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EVERGLADES PODCAST - see the everglades @ home!

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avatarUdut, Kenneth -- on Feb. 15 2009, from Golden Gate Estates, Naples, FL
Founder of this Naples site of NeighborHelp Referrals.

Presented by the National Park Service!


Podcast program brings Everglades to you Park rangers expand podcast program so you can view the Everglades from your armchair.


You can now experience the Everglades -- even if your lounging on your couch.

The Everglades National Park is launching its second season of its video podcast program with a new segment each month this winter. The park is the first national park in Florida -- and possibly the first in the South East region -- to incorporate the podcast program, said Greg Litten, one of the park's education rangers working on the project.

''It's another way to talk about the park with visitors around the world that is truly powerful and exciting and challenging,'' Litten said.

Litten, who has worked as a National Park ranger for 15 years, is one of about a dozen rangers who write, create and produce the podcasts, which can be viewed from home for free from the park's official website. Visitors can also take the podcasts along on park trips with their portable digital media players.

The program is part of the National Park Service's Centennial Challenge, a nationwide drive to increase staff at new and existing national parks for its 100th anniversary in 2016.

As part of the centennial initiative, the NPS is funding a seasonal ranger position at the Everglades National Park to develop its podcasting program.

''The National Park Service was wanting to use new technology to reach greater audiences,'' Litten said. ``We want to be able to reach as many people across the world as we can.''

In January, NPS announced $27 million in centennial projects, with $10.5 million from the federal government and $16.5 million in philanthropic giving.

The South Florida Parks Trust is also helping to fund the park's podcast program by paying for new production equipment and staff training.

One of the main objectives of the program, driven largely by park superintendent Dan Kimball, is to expand the park's younger audience, said Linda Friar, the park's public information officer.

''It's a real goal to get younger people out to the park,'' she said.''

The newly expanded podcast program will include three different series for virtual visitors to enjoy. Informational podcasts, designed to help visitors plan their park visit, will highlight visitor facilities, trails and services, as well as key areas and activities available in different areas around the park.

The interpretive podcast series will include information about the area's natural history, with park rangers sharing their Everglades experiences.

A third series, the special interest podcasts, will focus on productions funded and created by park partners, such as the orientation movie ''River of Life'' shown at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center.

Another goal of the monthly podcasts is to create a continual podcast presence for the park that is new, updated and evolved, while keeping visitors involved and connected.

Many of the ideas for podcasts are inspired by teachers and park visitors who want more information on a certain topic, Litten said.

The park also hopes to work with other South Florida parks to help them develop podcast programs of their own.

Outside of Florida, several other national parks already feature similar programs, including Yellowstone National Park and Grand Canyon National Park.

''Down in South Florida, we are just getting started,'' Litten said. ``We're trying to work together as South Florida national parks to have some podcasting presence. It's an evolving process.''

For more information about the Everglades National Park and its podcasting program, visit the park's official Web site at
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Udut, Kenneth
from Golden Gate Estates, Naples, FL
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on Feb. 15 2009

Wood Stork Shuffle

This endangered species intrigues many park visitors with its odd feeding habits. Watch The Wood Stork Shuffle (42 MB)

River of Life

South Florida's unique landscape is celebrated in this orientation video to Everglades National Park. Watch River of Life (47 MB)
EVERGLADES PODCAST - see the everglades @ home! Presented by the National Park Service!