Film students experience wild spring break

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By The Staff

LIVE OAK--Film students at American University in Washington, D.C., exchanged fun in the big city to camp in the wilds of Florida for a week over spring break. Classroom in the Wild – an alternative spring break program – gave about a dozen students an opportunity to explore life on the banks of the Suwannee River while learning to film nature.

The students camped at Adams tract river camp, owned by the Suwannee River Water Management District (District), March 6-12. During their stay, they toured the Steinhatchee River Basin and other District lands.

Edwin McCook, the District’s land management specialist, gave a talk about District lands and led a tour of Mallory Swamp. Scott Gregor, District natural resource specialist, spoke about the natural history of Mallory Swamp and the District’s restoration efforts on the land. Brian Kauffman, facilities director for the R.O. Ranch Equestrian Park, led a tour of the park’s facilities that are under development.

Students also attended a town hall meeting in Mayo where District staff explained hydrologic conditions at Mallory Swamp and the Steinhatchee Basin.

“The natural communities and wildlife species on District lands provided the students with many unique filming opportunities,” McCook said.

While out on the trail students got to film a prescribed burn at Steinhatchee Springs and shoot footage of wildlife and a sunset at Mallory Swamp.

The students will produce two films from their experience that the District will use for the promotion of R.O. Ranch and Mallory Swamp.