Oscar Scherer State Park

Black-eyed Susans are a sight of beauty at the Oscar Scherer State Park.

Have you ever seen a bald eagle in flight or watched a group of river otters playing in the water? These are just a few of the creatures you may see walking along one of the trails at Oscar Scherer State Park, which offers 1,400 acres for visitors to explore and experience the real Florida.

The area includes two special plant upland communities of pine flatwoods and scrubby flatwoods, which provide homes to a variety of animals. The gopher tortoise, gopher frog and indigo snake are a few of the numerous creatures that feel at home in the scrubby flatwoods. The park also provides very important habitat for the threatened Florida scrub-jay. It’s the state’s only endemic bird, which means they are found nowhere else but Florida. Scrub-jay numbers are declining in part due to its need for a specific habitat.

Prescribed burning is an important land management tool that mimics the natural fire cycle that historically shaped Florida’s landscape.

To maintain the vitality of these upland communities, land managers use a variety of land management methods, such as chopping and prescribed burning. These low-heat fires burn away nonnative plants and low-lying vegetation that compete with native plants for sunlight and water.

Now, let’s discover the Venice area and the Shark Tooth Capital of the World