The Nature Conservancy Offers Affordable Ideas for Valentine's Day
The Nature Conservancy
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, FL – February 6, 2009 – A tight budget this year doesn't have to mean a less romantic Valentine's Day. According to Los Angeles-based market research group IBIS World, spending on Valentine's Day is expected to drop nearly 5 percent this year compared with 2008.
The Nature Conservancy is offering a number of ways to help people be eco-conscious and romantic without breaking the bank.
One way to save cash and paper is send a Nature Conservancy Valentine's Day e-card to your spouse, partner, friends or family members. The Conservancy offers a variety of e-cards featuring beautiful nature scenes–from Emperor Penguins nuzzling to herons courting in a Florida wetland.
Another option is to take a Valentine's Day hike at one of The Nature Conservancy's nature preserves. Nature Conservancy member Carol Fulton got engaged to her husband John at Blowing Rocks Preserve.
"It's a very uncrowded beach–that in of itself makes it more romantic," Fulton said. "There are these rock formations and if the tide is high enough the waves lap up through the holes in the rocks, and it shoots out like the blow hole of a whale. Visually, it is very attractive."
With a butterfly garden and amazing views, Blowing Rocks Preserve is among the most romantic beaches in the state. During extreme high tides and after winter storms, seas break against the rocks and force plumes of saltwater up to 50 feet skyward, an impressive sight for which the preserve was named. Beach access fees are $2 for non-members and $1 for members.
In Florida's Panhandle about an hour west of Tallahassee, take a hike on a trail through a nature preserve that local legend claims is the original Garden of Eden. Beginning in longleaf pine and wiregrass uplands, the trail soon skirts the top of a dramatic steephead, descends the slope forest to cross a steephead stream, climbs up through sandhills, and eventually opens to a spectacular view from a bluff 135 feet above the Apalachicola River.
In Central Florida, express your "burning" love for your partner on the George Cooley Trail at Tiger Creek Preserve where The Nature Conservancy conducts prescribed fires to maintain rare scrub habitat for the Florida scrub-jay, which sometimes form lifelong mating pairs. The male scrub jay engages in courtship feeding of the female to show her how well he'll provide for her when she's sitting on the eggs in the nest.
For a more traditional and eco-friendly Valentine's Day gift, purchase organically certified flowers from Organic Bouquet. Organic Bouquet has pioneered the eco-flower market, working with growers around the world who are committed to the highest social and environmental standards. Flowers are grown and harvested using practices that aim to improve the quality of farm working conditions, minimize damage to ecosystems, conserve biodiversity, and enhance environmental quality for future generations. Nature Conservancy members can enjoy a free vase and chocolates when they purchase flowers from Organic Bouquet.
For more information on visiting Nature Conservancy preserves in Florida, visit www.nature.org/florida or to purchase an Organic Bouquet visit www.nature.org.