Your Questions About Live Wildly, Answered
Whether you are brand new to the Live Wildly movement or you’ve been following along since day one, we have the answers to your most common questions
Nearly a year after launching Live Wildly and helping our more than 275,000 mighty advocates get to know the Florida Wildlife Corridor, we want to answer some of your questions about Live Wildly’s mission and how we’re working every day to protect corridors across the country — starting in the Sunshine State.
Read on to get the wild scoop from our team!
How is Live Wildly working to protect the Corridor?
“After locking eyes with an iconic Florida panther batting a butterfly in my backyard, I had a realization about how connected the world around us really is. I knew at that moment that I could make a difference by helping people across our state see those connections too – that a healthy economy and healthy ecology go hand-in-hand. So, I came alongside organizations already working hard to protect the Florida Wildlife Corridor – like Conservation Florida, Archbold Biological Station, Wild Path and The Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation – to jump-start a movement that every Floridian could get behind, and Live Wildly was born. And just a year later, we’ve established ourselves as a 501(c)3 organization focused on raising awareness and support for the Florida Wildlife Corridor, in addition to serving as a hub of innovation for partners, communities, business leaders and government officials seeking innovative solutions to balancing economy and ecology across the state. Who knows, maybe other states will see what we are doing in Florida and find ways to replicate our vision.”
Lisa Shipley, Chief Executive Officer
“Our primary mission is to protect the remaining 46% of the Florida Wildlife Corridor still at risk. To support these efforts, I’ve worked to grow a nimble Foundation team to help people inside and outside Florida learn what Corridors are, understand their personal connection to nature and discover how these lands impact their lives now and in the future.
From the foods people eat to the activities they enjoy and the jobs they work, the Corridor touches Floridian’s lives every day. Rather than viewing ecology and economy at odds, we are helping people see that a booming Florida economy depends on a thriving Corridor. In fact, the Corridor supports at least 114,000 jobs and contributes $30 billion in annual revenue to the state through recreation, tourism, agriculture, ranching, forestry and many other industries.
We’re also offering new ways for folks to give back to the Corridor, with 100% of our merchandise proceeds going directly to supporting Corridor conservation efforts.“
What emoji would you use to describe the Corridor?
“That’s an easy one: 🌎 The earth emoji! Did you know you can see the Corridor from space?! We at Live Wildly Foundation would like it to stay that way for generations to come.”
How can I connect to/explore the Corridor?
Deborah Pollard, Director, Field Marketing + Brand Integration
“I’m so excited that you want to explore the Florida Wildlife Corridor! Did you know that many Floridians live only a few miles from the Corridor, even if they never knew it existed and have never explored it? We created an interactive map for you to find the closest Corridor spots near you to plan your next wild adventure. Whether you enjoy biking, walking, hiking, swimming, picnicking or all of the above — you can use the map to sort by activity, event or location. You can also download the Live Wildly App for on-the-go access to the Corridor.
Check out our blog for more inspiration on where to go and what to do in the Corridor. We planned weekend guides to the Corridor in cities from Pensacola to Miami and have everything from where to eat to how to volunteer in the Corridor. Share your next wild exploration with us on social using #LiveWildlyFL.”
What is your favorite Corridor spot?
“I have so many favorite Corridor spots…The best thing about the Corridor is that it showcases the natural beauty of what generational Floridian’s call ‘real Florida.’ In the Corridor, you’ll find working farms and ranches (did you know Florida is a top 10 beef cattle producing state?), sweeping Live Oaks with draping Spanish moss (did you know Spanish moss is in the pineapple family?). You’ll find some of Florida’s best recreation, from crystal clear springs to winding rivers for paddling, kayaking, exploring and fishing. Florida is my backyard – where white sand isn’t only on the beach – but also on the ancient sand dune running through the spine of the state called the Lake Wales Ridge and where I call home.”
Why should I support The Florida Wildlife Corridor?
Jen Sissler, Chief Marketing Officer
“I joined Live Wildly because I love nature and continue to see the world around me change every day. Florida has always been close to my heart, and when I learned about the Florida Wildlife Corridor – and the urgent need to protect it – I knew I had to get involved.
I was shocked when I first learned that the Florida Wildlife Corridor covers nearly half of the state. It truly is a lifeline for people and wildlife – hosting critical fresh water resources, agriculture and ranching communities, and unique natural areas found nowhere else on earth. And, it’s at risk. Did you know that the Corridor is home to more than 2,000 species, including 60 considered threatened or endangered? Or that without the Corridor’s coastal marshes, reefs, swamps, forests and sand dunes, Florida would face even worse devastation from natural disasters? I could keep going on … but the most important fact is that we need to protect it – today! Because if we don’t, an estimated four million acres will be developed by 2050. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.”
What about the Corridor are you most grateful for?
“The diversity of life that calls the Corridor home. I visited Catfish Creek Preserve State Park recently and saw bear prints, a very fast gopher tortoise, trails from a skink, and lots of amazing plant life – in just a 30 minute walk. The people I’ve met are just as diverse – from adventure bikers to mermaids, artists and city-dwellers, there is a deep pride for the Sunshine State that always inspires me.”
What can I do to make a difference?
Meredith Budd, Director of External Affairs
“I joined Live Wildly to help accelerate the pace of conservation. Whether or not you know it, the Corridor impacts all of us every day. It covers nearly half of the state and supports our quality of life here in Florida from the rare freshwater springs of North Florida to the south Florida Everglades ecosystem. But with 1000 people moving to this State every day, the Corridor’s survival is at risk– this affects all of us – including wildlife like our iconic Florida panther and black bear.
With the passage of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Act, our state has the unique opportunity to help protect the remaining 8 million acres of the Corridor. Protecting the corridor is good for wildlife, it’s good for water resources, and it’s good for people. I encourage every Floridian to get out to enjoy moments in the Corridor. And more importantly, remember to tell others about the importance of protecting the Corridor here and around our country. World-renowned environmentalist, Jacques Cousteau said it best: “We only protect what we love, we only love what we understand, and we only understand what we are taught.” Getting out into the Corridor helps to instill an appreciation for nature and wildlife and sharing your experiences helps to educate others on why we need to protect it. Want to take it a step further? There are many ways for people to make a meaningful contribution to protecting the Corridor. This could be supporting local initiatives that advocate for – and support – a balanced approach to conservation advocating for small changes in your community that can improve its coexistence with wildlife nearby, or educating local policy makers and corporate leaders on the importance of nature and how they can make better decisions to ensure a healthier future for families, communities and the state.”
What about the Corridor are you most grateful for?
“The fast-pace of everyday life can sometimes fog my vision as to what’s really important like family, friendships, and good health. Being out in nature–in the heart of the Corridor –helps me slow down and appreciate all the little things that I sometimes take for granted.”
Protecting Florida for generations to come depends on a connected Corridor. With your support, we’ll be one step closer to protecting the remaining places and spaces still at risk. Please visit our Shopify site to wear wildly (and donate), and follow along with our efforts on social @LiveWildlyFL.