenses and always check our regulations for limits and size requirements. Call 1-888-347-4356 or online on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission's website. To learn more about the Pensacola area, follow Visit Pensacola @visitpensacola or use the hashtag #experiencepcola.
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Happy Trails voyages. Want a glimpse of some of the Gulf animals and birds? The Great Florida Birding Trail goes right along Pensacola. Looking for a place to just take a walk away from the crowded streets? There are plenty of state parks and other trails to get your fill of the outdoors. Here are some of our favorite places to kayak, bird watch, walk and bike all within a couple hours from Pensacola.
photo by Guy Stevens
Take a hike! Or a walk or a bike ride or a kayak trip, for that matter. Anything to get outside and see the beautiful landscapes surrounding Pensacola. With children going back into school and the summer crowds at the beach still a bit repulsive, take a trip along the many land and water trails for a relaxing day in nature instead. Does the heat draw you more to the water? Kayaking trails can be found for both inland and sea
Kayaking Trails written by Will Isern
A few years ago I had the opportunity to take torch-lit kayak tour through the mouth of Bayou Texar out to Pensacola Bay. A dozen of us set off from Bayview Park at sunset and enjoyed a relaxing paddle through the lesser-seen parts of the bayou where islands sprouting with tall grass give way to watery trails traversable only by paddlecraft. It was a clear night as we made our way out into the bay and we picked out constellations and watched cars crossing the Three Mile Bridge as we floated just offshore across from Wayside Park. Having grown up in Pensacola and spent a considerable portion of my youth enjoying the local waterways, I can say that a kayak is perhaps the most versatile and enjoyable way to experience northwest Florida from the water. Not only are kayaks relatively cheap compared to other watercraft, but they’re easy to transport, easy to use and provide access to areas and experiences that larger vessels can’t. They also afford a more direct connection with nature. Paddle your way along the shoreline of the bay or down a stretch of the Blackwater River and you’ll come away with a much better sense of local ecology than you would speeding by in a boat. With an abundance of bays, bayous, rivers and creeks, northwest Florida is rich with paddling opportunities and home to a number of designated paddling trails. Blackwater River, Big Lagoon State Park and Escambia Bay are all popular paddling destinations for locals and visitors alike. The 1,500 mile Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail begins 32 Pensacola Magazine
at Big Lagoon State Park near the Alabama border. Outfitters like Adventures Unlimited, Bob’s Canoes, Pensacola PaddleSport Rentals, Outdoor Gulf Coast and others offer kayak and canoe rentals as well as shuttling service to a number of popular launch sites. For long-term involvement, a number community groups centered around paddling exist in Northwest Florida. The West Florida Canoe and Kayak Club, for example, has more than 100 members and organizes multiple outings each week. Club president Susan Benz said many in her organization are attracted to paddling for the escape it offer from daily life. “I think a lot us just want to be outside,” she said. “We don’t want to be stuck in the house, especially in the summer time. We have paddlers in our group who like to get out in the open water and ones like me and we’re all about the creeks, because the creeks we paddle on are clear, have sandbars where we can stop and they’re away from the noise.” Kayak fishing is also extremely
popular along the Gulf Coast. When conditions permit, anglers will travel miles into the Gulf of Mexico on specialized kayaks in hopes of bagging mahi mahi, mackerel, red fish and other Gulf delicacies. An entire industry has grown up behind the sport with dozens of local businesses and community groups offering equipment, day trips and advice for those interested in trying the sport for themselves. With dozens of boat ramps and kayak launches throughout Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, finding a spot to put in is most easily accomplished by searching online for the
Escambia County Waterway Access Interactive Map and Santa Rosa County boat launches.
State Designated Paddle Trails in Northwest Florida
Descriptions Courtesy of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Perdido River This easy 15.4-mile paddling trail is a classic Panhandle river with tea-colored water cradled
by white sandbars. The river is narrow, twisting and fastmoving in the upper stretches then becomes wider and slower as it nears Perdido Bay. The popular four-mile segment from Fillingim Landing to The Pipes Landing offers a short day trip with scenic beauty, little development and is perfect for beginners. From the Pipes Landing to Sand Landing, the river becomes wider and much slower, with fewer sandbars. Several of the original private access points along the river are no longer available or they do not allow parking, such as the Barrineau Park Bridge. Water levels are best between two-tosix feet. Above seven feet some of the dirt roads leading to river access are impassable and the river is dangerous as it nears flood stage of 13 feet. Try your luck fishing on the Perdido River which can be very productive, especially during the warm weather months. Largemouth bass, chain pickerel, bluegill and longear sunfish are eager to strike many types of baits and lures.
Blackwater River This winding stream is suitable for beginners and flows through the unspoiled Blackwater River State Forest, with trees often forming a dense, shady canopy over the river. High bluffs occur in some sections where pine and cedar trees tower above paddlers. The water is coffee colored by naturally occurring tannins, the reason why Creek Indians called the river “Oka Lusa” (“black water”). White sandbars provide plenty of options for camping or picnicking. The lower portion of this popular 31-mile paddling
trail can become congested with people floating in tubes near the state park, especially on summer weekends and holidays. Plan a trip for weekdays or during Florida’s pleasant winter months to avoid crowds. Paddlers should check stream flow data and weather conditions before embarking on a trip. The Blackwater River can rise very quickly and make paddling difficult and conditions dangerous. Many of the access sites are remote with unsafe overnight parking; consider parking and shuttle with a local outfitter listed below. The river is not navigable below the Deaton Bridge in Blackwater River State Park; be sure to exit here. Glass containers are prohibited on the river. Note: If the Blackwater River gauge near Baker is more than six feet in height, contact area outfitters or Blackwater River State Park for current river conditions before paddling as the river may be flooded.
Coldwater Creek Flowing through the Blackwater River State Forest, Coldwater Creek has some of the swiftest water in Florida. The sandy bottom and broad sandbars will remind you of nearby Gulf Coast beaches. A brisk downstream current helps carry you past pristine pine and hardwood forests. The Paddling Experience This 19-mile paddling trail is easy enough for beginners and several access sites allow paddlers to choose trips of varying distance. Because it is springfed, the shallow water is always pleasantly cool and makes for
stream from shorelines. Call a local outfitter listed below to check on water levels and paddling conditions.
Juniper Creek Paddle this historic stream beginning at Red Rock Bridge, believed to be the location where Andrew Jackson and his forces crossed the river during the First Seminole War. Juniper Creek has gentle curves, some small bluffs, and shallow, gold-tinted waters. Look for the white blossoms of mountain laurel lining the shore during spring. The Paddling Experience This is an easy 6-mile trip, suitable for
Yellow River Located in the western Panhandle, the upper Yellow River drains the state’s highest elevation. As a result, the current is faster than most north Florida rivers. The upper Yellow River takes paddlers along limestone banks that give way to sand and gravel banks downstream. Hardwood forests frame the shallow, golden water. Farther downstream, the river deepens and slows as it passes through cypress and gum swamps. The river is joined by the Shoal River, another designated paddling trail, near Crestview. Fishing is excellent and wildlife abundant as the river winds through miles of public conservation lands.
a perfect paddle for all ages. Flowing for nearly 20 miles through undeveloped land, it is very narrow in spots with a steep gradient. Depending on water levels, sandbars are suitable for camping. Obstructions could include cypress knees, logs and wide gravel bars that extend into the
beginners. Paddle from Red Rock Road Bridge to Indian Ford Road. Be sure to exit at Indian Ford Road as the river is not navigable further downstream.
Walking Trails written by Kaitlyn Peacock
The Naval Live Oaks Nature Preserve
The Arcadia Mill Archeological Site boardwalk loops around an active archeological site. The site includes a "modern" industrial mill built in the 1800s.
This trail is perfect for those looking for a quick adventure in the afternoon. None of the trails are exceedingly long, with the most common trail behind the visitor center just under one mile. Bicycles are not recommended as the trail does go around and through large roots from the oaks, though the truly spirited can try their luck. Those with a particular attraction to spiders will find an astonishing array of huge banana spiders and other eightlegged creatures above and just off the trails. Obviously, those who are not fans should look to taking the beach path, which is much more arachnophobic friendly.
One of the most underrated historical sites in Pensacola sits just beyond Gulf Breeze’s city limits. The huge trees hugging Highway 98 are actually part of a nature preserve established in 1971. Among the trees, there are approximately eight miles of walking trails. The trail is named after the live oaks that dominate the preserve. Once used for building the hulls of naval warships, the oaks now stand as a living remnant of Pensacola’s shipping and naval past. These huge trees can be spotted for their large, gnarled branches, dark and rough bark and are often covered with Spanish moss.
Juniper Creek Trail
The biggest draw of the trails here are that a large majority of them are in the shade; the oaks keep the sun off your back. For those with plenty of sunscreen, there is also a walking path along the beach, which offers the typical sights of white sands and rolling sand dunes.
Located within parts of the Blackwater River State Park, the Juniper Creek Trails is one of the best day trails for hikers of all skill levels to take in Florida’s natural beauty. As part of the Florida National Scenic Trail, Juniper Creek is about eight miles long alongside the
34 Pensacola Magazine
forenamed creek. The trail goes through a river floodplain, along red clay rock cliffs and through a long-leaf pine forest. The varied locales and elevations of the trail make this an interesting hike for those tired of seeing ocean or sound beaches all day. At different times of the year, the creek can be low or high, which changes the course of the trail, though hikers will see all the same type of environments throughout the year. Some highlights include the pitcher plants found in the bogs and the huge red clay rocks, known as Red Rock Bluffs, that the creek has cut into. These huge rocks provide a view of the forest surrounding them, but can be slippery. Tree enthusiasts will be happy to see the huge white cedars that grow as part of the Blackwater River Forest Park near the north end of the trail. As part of a larger park and a larger trail, this trail is not recommended for those just starting out, but it is relatively an easy hike. The hardest climbs will be around the red
photos by Cristina Scott
People typically think of Pensacola as sunny beaches and high sand dunes, but there’s so much more to see. Northwest Florida in particular has an abundance of natural landscapes, from quiet lagoons to historic beaches to swampy boardwalks. You can take a long, winding hike or a quick jog through any number of national parks in the area, but here are a few of our favorite places to hit the trail.
clay rocks and it can get wet depending on the time of year around the floodplains. If you are hiking during the summer months, bring lots of water and keep an eye on the sun. There are black bears in the state park, so be aware of your surroundings. Otherwise, this trail is one of the best northwest Florida has to offer.
Arcadia Mill Archeological Site One of the newer trails offered around Pensacola, the Arcadia Mill Trail includes a boardwalk that loops around an archeological site as well as nature trails that go through the adjacent forest. Along the boardwalk, a hanging bridge extends over the trees for those who are up for a little adventure with their history. The site is run by the University of West Florida and is an active archeological site. The biggest draw of the trail is the historical site it encircles. The oldest “modern” industrial
complex in the area rests at the center of the trail. An old mill, built in the 1800s, is all that remains of the complex, though there are other ruins you can see from the trail. Due to the archeological site, off-trail hiking is prohibited, however the boardwalk includes signs describing the mill’s origin and purpose. Other signs also teach about the native animals and plants that can be seen along the trail. The trail here is very short— only three-fourths a mile of boardwalk and about a mile more of forest trails, so this is perfect for those just starting out. Dogs are allowed on the boardwalk, but must be leashed at all times. Right now, the trail runs right alongside a large dead tree that is being used as a bee hive, so be careful, but also be on the lookout for native Florida animals and plants. While the nature trails offer an up-close experience with nature, the trail does have many exposed roots, so watch your step.
though not into the fort. Keep an eye out for ospreys, who like the nest in the area and can be seen flying around the fort. There are longer trails available, up to 13.7 miles of beach trails along the sound. The longer trails can include a portion of salt marshes, which are some of the most unique environments you can find in Florida. The trail leading up to the fort includes dirt and sand paths and also a section of unused railway. Around the fort, beware of loose bricks and rocks. This is a good place to come if you plan to spend the day exploring the fort or watching the boats come into Pensacola Bay and it’s also a good thing to cross off your hiking bucket list. There is an entry fee to get into the park, $3 per person or $8 per car.
Big Lagoon State Park Yes, there’s an entire state park’s worth of trails for you to explore, about 655 acres to be exact. Big Lagoon has more than one trail for you to take, with the larger of the two being the Sand Pine Trail and the shorter one called the Estuary Trail. Together, they include approximately five miles of trails. Beyond the two main trails however, you can find adventure on several smaller trails and by exploring off-trail. If you’re thinking that part of the appeal of hiking this park is the presence of a rather big lagoon, then you would be correct. But don’t be fooled. It’s not just about the beautiful water both on the ocean side and the lagoon. If you look closely enough, you may be
lucky enough to spot the Perdido Key beach mouse, an endangered oldfield mouse subspecies that inhabits the park. Interested in an overall view of the park? Check out the observation deck and tower along the Estuary Trail. While visiting the state park is an excellent idea, it can be a challenging hike depending on the weather and time of year. Keep watch for tripping hazards like roots and rocks and be mindful of the amount of sun you will get. The park includes boardwalks, beach walks, forest trails and a number of other environments, so be prepared to enjoy a little bit of everything Florida has to offer. There is a fee for entering the park, $6 per vehicle or $2 per person.
If you’ve never taken a day to go see Pensacola Bay’s historic protector, do yourself a favor. There’s a lot we could say about Fort Pickens itself, but we’ll just leave it at this: the fort, built in 1834, has stood watch at the Pensacola Pass since its competition and was in active service until 1947, and there are real cannons left within the fort for all visitors to see. While the fort is worth a trip, it also serves as the endpoint of the Florida National Scenic Trail. The actual Fort Pickens trail is about two miles, circling around the fort and the walk up to the fort. While primarily a beach trail, hikers can take mountain bikes along the trail,
Fort Pickens was built in 1834 and has remained one of the most historically significant sites in Pensacola. Trails run around the fort and also along the beach leading up to the fort.
photos by Mike O'Connor
Birding Trails All trail information courtesy of floridabirdingtrail.com
Pensacola is home to many trails and locations that are a part of the Great Florida Birding Trail (GFBT)—a collection of 510 sites throughout Florida selected for their excellent bird watching or bird education opportunities. The GFBT is a 2,000-mile self-guided highway trail that is designed to conserve and enhance Florida’s bird habitat by promoting bird watching activities, conservation education and economic opportunity. Whether you’re a seasoned ornithologist or just beginning your bird watching hobby, the following selections from the Panhandle portion of the GFBT are sure to get you out in nature where you can observe and identify a wide variety of bird species to your hearts content.
Escambia County Great Florida Birding Trails Big Lagoon State Park
12301 Gulf Beach Hwy. / (850) 492-1595 / Daily, 8 am to sunset This site nicely represents the diversity of Panhandle habitats, all in the boundaries of a single park. The bay front offers sandy expanses for wintering Blackbellied Plovers, Dunlin and Least Sandpipers and winter ducks like Lesser Scaup, Redhead, Bufflehead and Red-breasted Mergansers can be seen diving in the bay from the East Beach tower. Common Loons call on foggy mornings in early spring, and a diversity of gulls and terns feed in area waters. Take the Estuary Trail from East Beach to the Long Pond Boardwalk, which skirts some freshwater wetlands. Then follow the Sand
36 Pensacola Magazine
Pine Trail leading along the north edge of the lagoon onto a scrubby point, peppered with pines favored by Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Northern Flickers and Brown-headed Nuthatches. Twenty-three species of woodwarbler have been recorded in the park during spring and fall migration. Check with park staff for information on birding events going on in the Panhandle; binoculars are also available for loan from the ranger station.
Gulf Islands National Seashore: Fort Pickens
1400 Ft. Pickens Rd. / (850) 934-2600 / MarchOctober: 5 am-9 pm; November-February: 5 am-6 pm This migratory hotspot is not to be missed in spring and fall, as tired migrants make landfall after long migratory flights. Batteries Langdon and Worth are both good stops for migrants; closely
check flowering oaks. The beach here is prime for breeding Snowy Plovers and Least Terns spring through fall. Black Terns are ubiquitous in summer and early fall. By far, the fort and surrounding trails offer this site’s most exciting birding, rarities such as Olive-sided Flycatcher, Bewick’s Wren and Green-tailed Towhee have been recorded in recent years. In open areas surrounding the fortifications, watch for sentinel flycatchers on any minor promontory. Gray Kingbirds breed here and Scissor-tailed Flycatchers are occasional in fall and winter. The trails on the fort’s bayside can be extraordinary for migrant songbirds like Tennessee, Cape May and Magnolia Warblers.
Tarkiln Bayou State Park 2401 Bauer Rd. / (850) 492-1595 / Daily, 8 am to sunset From the parking lot, hike the trail west through flatwoods, listening for the “squeaky toy” call of Brown-headed
Nuthatches, the wavering trills of Pine Warblers and the harsh, squawking sounds of Yellowbreasted Chats (early morning and late evening is best time for chats). For a shorter hike, veer left at the fork. The paved trail leads to a boardwalk through a titi tree forest (White-eyed Vireos nest), which emerges on the sheltered bayou. Scan the reeds for Clapper Rails and Tricolored Herons. For a longer hike, veer right at the fork, following the trail along the bayou’s far side, past a rare pitcher plant bog, to the end on Perdido Bay. Across the street from the parking lot, upland sandhill habitats host Common Ground-Doves year-round and Common Nighthawks show off on late spring/summer evenings.
UWF Edward Ball Nature Trail 11000 University Pkwy. / (850) 474-2580 / Daily, dawn to midnight Located on the University of West Florida’s 1,600-acre nature
preserve campus, the Edward Ball Nature Trail includes a short boardwalk through a nice ravine and swamp, with Prothonotary Warbler-laden cypress trees above and wading egrets below. Songbirds like Northern Parulas, Summer Tanagers and Great Crested Flycatchers frequent the area, and student birders have found some interesting migrants such as Blackburnian Warbler and Dark-eyed Junco. Swallowtailed Kites may be seen overhead in spring and summer. The slope is steep and the boardwalk shows its age, so don’t get so distracted by the birds that you forget to watch your step!
ECUA Bayou Marcus Wetlands
3050 Fayal Dr. / (850) 969-5953 / Daily, sunrise to sunset
Part of the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority wetlands, this facility has nearly 8,000 feet of boardwalk through the wetlands created by the plant’s treated wastewater discharge. From the boardwalk, the large pond on the left hosts wintering Blue-winged Teal, Hooded Merganser, Bufflehead and Common Goldeneye. Swamp, Song and White-throated Sparrows exploit the weedy edges and Brown-headed Nuthatches and Pine Warblers call from the adjacent pinewoods. This site also hosts several species of rare and endangered plants, including the panhandle lily and white-top pitcher plant. Additional Escambia County Birding Trails include Gulf Islands National Seashore: Perdido Key Area; Naval Air Station Pensacola: Trout Point Nature Trail; Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier; Project GreenShores; and Wayside Park and Pensacola Visitor Information Center.
Santa Rosa County Great Florida Birding Trails Shoreline Park South
800 Shoreline Dr. / (850) 934-5140 / Daily, 24 hours Shoreline Park South is a small sound-side park in Gulf Breeze, which lies between Fort Pickens and the mainland as the bird flies. This makes it the perfect arrival and departure point for migrants coming in off the Gulf in spring and heading out across the Gulf in fall. Near the entrance, bird the loop trails through oak hammock excellent for resident Pine Warblers, Carolina Chickadees and Pileated Woodpeckers, as well as migrant Magnolia and Wormeating Warblers, Swainson’s Thrushes, Orchard Orioles, Blue Grosbeaks and Indigo Buntings. In winter, bird the waterfront for Horned Grebe and Common Loons; Pacific and Red-throated Loons have been recorded. Wintering ducks like Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead and the occasional Common Goldeneye can be viewed from the pier and viewing deck.
Red-shouldered Hawks are common, and Wood Thrushes and Prothonotary Warblers breed here. Brown-headed Nuthatches can be found in the uplands; these delightful acrobats are a joy to watch. The brief campground trail and the 0.9-mile Chain of Lakes Nature Trail are best for birding.
Garcon Point Blackwater WMA Trail River State Park Avalon Boulevard & 7720 Deaton Bridge Rd. / (850) 983-5363 / Daily, 8 am to sunset
This site is a popular swimming, canoeing and picnicking area in warm weather, but offers nice access to floodplain hiking trails good for Yellow-billed Cuckoos and Hairy Woodpeckers in late spring and summer. Broad-winged, Red-tailed and
Frontage Road & Garcon Point Road / (850) 5395999 / Daily, sunrise to sunset
Gorgeous wet prairie occupies much of this preserve, with slightly elevated patches of longleaf pine-wiregrass community breaking the otherwise unobstructed horizon. Wet prairie sparrows like Henslow’s and Le Conte’s winter
here and Cooper’s Hawks cruise the prairie for prey like Eastern Towhees and Loggerhead Shrikes. Yellow Rails have been found in winter. Pine Warblers call from the tree line and rare pitcher plants crowd the trail (stay on the trail to protect these Panhandle specialties!). From the south entrance, access the 1.7-mile loop trail through scrubby oaks and past an ephemeral wetland. From the north trailhead, the North Spur Trail runs 1.2 miles south to join the loop trail on its north border. Additional Escambia County Birding Trails include Blackwater Fisheries Research and Development Center; Blackwater River State Forest: Bear Lake Loop Trail, Hutton Unit and Three Notch Rd.; Gulf Islands National Seashore: Naval Live Oaks Area; Naval Air Station Whiting Field: Clear Creek Nature Trail. Pensacola Magazine
A reactivation project inspired by unique placemaking, community growth, and the City of Pensacola’s great history.
Connectivity Connectivity Located in the heart of downtown Pensacola at Palafox Street, Garden Street, Jefferson Street, and Chase Street, the East Garden District is inspired by inimitable place making, community, and the historic activation of a historic block.
History History Over 250 years ago, a city plan was developed for Pensacola by Elias Durnford that still inspires today! The EGD project will showcase a landscaping, streetscaping, and planting plan unique to the City of Pensacola, and befitting of the garden lots originally planned by Durnford for Garden Street.
Elias Durnford’s city plan for Pensacola featured a large public square. The Urban Plaza is the EGD’s own public square, and pays tribute to Durnford’s vision for Pensacola and the importance of outdoor spaces in urban planning.
38 Pensacola Magazine
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August 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17 and 18 PLT presents the hit musical based on the music of ABBA, Mamma Mia. Show times are 7:30 pm Aug. 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17 with special showings at 3 pm, August 4, 11, and 18. Donna, an independent hotelier in the Greek islands, is preparing for her daughters wedding with the help of two old friends. Meanwhile Sophie, the bride, has secretly invited three men from her mother's past in hopes of meeting her real father and having him escort her down the aisle. Don't miss this epic event at Pensacola Little Theatre. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.pensacolalittletheatre.com.
Strange Connections at Arcadia Mill Archeological Site August 3
Arcadia, Bagdad, and Destin have a lot in common. All three were founded by men from New England and the strange connections don’t stop there…it even extends to Pensacola! Destin historian and author Hank Klein will compare the histories of Arcadia, Bagdad, and Destin in this free public presentation at the Arcadia Mill Archeological Site Aug. 3, 11 am to noon. For more information, call 626-3084.
Improvable Cause Show August 3 and 14
Pensacola Little Theater will host an Improvable Cause (IC) show Aug. 3 at 10:30 pm. IC is Pensacola's only professional improv comedy troupe.
Everything is created in the moment with audience suggestions, so each show is different. IC shows are edge-of-your-seat theatre where anything can happen, and usually does. By popular demand, IC will be hosting a special show Aug. 14 at 7 pm where the audience can participate and join IC for the performance. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www. pensacolalittletheatre.com.
Yoga in the Park August 4
Free Yoga classes will be held the first Sunday of each month at 10 am at Community Maritime Park and are open to all ages and levels of experience. Certified instructors from Breathe Yoga and Wellness Center will provide instruction. The class is free, but you will need to BYOM (Bring Your Own Mat) and any other accessories you would like to use. Water will be provided, but you
will need to bring your own bottle or container. For more information, visit www.cityofpensacola.com.
Alfred Hitchcock Classic Movie Series August 4, 11, 18 and 25
In addition to their annual Classic Movie Series, the Saenger Theatre will also be hosting a separate Alfred Hitchcock Classic Movie Series during August. The movies on the schedule include: • August 4: Vertigo • August 11: Read Window • August 18: North by Northwest • August 25: Dial M for Murder Tickets for the Alfred Hitchcock Classic Movie Series are $6.00 each and you can purchase a four-pack at a discount of $20.00. For more information on the Pensacola Saenger Classic Movie Series schedule, check out our calendar listing below. Tickets for the movie series are available at the Saenger Theatre Box office or by visiting www.pensacolasaenger.com. For more information about the movie series, or about becoming a sponsor, contact Kathy Summerlin at 595-3882 or send an e-mail toinfo@pensacolasaenger. com.
play/live/give Blue Angel Practices August 7, 8, 9, 13, 14 and 20
The World, Wide Open
A hometown favorite, the Blue Angels will be hosting practice sessions at the National Naval Aviation Museum throughout the month. Come see the jaw dropping aerial display up close and personal. Don’t forget the bring ear protection! Most practices will begin, wheels up, at 11:30 am. Following most Wednesday practices, members of the Blue Angels visit the Museum to meet fans and sign autographs in the Atrium. For more information, visit www. navalaviationmuseum.org. For show weather updates, visit the Blue Angels Facebook or Twitter before show time.
Movies in the Park Series August 9
*Actual Global Corner Student
Surprise, June will have a movie event at the Community Maritime Park. The next movie will be How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, scheduled for Aug. 9 beginning at sunset, 7:50 pm. Bring blankets and lawn chairs for an evening of family fun underneath the stars. Local food trucks will be at the event, so make sure to come ready to enjoy dinner and a show. Pets and glass containers are not allowed in the park. For more information, visit www.cityofpensacola. com.
Capstone’s Wine a Little, Dine a Lot August 10
Reserve a seat at the dinner table for Capstone Adaptive Learning & Therapy Centers’ 12th Annual “Wine a little, Dine a lot!” wine tasting dinner on Aug. 10 at Skopelos at New World. Eat, sip, and enjoy a delectable four-course dinner prepared by community favorite, Chef Gus Silivos, with wine pairings provided by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. Tickets are on sale now on Eventbrite.com for $125. You can also pick up tickets at their main office located at 2912 North E St. For more information, contact Nichole Williams by e-mailing nwilliams@ capstoneadaptivelearning.org, calling 4321596 or visiting www.CapstoneLearning.org.
Blues on the Bay Concert Series August 11 and 18
The Blues on the Bay Concert Series will 40 Pensacola Magazine
Pensacola Little Theatre Presents end with the last two concerts of the season at the Hunter Amphitheater at Community Maritime Park. Pack your coolers, bring your lawn chairs, and enjoy a cool breeze off the bay while some of the region's best musical talents hit the stage. The first concert, Aug. 11, will feature the Cat Daddy Blues Band and Adam Holy and the last concert will take place Aug. 18 and will feature The Modern Eldorados, both beginning at 6 pm. Every concert in the series is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www. cityofpensacola.com.
MUSIC AND LYRICS BY
BENNY ANDERSSON BJÖRN ULVAEUS AND SOME SONGS WITH STIG ANDERSON BOOK BY
CATHERINE JOHNSON ORIGINALLY CONCEIVED BY
JUDY CRAYMER DIRECTED BY
MUSIC DIRECTED BY
Gallery Night August 16
Enjoy the beautiful summer night at Gallery Night, Aug. 16 starting at 5 p.m. Take the “Arts to the Streets” where visitors can connect with the unique culture of Pensacola. This month, Gallery Night will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. Palafox Street will be closed for traffic between Garden and Main Street during the event. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/pg/GalleryNight-Pensacola.
AUGUST 2-4, 8-11, 15-18 PENSACOLALITTLETHEATRE.COM 850-432-2042
HBA Home and Product Expo August 16 to 18
Visit the 2019 Home & Product Expo to make your home a place where you love to live. A much-anticipated event for area homeowners and homebuyers, the 2019 Home & Product Expo is set for August 16 to 18 at the Pensacola Bay Center. With nearly 100 exhibitor spaces and dozens of ways to learn something new, the Home Expo is the place to simplify your home building, remodeling or landscaping plans! All of these special products and services can be found under one roof for one weekend only. Tickets are $5 and free for children under 19 years old. For more information, visit http:// www.pensacolabaycenter.com.
Backpack Project USA Family Fishing Rodeo August 31
The annual Family Fishing Rodeo takes place on Labor Day weekend each year. At the fishing rodeo, you and your children can compete in numerous fresh and salt
RichaRd SteineRt aRtiStic diRectoR
Ballet Pensacola Academy Children’s Division | Ages 3-6
A syllabus-guided training to prepare students to move seamlessly into the Training Division
Training Division | Age 7+
Takes students through a graduated system of study that encompasses classical ballet, contemporary movement and jazz techniques
Community Division | All Ages
For the more casual dancer focusing on recreation and exercise
Registration begins July 1, 2019 | Classes begin August 12 Sibling and multiple-class discounts available Call NOW to enroll your child!
400 South Jefferson Street | 3rd Floor | Pensacola Cultural Center www.balletpensacola.com Pensacola Magazine
play/live/give water fishing categories to win prizes. The Open Division offers 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place monetary prizes while the Junior Division offers trophies and a kayak for the grand prize winner! Watch your children's faces light up as they proudly weigh their catch and watch for their names on the leader board. Entry fee is $15 with free entry into the junior division with a purchase of an adult ticket. For more information, visit http://www. backpackprojectusa.com.
Gulf Coast Summer Fest – Jazz Edition August 31 to September 1
The 2019 4th annual Gulf Coast Summer Fest – Jazz Edition will take place overlooking beautiful Pensacola Bay Aug. 31 to Sept. 1. It's more than just a concert, it’s an experience on the water. Tickets are on sale right now at Pensacola Bay Center. For more information, call 432-0800 or for a full schedule visit https://www. gulfcoastsummerfestjazzedition.com.
Classic Movie Series at the Saenger The Saenger Classic Movies Series line-up is final. Members of the Saenger eNews voted in s survey that concluded at noon June 28 and the theatre heard their requests. The Pensacola Saenger Theatre is pleased to present the following movie line-up: • August 3: The Adventures of Robin Hood • August 10: House of Wax • August 17: Singin’ in the Rain • August 24: The Public Enemy • August 31: Creature from the Black Lagoon • September 7: Arsenic and Old Lace • September 14: Citizen Kane • September 21: Star Wars Tickets for the movie series are available at the Saenger Theatre Box office or by visiting https://www.pensacolasaenger. com. For more information about the
movie series, or about becoming a sponsor, contact Kathy Summerlin at 595-3882 or send an e-mail toinfo@pensacolasaenger. com.
Blue Wahoos Baseball It’s the last chance to see Pensacola’s Blue Wahoos during the 2019 baseball season. The last chance to see the Wahoos at Maritime Park is during the Aug. 23 to 27 during the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp series. Don’t miss this opportunity to cheer on the hometown heroes. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.bluewahoos.com. • August 1 to 5, Birmingham Barons • August 7 to 11, Mobile BayBears • August 13 to 17, Chattanooga Lookouts • August 18 to 22, Mississippi Braves • August 23 to 27, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp • August 29 to September 2, Montgomery Biscuits
Vinyl Music Hall Schedule The historic Vinyl Music Hall is offering a new lineup of musicians and performers. Come check out the renovated hall and enjoy some great performances. Below are all currently scheduled shows. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.vinylmusichall.com. • August 1, 7 pm: Corey Smith • August 2, 6 pm: Vagrants, with Rise Up Lights, Outlast the End and Heatseeker • August 4, 7 pm: An Acoustic Evening with Anberlin’s Stephen Christian and Christian McAlhaney • August 10, 7 pm: Sabotage – Tribute to the Beastie Boys • August 14, 8 pm: Kevin McDonald – Of the Kids in the Hall • August 15, 7 pm: Mac Sabbath with Okilly Dokilly, with Playboy Manbaby • August 16, 7 pm: Drivin N’ Cryin • August 21, 7 pm: Bizzy Bone Carbon Monoxide Tour, with Lil Bizzy and Bloodline Harmony • August 22, 7 pm: Sister Hazel • August 24, 7 pm: Tessa Violet, with Daysormay • August 30, 7 pm: Why?, with Barrie
42 Pensacola Magazine
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SPECIAL SECTION August 2019
48. The Big Picture at Baptist Healthcare
Baptist Healthcare announces plans to build brand new campus
Âˇ OTHER STORIES Âˇ
53 East Garden District Merges Past and Present
Drawing inspiration from the past, the East Garden District is forging a new future in Pensacola
56 Holding Them Accountable Pensacola super lawyer Mike Papantonio is out to make the big drug companies pay
59 Around the Region Find out what is happening in business, government and cultural news in the greater Pensacola area and Northwest Florida
Business Climate 47
The Big Picture at Baptist Healthcare: Baptist plans to open brand new main campus hospital On June 26, Baptist Healthcare President and CEO Mark Faulkner took to the podium at a news conference to announce plans to build and open a new main campus hospital complex at the Brent Lane and I-110 corridor. The new campus will replace the old main hospital located on the corner of Avery and E Streets, which has been in operation for nearly 70 years.
The news came after weeks of speculation in the community, and years of planning and research at Baptist. According to Faulkner, original ideas included expanding and building onto the current main hospital, but it quickly became apparent that the hospital lacked the ability to modernize in a way the community needed. “This started with the recognition that we needed to make some investments for our community and for the quality of care people receive,” 48 Business Climate
Faulkner said. “It began with an evaluation of our current main campus and its capabilities, age and layout. We had consultants come in and give us their insights and they said we could renovate and expand some things because we need more space, but at the end of the day, the way that’s going to be configured is not going to be able to get to the core, which is 70 years old. So you’re left with an odd blend of old and new with the core, which is untouched.” With the decision to build an entirely new hospital, Faulkner and his team at Baptist set their sights on finding a good location for the new hospital. After economic research, Faulkner was advised that the best place for the new hospital would be in the northern part of the city, near Pine Forest and Nine Mile Roads. Strictly from an economic stand, that would have been a good move. However, the leadership team and board from Baptist decided to stay in the area to continue helping the community around the current hospital. After piecing together bits of land, including the purchase of the old Southern Buffet and the land on which the Good Time Tour bus charter currently sits, the Brent Lane and I-110
corridor was chosen as the new campus location. While the location and overall campus map has been decided, there is still a lot of planning to happen for the inside of the hospital. A major plan for the new hospital is to create a new feel and to modernize the medical technology that is available now. Baptist plans to revolutionize hospitals with the new campus. While most hospitals may feel like
an unending labyrinth of white corridors and offices, goals for the new hospital include a streamline design that plans around the needs of patients. For example, the new hospital has plans to offer technology to make visiting different offices less cumbersome. Ever given your name, date of birth and other personal information about four times at different offices in a hospital? Updates to technology and hospital
A rendering of the new hospital. The hospital will be built at the Brent Lane and I-110 corridor.
systems hope to eliminate redundancies such as that. “We want to create a whole different experience,” Faulkner said. “A hospital that doesn’t feel like a hospital, that’s not built around ourselves but built around the needs of you and the community and visitors and guests and patients. This is a new opportunity to rethink the way we deliver healthcare in our community.”
Both inpatient and outpatient services will be offered at the new campus, though Faulkner did say Baptist will not get into pediatrics, as that is a need already served in the community. It is too early to say what exactly will be offered at the hospital, though there will be more advanced technology and streamlined services when compared to the old campus.
Baptist invited the University of West Florida Haas Center to help understand economic and demographic movements and needs in the community, which they plan to use in decisions regarding the new and the old hospitals. For the old hospital, it will continue to serve the community in which it resides, though with a new and improved function. Most hospitals serve as a driving economic force
to the immediate area around the campus, leading to many hospitals being surrounded by restaurants, shops and hotels. For the current main campus, it has remained a strange sight surrounded by a residential community. While the community around the hospital may not change, Faulkner does have big plans for the hospital, even if he doesn’t quite know what they are yet. Business Climate 49
Plans for the overall layout of the land the hospital will sit on. While interior plans and designs are still being drawn up, Baptist hopes to revolutionize how hospitals operate by streamlining operations and hospital layout. “I don’t know what that’s going to look like but I’m excited because I can tell you for 68 years, we’ve been an economic driver in this zip code but not of this zip code,” he said. “We looked at the data and realized our employees don’t live in the immediate area around the hospital. Patients that access us for care around the immediate community often access us for primary care and urgent care but they do so at the ER, the most episodic and most costly environment. There’s a better way.” To find out what needs are not currently being met by the hospital, Baptist has opened dialogue with the surrounding community, along with using studies from the Haas Center, to cater to the current and future needs of the area. This process will take some time, 50 Business Climate
so for the meantime no major changes are planned for the current campus, however Vice President of External Relations Jennifer Grove said they are excited to see exactly what they will be able to offer that hasn’t been available to people. “We’re in the process of gathering input and we don’t want to move quickly to a structure of how we’re going to make decisions because we need to spend a significant amount of time listening,” she said. “There are many studies that have been done of the west side area over the years, so we’re going to spend some time working with the community advisory group looking back from 2004. Very often the recommendations that come out of these studies that have been done over the years, there are significant recommendations for this
area, there’s just not a space to do it in. So now we’re going to have some flexibility with that in the future.” The announcement of the new hospital marks the continued growth of Pensacola, which has seen huge economic and residential expanse in the last few years. The hospital will service all of Pensacola, northern Florida and into Perdido Key and Santa Rosa county. While the hospital will be located at a major artery of I-110, near to the ever-busy Airport Boulevard and the Pensacola Christian Academy, Faulker said he and the leadership are working with city officials to not have a negative impact on the traffic flow. Right now, no problems are anticipated, but Baptist will continue to work with the city to make sure it doesn’t become an issue. For Faulkner, the path to the new hospital hasn’t just begun. He has been on this journey
for a long time and is thrilled to see it finally coming into fruition. “At some point, I want to pull up in my car and say this is hugely impactful to our community in a lot of different ways,” he said. “Most importantly just improving the quality of life, improving the quality of healthcare and other facets of life. It is going to be important in reshaping the front entry to Pensacola and changing the landscape forever. Throughout the process, it’s going to be important to engage our community in an entirely different way here at this existing campus, there at the new campus and other ways we touch the community today.” Baptist has invited anyone with suggestions or ideas regarding the new or old campus to reach out to the hospital. Send your thoughts to email@example.com.
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East Garden District Merges Past and Present by Will Isern
With work set to begin on the first phase of what promises to be a transformative project in the heart of downtown Pensacola, the project’s planners are drawing from the past for inspiration. Local developer Chad Henderson is driving the next phase of downtown Pensacola’s ongoing renaissance with plans to transform two blocks of Garden Street into a destination lifestyle district
featuring shops, restaurants and a hotel. Henderson’s East Garden District plan was unveiled in May and has been in the planning stages ever since. Now, work is set to begin. The first sign of progress will be the demolition of the rear half of the former Reynold’s Music building at the corner of Garden and Jefferson Streets to make way for a placemaking restaurant. More critical, though, will be the work that commences next to reimagine Jefferson Street as a pedestrian-friendly streetscape from the drab thoroughfare that it is today. At every step in the design process, Henderson has looked to the past for
inspiration. The East Garden District takes its name from the historic streetscape laid out by British officer and engineer Elias Dunford, whose 18th century grid plan for the city’s streets established many of our modern roadways. And like Dunford’s street plan, Henderson’s vision for the East Garden District is one of walkability, community and connectivity. “We’ve seen that the past several decades has mostly been made up of suburban sprawl and what we would frame as vehicular-centric development,” Henderson said. “Now in many areas and markets we’re seeing a movement of development back to the core and Business Climate 53
“Every study we’ve done says you need to be putting in green infrastructure and we haven’t done it yet,” Dana said. “We want this to be a pilot project for the 54 Business Climate
N JEFFERSON ST
E GARDEN ST
GRAPHIC SCALE 20'
1 inch = 20 ft.
GRAPHIC SCALE 20'
1 inch = 20 ft.
As part of that connectivity plan, the East Garden District will see a “road diet” on Jefferson Street. Landscape architect Steve Dana is working with Henderson on the project and said he expects to see a 30 percent reduction in total surface area of the road to make way for wider sidewalks. Dana also said 20 to 30 trees will be plated along Jefferson street, creating a canopy to provide shade and attenuate stormwater runoff. The vision will be similar to that of the streetscape between Southtowne and the Bear Levin Studer YMCA a few blocks to the south, Dana said. With the addition of pervious pavers in the parking lanes, Dana said he hopes the Jefferson Street portion of the East Garden District can serve as a model for green development in Pensacola.
E CHASE ST
this is more around people-oriented development that would create a sense of vibrancy and human connectivity and walkability. So if you think about the spirit in which Elias Dunford laid out Pensacola to make it better, we want to continue that same mindset of connectivity and walkability.”
that are occurring that don’t really have city and community to show the benefits EAST GARDEN DISTRICT CONSULTING | Jefferson Conceptual Streetscape the opportunity to draw back to the of it so hopefully it can become the new character and the soul of an old city, and norm.” we have that opportunity. So we should be thankful that we have all these old Henderson is a Pensacola native whose storylines to play off of, because that’s healthcare real estate business regularly really what creates the character and soul takes him all over the country. His vision of a place. That’s what I’m most excited for the East Garden District is based about.” partly on other urban living districts that he’s seen in other places, like The Gulch The East Garden District is bounded in Nashville. Henderson said he’s seen by Palafox, Chase, Tarragona and how cities have become more connected, Garden Street and spans Jefferson Street. livable and people-centric, but often lack Henderson estimates the project will cost the kind of origin stories that create an about $50 million. authentic sense of place. That’s where Pensacola has an edge, he said. APRIL 2019 PENSACOLA, FLORIDA
“This is what sets Pensacola apart is the ability to have these stories,” he said. “There are a lot of developments
HOLDING THEM ACCOUNTABLE by Will Isern
Deeply entrenched in one of the biggest cases of his life, Mike Papantonio says opioid manufacturers knew their products were addictive and would lead to deaths but went ahead shipping millions of pills to communities that couldn’t possibly use the supply they were being provided. Papantonio alleges the nation’s opioid manufacturers mislead doctors to over-prescribe the powerful narcotics, flooding the market and fueling a crisis that has cost taxpayers $1 trillion in emergency response. Now, Papantonio is out to make the big pharma companies own up to what he says were willful lies in pursuit of profit. The Levin-Papantonio lawyer is representing cities, counties and states all over the country, including Escambia County, that are suing pharmaceutical companies for the costs associated with the opioid crisis. Papantonio could only discuss the litigation in broad strokes when he spoke at a meeting of the Panhandle Tiger Bay in June. Papantonio told the crowd that the case goes beyond monetary damages and that pharmaceutical executives must be treated like drug 56 Business Climate
dealers if the opioid crisis is to be stopped. Too often, he said, pharmaceutical companies and executives get off with fines which amount to a slap on the wrist. "Make a hundred billion dollars, and it costs you $20 billion dollars? Who is not going to take that deal?” Papantonio said. The defendants include some of the nation’s largest companies such as McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health and Purdue Pharma. Papantonio is pursuing reimbursement for costs associated with additional law enforcement officers and EMTs, overdose medication, inpatient treatment, criminal trials, inmate care and morgue space for overdose victims. According to the Centers for Disease Control Control and Prevention, the amount of opioids prescribed in America
in 2015 was enough for every person in the country to be constantly medicated for three weeks. In Escambia County there were 113 opioid prescriptions per 100 people, according to the CDC, but some communities had it much worse. The town of Williamson, West Virginia, home to fewer than 3,200 residents, was shipped nearly 21 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills between 2006 and 2016.
and knew the drugs were being overly prescribed, yet failed to warn doctors of the extremely addictive nature of the narcotics and the need to strictly limit the dose. Papantonio said while the lowlevel dealers who sell opioids like OxyContin on the street go to prison, the people who make the drugs and distribute them in huge quantities get away with a slap on the wrist.
“These people shouldn’t get According to Levin Papantonio, treated any differently just the complaints being because they wear Armani suits and Rolex watches,” pursued allege the wholesale distributors violated the federal Papantonio said. “We need to stop giving preferential Controlled Substances Act by treatment. The only way we failing to alert the U.S. Drug will change this culture is to Enforcement Administration prosecute these wrongdoers.” of suspicious opioids purchases, such as orders of unusual size, frequency or pattern. The claims against the manufacturers are based on allegations the companies exaggerated the benefits of the medication
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ON THE MARK
ET: A REAL ESTATE SECTION
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AROUND THE REGION EDA Awards City of Pensacola $12.25 Million for Airport Training Facility U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration is awarding a $12.25 million grant to the City of Pensacola to make critical infrastructure improvements needed to establish a maintenance training facility at Pensacola International Airport. The EDA grant, to be matched with more than $36 million in state and local investment, is expected to help create 400 jobs. Dr. John Fleming, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, made the announcement at ST Engineering Aerospace in Pensacola, also presenting the $12.25 million check to Mayor Grover Robinson. "We're excited for this opportunity to continue to grow the aviation industry here in Pensacola and create new jobs for our residents while also attracting new residents to our great community," Mayor Robinson said. "We are grateful to the Economic Development Administration for supporting this important project, and to all of our local and regional partners who have
contributed to making it a reality and continuing to build our economic development momentum." This project will fund the construction of a 173,000 square-foot airport hangar, along with adjacent taxi ways and related infrastructure, at Pensacola International Airport. Designed to withstand 170 mph winds, the facility will support stateof-the-art maintenance, repair and overhaul operations, and provide a training center for commercial and technological aviation programs. The project is part of Project Titan, which will eventually construct two additional hangars, a support services center and an administrative building at Pensacola International Airport. ST Engineering has committed to providing over 1,300 jobs through Project Titan. The guaranteed minimum average salary is approximately $45,000, and position categories include maintenance and modification, production support and administrative.
Florida SBDC at UWF wins top state awards The Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of West Florida was named Region of the Year at the Florida SBDC Network’s annual conference on Tuesday, June 25. The Florida SBDC at UWF was honored out of nine regional host partner universities and colleges. Throughout 2018, the Florida SBDC at UWF delivered more than 15,000 consulting hours to Florida businesses, resulting in $554 million in client sales increases, 5,072 jobs created or saved and more than $31 million in capital infusion. The Florida SBDC at UWF also played a critical role in helping small business owners recover following Hurricane Michael, helping businesses between Apalachicola and Panama City Beach to Marianna and Chipley secure over $21 million in Emergency Bridge Loans, many of which were approved in less than a week. “Although we do not need awards to know that the work we do matters, it is certainly nice to be recognized by your peers for your hard work,” said Kelly Massey, regional director with the Florida SBDC at UWF. “Our staff spent the better part of three months last year working away from our homes and families to work in tents and buses, assisting with disaster recovery loans. Several worked long hours, including over the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays.” The Florida SBDC at UWF will now be submitted for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Award for SBDC Region of the year.
Business Climate 59
AROUND THE REGION Junior League of Pensacola elects first woman-of-color president The Junior League of Pensacola (JULEP) welcomes its 2019-2020 Board of Directors, the team of women who will lead the charitable, educational organization throughout its 63rd year. The newly elected Board of Directors includes Tori Woods, who will serve as President in 2019-2020, becoming the first woman of color President in the Junior League of Pensacola's history. She will be succeeded in 2020-2021 by Dr. Kim Thomas, currently serving as President-Elect, who is the second woman of color elected to serve in these roles. The Junior League of Pensacola celebrated this very special and important milestone welcoming incoming president Tori Woods as the first woman of color president in the
League’s 63-year history on Thursday, May 30th at the annual May Dinner held at Pensacola Yacht Club.
completed nursing school and is a Licensed Practical Nurse and a Certified Community Health Worker.
Woods has been a member of the Junior League of Pensacola for four years during which time she led the Kids in the Kitchen program and served as Community Impact CoChair as well as President Elect. She is a past recipient of both the Member Merit and annual Ray of Sunshine membership awards. Woods also serves as President of Escambia County Council of PTAs/PTSAs. She was recently honored by the Pensacola Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. with the Servant Leader award. Woods is an alum of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. She received her degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. She also
“From day one, the Junior League embraced me and I am forever grateful. I am excited to work with the incoming board to make sure this year is as amazing for our members as my new member year was.” says Woods. “I am excited about this year and look forward to passing the gavel to my dear friend Kimberly Thomas in 2020.” Woods will be succeeded by Dr. Kimberly Thomas, the 2019-2020 President-Elect. Dr. Thomas, Assistant Principal of Escambia County Schools, also serves as the President of the Escambia County Association of School Administrators.
Leary named coordinator of Diversity Initiatives at Pensacola State College Dr. Rameca Vincent Leary has been named Coordinator of Diversity Initiatives at Pensacola State College. Her duties encompass student and employee minority recruitment, and producing/hosting responsibilities for the “PSC Today” and “PSC Aware” programs aired on WSRE-TV. An integral part of this position also entails assisting and leading various Cultural Diversity Committee initiatives and activities. Leary also is a business instructor at the College, and was recognized as the 20182019 Outstanding New Faculty Member. Leary has an extensive background in television news and diversity initiatives. While employed at WCSC-TV Channel 5 in Charleston, South Carolina, she
60 Business Climate
worked as a producer, reporter, news anchor, “Live 5 News at Noon” host, and public affairs director. While at Trident Technical College in Charleston, she served as assistant director of recruiting, and spearheaded numerous community projects.
Also, Leary was awarded two Community Service Awards from the City of Charleston, and has received numerous accolades for her work with Project Cool Breeze, an initiative she co-founded, which helps provide brand new fans and air conditioning units for senior citizens.
Leary received a master’s degree in management with an emphasis in public relations from the University of Maryland. She earned a doctor of philosophy in communication from Regent University. Her dissertation focus was colorism (intra-racial discrimination) in film. The study was entitled: “Colorism in Media Content: A Qualitative Study Focusing on Film and Perception.” She explored its impact on African-Americans in the industry and society as a whole.
In 2009, she was recognized by the South Carolina State Senate and received a special proclamation for her outreach initiatives. Pensacola State President Ed Meadows stated that PSC having Leary in this role will enhance the efforts of the College in minority recruitment of students and faculty and staff. He added it will also further the College’s efforts to better serve the community with meaningful outreach initiatives.
On theA Real Market Estate Section
In This Section By the Numbers: A look at June's Market Highlights page 64
9 Troublesome Weed Zones to Tackle page 64
Eco-friendly Ways to Keep your Home Cool page 70
On the Market 63
BY The NUMBERS a look at JUNE's Market Highlights
Avg. Days on Market
$220k Median Sale Price Market Highlights June sales slipped 3% from May, yet were the second highest on record for any other month since this report first appeared in 2008.
2nd Quarter sales edged up slightly above those reported for the same period last year.
Information courtesy of Pensacola Association of Realtors
64 On The Market
Juneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s combined (residential & condo) DOM averaged 53, ten days less than the prior month and a full three weeks fewer than February.
Median Sale Price for June was $220,000 the second highest on record for any month since this report first appeared in 2008.
Pending sales were up 8% compared to last June.
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9 Troublesome Weed Zones to Tackle Weeds are opportunists that take advantage of bleak growing conditions to set root. If you've ever seen a weed growing out of a crack in your driveway or other paving, you know that weeds, by nature, can adapt to almost any spot. As you work to get your yard in shape, keep an eye on the following areas that often offer ideal conditions for weeds to grow and reproduce. 1. Pathways. Paths made from loose materials, such as bark mulch, decomposed granite or stones, can act as seeding beds, offering a natural spot for weeds to grow. 2. Underneath shrubs. Areas under shrubs can be hard to reach, shady and moist – a perfect place for weeds. 3. Unpaved drives and parking areas. Whether grassy, 66 On The Market
muddy or filled with gravel, these areas often roll out the welcome mat for weeds. 4. Cracks and crevices. Cracks between paving stones, bricks or slabs of concrete provide natural entry points for weeds. If the weeds are not dealt with, roots can lift pavers or bricks, creating dangerous uneven spots while potentially ruining the clean look of your patio or walkway.
5. Beneath decks. Despite sparse sunlight, weeds may still grow under decks. 6. Around downspouts. Weeds often thrive at the base of downspouts where moisture is abundant. Heavy rains can wash seeds from these weeds into other areas of your yard. 7. Along fences and foundations. Often out-ofsight and out-of-mind, these areas are natural spots for weed build-up. 8. Freshly tilled soil. Anytime you turn soil or an animal digs a hole, you expose buried weed seeds, creating an area to watch for new seedlings. 9. Open soil. Keep a close watch on your yard for dead spots or open areas. Fill them in as soon as you can, adding new plants, seeds or mulch. Bare spots in lawns should be over-seeded with desirable grass seed. In new plantings,
cultivate often to uproot new weed seedlings. There are many ways to control weeds, including handpulling, hoeing, mulching or using herbicides. People often try homemade, natural weed killers like vinegar to avoid herbicides. However, these “natural” techniques often don’t kill the roots of the weeds, so they quickly regrow. Alternatively, consider an environmentally friendly option like Natria Grass & Weed Control With Root Kill. You’ll usually see results within minutes and weeds are not likely to come back from their roots, unlike when using natural solutions. For more information on controlling weeds, visit natria. com.
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5487 Porpoise Rd Milton • Waterfront Lot 1.165 Acreage $254,000 MLS# 539913
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Regency Towers Condos Pensacola Beach • Gulf Waterfront 2BD/2BA $450,000 MLS# 555485 2BD/2BA $397,500 MLS# 556796 1BA/1BA $345,000 MLS# 555829
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on the market Change Your Light Bulbs Since warmer weather also equates to more sunshine, turning off the incandescent lights in your house when possible can cut down on extra heat and save on your energy bill. Though the soft yellow glow of incandescent light bulbs can create a nice ambiance, it also gives off a lot of heat. Swapping out those old light bulbs for more efficient, LED bulbs can cut down on the amount of heat your light fixtures emit. If you can’t replace them, minimizing their usage – particularly when having a light on in a room is unnecessary – can make a difference.
Eco-Friendly Ways to Keep Your Home Cool When it’s hot outside, heat can seep into your home and make it unbearable. However, there are sustainable, eco-friendly solutions to maximize comfort and cooling when the thermometer creeps upward without racking up an outrageous electric bill or large carbon footprint. While some options for keeping your home cool involve an upfront investment, over time they’ll save money, and the environment, for years to come. If you’re looking for ways to cool your home during even the hottest days, consider these ideas from the experts at Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating. Adjust Ceiling Fans Installing ceiling fans in your home can help keep temperatures moderate and cut down on your cooling bill. For best results, those ceiling fans should be adjusted seasonally. During warm weather months, fans should rotate counterclockwise at a higher speed to push air downward instead of up toward the ceiling, which can lead to a more comfortable temperature in your home. Upgrade Your Air Conditioner If your home’s climate control is lacking, it may be time to invest in a new HVAC system – particularly if your current one is more than 15 years old. An energy-efficient option like 70 On The Market
Mitsubishi Electric’s sleek and modern MLZ One-Way Ceiling Cassette is designed for easy installation and saves energy by monitoring room conditions to make automatic adjustments to maintain the temperature you choose. To improve your indoor air quality, the MLZ uses reusable air filters, which are easy to remove, wash and reinstall. In Dry mode, the unit makes the air feel fresher by removing excess moisture. Additionally, these ceiling cassettes can be programmed to operate around your life using a remote control, smartphone or tablet. Whether gone for the day or on an extended vacation, you can monitor your system from an app, ensuring you won’t return to a home that’s blazing hot. Reduce Incoming Sunlight During the Day Direct sunlight coming into your home through windows, doors or skylights can increase the temperature. To help reduce unwanted heat as the sun rises higher during the day, consider closing your blinds or installing light-colored blinds that reflect rather than absorb the sun’s heat. Other options such as blackout curtains or reflective window panels can have the same effect, helping reduce warmth trapped inside. If closing all your blinds or covering every window isn’t an option or makes you feel claustrophobic, focus on any south- or westfacing rooms in your home, as these are typically the trickiest to keep cool during the warmest hours of the day – usually from late morning until early evening. Exterior window shades and awnings can also be useful options if you’re looking to reduce the amount of heat that enters your home, but still want to take advantage of the natural light.
Strategically Plant Trees and Shrubs Planting trees or shrubs near sunlight-facing windows can make a big difference when it comes to the temperature inside your home by shielding the sun’s rays. While planting trees strategically around your home is more of a longterm plan, the benefits can also last for many years to come in terms of shade, added curb appeal and overall betterment of the earth. Start by focusing on west-facing walls, where the sun is typically the strongest. Choosing trees native to your area can decrease maintenance, and those that bloom in spring and drop leaves in the fall offer year-round benefits by providing both shade and heat in accordance with the season. Vines and other tall shrubs are options for quicker results, but they may also require more long-term maintenance. Reduce Appliance Usage To help minimize running appliances and equipment that generate a lot of heat, like stoves and ovens, choose to cook outdoors or opt for quicker meals you can prepare using the microwave, which doesn’t heat the house to the same extent. While grilling and eating outside more frequently may require an awning or gazebo to stay cooler, it can beat the alternative of warming up your oven, and ultimately your home, for an extended period of time. Reducing your usage of other heat-producing appliances such as computers, dishwashers, clothes dryers, curling irons and hair dryers can also help keep interior temperatures comfortable and energy use low. Try using these appliances earlier in the day to minimize the extra load placed on your air conditioner. Keeping cool during warm weather months doesn’t have to be complicated. Take advantage of these measures to reduce your home’s heat load and energy bill. Find more tips for cooling your home at mitsubishicomfort.com.
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©2017 DBA. All Rights Reserved. DBA fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Operated by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.