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Florida National Wildlife Refuges

Meet four Floridians as they explore national wildlife refuges for the first time. See how Marlon, Marc, Zachary and Juliet each connect to Crystal River National Wildlife RefugeChassahowitzka National Wildlife RefugeEgmont Key National Wildlife Refuge and National Key Deer Refuge.

Discover new trails, sports, wildlife, history and even inspiration in Florida.

Finding New Forms of Art

Marlon Preuss is a Miami-based artist who incorporates his love for hikes and runs into finding new inspiration from wildlife. While he checks off some bucket-list musts, Marlon uses his first encounter paddle boarding with manatees, at Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, to inspire his illustrations for the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Anglers enjoy a day on  the ice at Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge in  Illinois.
Finding Wildlife Encounters

Marc Suarez-Burgos is a Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation employee who is diving into explorations he never knew existed in the state of Florida. Marc combines his love for animals and the outdoors into new adventures across the Crystal River Complex. Who knew that Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge is a great spot to do yoga and view the wetland habitat?

Finding Historical Ruins

Zachary Dierickx is a college student who enjoys sports and hiking, but he was not aware of an abundance of trails waiting right in his own backyard. Zachary discovers an interactive exploration of historical and tribal ruins and artifacts along the sandy edges of Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge. Did you know the Seminole War, Civil War and Spanish-American War all happened on this tiny island?

Finding Outdoor Education

Juliet Betancourt is an elementary school teacher who uses her first time exploring National Key Deer Refuge as a tool to teach her students and friends about Florida habitats. She ventures off into the Watson Trail and the Mannillo Trail as a way to de-stress while encountering wildlife and identifying plants. 


Compiled by Ashley Suarez-Burgos   | January 10, 2018