Big Cypress National Preserve

Diana Umpierre

It’s rare to see an unfiltered night sky in many parts of Florida. Artificial lights in highly populated areas, like Fort Myers or Miami, cover up views of constellations and the Milky Way. But, Big Cypress National Preserve in Ochopee is now an “International Dark Sky Park.” That means the preserve removed unnecessary lights. And the ones they kept were changed to be “night sky friendly” by using different bulbs or making the lights point down to the ground, rather than up to the sky.

Judy Gallagher, Flickr creative commons

A federal court judge in Fort Myers ruled against a consortium of Environmental advocacy groups Monday in a lawsuit against the National Park Service and a Texas oil company.  The lawsuit was an attempt to prevent seismic testing for oil and gas reserves in Big Cypress National Preserve

Photo: Big Cypress National Preserve via Flickr

This year the dry season has been abnormally dry, which has earned Southwest Florida the classification of being in a “severe” drought by the National Weather Service. Fire officials say that drought is now prime fuel for wildfires.

Photo: Everglades National Park via Flickr

The "River of Grass Greenway," a proposed 75-mile bike trail along US-41 that would link Naples to Miami, faces a critical vote in Collier County today. The project has been in the works for years

The Collier County Metropolitan Planning Organization began a meeting at 9 a.m. to discuss whether or not to withdraw support for the project, first given approval in 2008. The majority of the proposed corridor crosses public lands, including national and state parks, preserves, and wildlife refuges but needs county support to pursue state funding for the project.  The Miami-Dade Department of Parks and Recreation recently released a Feasibility Study and Master Plan for the project.

Stephen Meszaros

Big Cypress National Preserve is now internationally known as a “Dark Sky Park.” That means it’s lessening light pollution to preserve the night sky in parts of Collier, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. 

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