Blooming Century Plant Turning Heads

June 11, 2015

Travelers and residents on Jordan Road northeast of Flomaton have been treated to a unique site — a blooming agave americana, more commonly known as a century plant.

The plants were once thought to bloom every 100 years, this the name, but  scientists say the plants actually bloom about every 10 to 30 years. The bloom stalk may reach up to 30 feet high. The plants die after blooming, but shoots from the base may continue growning.

The century plant is located at the home of Shirley Petty in the 1100 block of Jordan Road, near Wolf Log Road.

Submitted photos by Andrea Boutwell for, click to enlarge.

Sustainability Summer Day Camp Planned In Cantonment

June 10, 2015

The Environmental Education Coordination Team will host a week-long summer day camp for children entering 1st through 5th grades, July 20 through 24, at the Roy Hyatt Environmental Center, 1300 Tobias Road in Cantonment. Children will learn the importance of sustainable practices used to protect and preserve our valuable natural resources through hands-on lessons and activities.

Registration is $150, $75 for each additional child,  and includes materials for activities, plus mid-morning and afternoon snacks. Camp hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Click here to RSVP.

To make payment or for more information contact Traci Goodhart, (850) 332-7976 Ext. 222 or

Pictured: John, the Eastern screech owl at the Roy Hyatt Environmental Center, just one of the species children will learn about at an upcoming day camp. Submitted photo for, click to enlarge.

Jay Elementary Math Teams Place At Pensacola High Tourney

June 9, 2015

Recently, students from Jay Elementary School brought home several awards from a math tournament held at Pensacola High School.

  • 4th Grade Results for Individual Round – Avery Mitchem and Jody Godwin received Honorable Mention. Emerson Walters placed tenth overall.
  • 4th Grade Results for Team Round – third place overall
  • 5th Grade Results for Individual Round – Shawn Thompson received honorable mMention. Megan Bethea placed first overall.
  • 6th Grade Results for Individual Round – Katelyn Mayo placed eighth overall, Brody Johnson placed fourth overall, and Carson Walters placed second overall.

With the combined scores the fourth and fifth grades, Jay Elementary walked away with a second place overall sweepstakes trophy.

Pictured are Jay Elementary fourth and fifth grade math team members (L-R)  Andrew Diamond, Kristin Archer, Megan Bethea, Emerson Walters, Hope Lashley, Avery Mitchem, Jody Godwin, Dylan Bradley, Preston Smith and Shawn Thompson. Picturd below: Jay Elementary sixth grade team members Katelyn Mayo, Emma Knowles, Brody Johnson, Bray Watson and Carson Walters. Submitted photos for, click to enlarge.

Take Stock In Children Awards $300K In Escambia Scholarships

June 9, 2015

Take Stock in Children and the Escambia County Public Schools Foundation awarded $300,000 in scholarships, with 18 graduating seniors receiving four-year scholarships, six of which also received two-year university housing scholarships.

The 2015 Take Stock in Children graduates were:

  • Escambia High: Karina Mendez-Rostro, Airamis Perez, Calvin Stallworth
  • Northview High: Teamber Moorer, Cara Thompson
  • Pensacola High: Jaimee Durbin, Andrew Huynh
  • Pine Forest High: Jammie Yeldon
  • PSC Collegiate High: Alexandra Campbell
  • Tate High: (Jonathan) Alex Richards, Hangnga Suon
  • Washington High: Doveline Delouis, Linorche Delouis, Ailene Goldsby, Keanan Williams
  • West Florida High: Jillian Fillingim, Margaret McCaskill, Alexis Kennedy.

Take Stock in Children was established in 1995 as a non-profit organization in Florida that provides a unique opportunity for deserving low-income youth/students to escape the cycle of poverty through education. Students receive college scholarships, caring volunteer mentors, and hope for a better life. Students are selected through a need-based application process in middle school and comprehensive services continue through high school and include the students’ transition into college. Scholarships and student services are funded through a unique public-private fundraising model in which local scholarship donations are matched by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation when scholarships are purchased each year. Each student is matched with a volunteer mentor who meets with the student weekly at school.

Pictured: The 2015 Escambia County Take Stock in Children graduates (front, L-R) Alex Richards, Keanan Williams, Calvin Stallworth, Linorche Delouis, Doveline Delouis, Ailene Goldsby, Alex Campbell, Cara Thompson, (back) Karina Mendez-Rostro, Andrew Huynh, Airamis Perez, Jammie Yeldon, Jaimee Durbin, Alexis Kennedy, Jill Fillingim, Margaret McCaskill, Teamber Moorer and Hangnga Suon. Submitted photo for, click to enlarge.

Escambia River’s Gator Grand Slam

June 8, 2015

This Escambia River gator grand slam from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Fish and Wildlife Research Institute is not for the faint of heart.

FWC freshwater fisheries researchers and herpetologists recently caught an alligator gar, alligator snapping turtle and an American alligator while conducting different studies at the same time on the Escambia River.  American alligators are found in all 67 counties in Florida, but alligator gar and alligator snapping turtles are far less common.

Fnding alligator gar can be a challenge, but it’s one biologists with the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute are taking on to learn more about the population of the fish in Florida.

Alligator gar have historically resided in rivers and brackish waters throughout the southeastern U.S. from the Florida Panhandle – from the Apalachicola River west to the Perdido River – to Texas and Mexico. Since the mid-1900s, alligator gar numbers have declined, leaving populations in only half of the 14 states they once inhabited. The FWC acknowledged this in 2006, prohibiting harvest of alligator gar for all but scientific purposes.

Since 2010, FWRI researchers have been tagging alligator gar in the Escambia River to learn more about their movement and habitat use. Using large-mesh gill nets, researchers collect adult alligator gar and fit them with telemetry tags before releasing them back into the river. These tags transmit information through radio and sound signals, allowing researchers to track each individual’s location for about two years.

Three years into the study, researchers have tagged 22 alligator gar ranging from 11 pounds to a state record 132 pounds; tagged fish average 60 pounds. Researchers are trying to identify what habitats these fish prefer, how far they travel and whether they return to the same location over time. Preliminary tracking data indicate alligator gar are highly mobile and can travel more than 40 miles in a single week.

The data also reveal their movement and habitat use varies by season. In winter, the tagged fish tend to reside in a slough – a cove off the main river with no current – and move very little. As the season changes to spring, they begin traveling the river’s main channel but return repeatedly to the slough. Only in late spring did the gar venture from their home-base slough and begin cruising. Biologists recorded alligator gar moving as far north as Century and the Alabama state line and as far south as Escambia Bay during this time.

Courtesy photo for, click to enlarge.

Camp Fire Century Kids Visit The Farm

June 8, 2015

Students from the Camp Fire Century Youth Learning Center recently visited the Smith Farm in Atmore. They had the chance to feed the goats, hold chickens, feed cows, turtles and fish, and more. They were also able to go on a hayride and make s’mores.

Fore more photos, click here.

Courtesy photos for, click to enlarge.

Northview Names New Drum Majors, Color Guard, Dance Team

June 8, 2015

New band leaders, color guard members and members of the dance team have been named at Northview High School.

The 2015-2016 Tribal Beat drum major is Triston Long. Assistant drum major is Jessica Amerson, and the band captain is Amber Freeman.

Color Guard members are Sarah Dutton, Harmoni Till, Dejaunte Lowery and Triyell Abraham.

The majorettes for 2015-2016 are Brianna Smith, Hannah Mascaro and Jessica Stacey.

Members of the 2015-2016 Northview Dance Team are: Bethany Reynolds, Delaney Reynolds, Leah Fischer, Savanna Roux, Madison Sherouse, Jerni Crabtree, Shelby Bayshore and Anna Belle Barberree.

Pictured: Dance team members (top, L-R) Madison Sherouse, Jerni Crabtree, Delaney Reynolds, Shelby Bayshore, (bottom pic, L-R) Leah Fischer, Bethany Reynolds, Savanna Roux and Anna Belle Barberree. photos, click to enlarge.

Vacation Bible Schools Scheduled At Many Churches

June 7, 2015

Vacation Bible School is a summertime tradition for many area children. Here is a list of upcoming VBS events in the North Escambia area. To add a VBS to this list, email

First Baptist Church of Bratt VBS
First Baptist Church of Bratt Vacation Bible School will be , June 8-12 from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. each day.

Ray’s Chapel VBS
Ray’s Chapel Baptist Church will hold their VBS “Camp Kilimanjaro”, June 8-12 from 6 – 8:30 p.m.  The church is located at 140 W Bogia Road in McDavid. Everyone is welcome for fun, food and games.

First Baptist Cantonment VBS
The First Baptist Church of Cantonment will hold VBS from June 8-June 12. To register or for information, call (850) 968-9135.

Atmore First Assembly VBS
First Assembly of God in Atmore will hold Vacation Bible Shool for children ages 3 through the 6th grade June 8-12 from 8 until 11:30 a.m.

Atmore United Methodist VBS
Atmore First United Methodist Church will hold “Everest” Vacation Bible School for children K-5 through 6th grade June 7-11 from 6- p.m. Everyone welcome.

Holy Cross Episcopal Church VBS
Everest VBS 2015 will be 5 to 8:30 pm, June 14-18, at Holy Cross Episcopal Church at 7979 North 9th Avenue, in Pensacola, for all children from 3-years to 5th grade. Brown bag dinner is included. (850) 477-8596.

Popular Dell VBS
Poplar Dell Baptist Church will hold their Vacation Bible School for ages nursery-6th grade, June 15-19 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m.  The final night will be family night complete with outside water slides, supper and other fun activities. The theme this year is “Journey Off the Map.” Visitors are welcome! The church is located at 2631 Highway 4A in Century. Contact Louise Gandy at (850) 256-0690.

Heritage Baptist Church VBS Cantonment
Heritage Baptist Church at 3065 Hwy 297A in Cantonment will have VBS June 15-19, 6-8:45 p.m. with the “Everest” theme.

Bush Street VBS
The Bush Street Church at 2328 Bush Street in Pensacola will hold a “Jungle Safari” Vacation Bible School June 18-19 from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. and June 20th from 10 am.. until noon, followed by the cookout.

Highland Baptist VBS
Highland Baptist Church will hold VBS June 22 – 26 from 5:30 until 8:30 p.m. for children ages three years old through completion of fifth grade. Family night will be June 28. Everyone is welcome.

New Bethal Jay VBS
New Bethel Baptish Church will hold their VBS “Fun Run 2015″, June 22 – 26 from 5 – 8 p.m. The church is located at 10995 Chumuckla Highway in Jay. Everyone is welcome.

Walnut Hill Baptist VBS
Walnut Hill Baptist Church will hold “Journey Off the Map” Vacation Bible School June 22-26 from 6-8:30 p.m.

Faith Bible Baptist Century VBS
Faith Bible Baptist Church “Camp Courageous: Equipping For Life” VBS will take place July 13-17 from 6 until 8:30 p.m. for ages 5-12. The church is located at 5801 N.Century Blvd. For more information or transportation call (850) 256-5483.

Trinity Lutheran Cantonment VBS
Camp Discovery, VBS 2015, will be 9-noon daily, July 13-17, at Trinity Lutheran Church at 2385 Highway 297A in Cantonment. For more, visit or call (850) 968-0078.

Aldersgate Molino VBS
Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Molino will host Camp E.D.G.E. Vacation Bible School July 20-24 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. daily for all children from 3-years to rising 5th graders. For more info, call (850) 587-2489, (850) 587-3571 or the church office at (850) 587-5294.

Queens Of The NHS Gym Named

June 7, 2015

During National Physical Education and Sports week last month at Northview High School, a competition was held among girls in the weightlifting and conditioning classes for the title of “Queens of the Gym”.

The girls teamed up and participated in variety activities that tested their endurance, speed, agility, strength, and overall athletic ability.

The following teams were winners in the competitions:

  • Most Push Ups in a minute- Morgan Ward and Hannah Gibson
  • Most Sit-ups in a minute- Andrea Miles and Mrs. Nall
  • Farthest Toss -Shnala Banks and Dimionque Brown
  • Farthest Jump – Shnala Banks and Dimionque Brown
  • Fastest Mile – Morgan Ward and Hannah Gibson
  • Strongest Team in bench press- Tied- Ashlynn McCall & Destiny Mathis, and Madison McGhee and Angel Lathan
  • Fastest Obstacle Time- Jadlyn Agerton and Peighton Dortch

Overall Team for Northview’s Queens of the Gym 2015

  • 3rd Runner up- Kayla Galvan and Tori Smith
  • 2nd Runner up -Madison McGhee and Angel Lathan
  • Queens for 2015- Morgan Ward and Hannah Gibson

Pictured top: Morgan Ward and Hannah Gibson, Queens of the Gym, at Northview High School. Submitted photo for, click to enlarge.

Teachers Learn From Project Learning Tree

June 6, 2015

Numerous Escambia and Santa Rosa county educators spent their Friday learning about Project Learning Tree at the Roy Hyatt Environmental Center in Cantonment.

Project Learning Tree is an award-winning environmental education program designed for formal and non-formal educators working with students in pre-kindergarten through high school. PLT uses trees and forests as the context to help young people gain an awareness and knowledge of natural and built environments. PLT stimulates students’ critical and creative thinking, develops students’ ability to make informed decisions on environmental issues and instills a commitment of responsible action on behalf of the environment.

PLT can be used in both rural and urban environments, whether there is a forest or a single tree and teaches students how to think, not what to think about our complex environment.

The event was sponsored by the Florida Forest Service, Santa Rosa UF/IFAS Extension, Escambia County Roy Hyatt Environmental Center and the Project Learning Tree Steering Committee.

Educators that took part in the event received a free activity guide and had a chance to learn about the program with hands-on activities.

Pictured top: Educators take part in a Project Learning Tree food web activity Friday at the Roy Hyatt Environmental Center in Cantonment. Pictured below: Florida Forest Service Supervisor Craig Iverson explains a portion of the program. Courtesy photos for, click to enlarge.

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