Back to Nature Festival Showcases Beauty of Northwest Florida The beaches, forests, and waterways of south Walton County host the 5th annual Back to Nature Festival on October 20 - 22, 2006. Nature lovers from Florida and around the southeast flock to the festival each year to enjoy the unique natural beauty of northwest Florida. Hiking, kayaking, birdwatching, and stargazing are just a few of the planned events. Each event is led by a local expert who guides participants and helps them understand the ecology and special features of local natural and historic areas. Some of the weekend's funn events include: Kayak along the calm waters of a coastal dune lake, a type of waterway so rare as to be found in only two other places in the world. Take a walking tour of Rosemary Beach to see how local native plants have been used to create landscapes that provide wildlife habitat and thrive with little additional care. See how history and nature blend at Coffeen Nature Preserve--a beachfront facility in Destin where rockets were tested during World War II. Learn about beach ecology at Topsail Hill Preserve one of the most pristine beachfront areas in Florida. Take a river tour and learn about the flora, fauna, and early residents who lived along the Choctawhatchee River. Take a nighttime stroll along the dark beaches of Grayton Beach State Park, gazing at the stars with a local naturalist who studies the cosmos and will interpret the infinite night sky. The South Walton Community Council (SWCC) offers the Back to Nature Festival with the idea that as people experience the extraordinary natural world in south Walton County, they will realize that this resource needs preservation and protection. From the Gulf of Mexico to Choctawhatchee River and Bay, encompassing rare coastal dune lakes, a state forest full of trails, and four unique state parks, south Walton is a natural treasure. For more information on Back to Nature, including event registration, visit: www.southwaltoncc.org or call (850) 314-3749.