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Living Shoreline Trail Ribbon Cutting at Eden Gardens State Park Oct. 30

October 22, 2014 by SoWal Staff

The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) of Northwest Florida State College in partnership with Eden Gardens State Park will hold a ribbon cutting for the newly completed ‘Living Shoreline Trail’ to promote CBA’s living shoreline initiative and showcase the diverse vegetation at Eden Gardens State Park, Oct. 30 at 4 p.m.
 
The beautiful grounds of Eden Gardens State Park were donated to the state in 1968 on Christmas Eve by then owner Lois Maxon. The 161-acre park is home to cultivated gardens, as well as many diverse native plants. These include the famous “wedding tree”- an impressive Live Oak that is over 600 years old, and the “kissing tree”- two intertwined trees that are joined in at least three places, both of which are landmarked in the new ‘Living Shoreline Trail’. Bordering the northern-most shoreline of the park is the beautiful Tucker Bayou, adorned with salt marsh vegetation and a CBA constructed Living Shoreline.
 
A living shoreline is a shoreline management option that uses living plants, oyster shells, sand fill, and offshore breakwaters to protect property from erosion. CBA began constructing living shorelines in 2006, with the goals of providing habitat for oyster settlement, increasing intertidal salt marsh habitat, and decreasing shoreline erosion. Living shorelines provide increased nursery, feeding and refuge habitat for estuarine organisms, while improving water quality by water filtration from oysters on the reef and storm water run-off purification by shoreline grasses.
 
"The Living Shoreline trail is a great addition to Eden Gardens. The trail showcases some of our natural beauties. We are pleased that the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance chose our beautiful park for this trail.” stated Park Manager, Sasha Craft. With this partnership, CBA is able to reach a larger audience of the importance of protecting our natural environment. CBA uses different outreach opportunities to encourage people of all ages to become Stewards of their environment and local waterways.

The ribbon cutting will be held at Eden Gardens State Park in Santa Rosa Beach. Attendees should meet at the Park Ranger Office upon arrival and will then be directed to the ribbon cutting location. The Park fee will be waived for all attendees of the ribbon cutting.

The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance of Northwest Florida State College is an organization committed to sustaining and providing optimum utilization of the Choctawhatchee Basin watershed. Under the auspices of the NWF State College, the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance provides opportunities for citizens, educators, and technical experts to promote the health of the Choctawhatchee Basin watershed.    
 
For more information about the ribbon cutting event at Eden Gardens State Park and CBA’s living shoreline initiative, please contact Rachel Gwin at (850)533-0343 or gwinr@nwfsc.edu.

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