Tricia Woolfenden

Tricia is a dedicated NPR listener and has been for many years. When she moved to South Florida (from Grand Rapids, MI) in 2009, one of her first priorities was programming the local NPR affiliate (WLRN) into her car stereo’s audio presets.

Tricia received a Bachelors degree in journalism from Central Michigan University and immediately went to work as an arts and entertainment reporter for the Grand Rapids Press. She worked in the newsroom for about 6 years.

A changing economic climate – and brutal winters – drove Tricia to Boca Raton in 2009. She worked in marketing, public relations, and SEO before returning to her writer roots on a full-time basis in March 2012. She enjoys books, art, nature, and outdoor activities and is grateful for the world-class birding opportunities (and people watching) available in South Florida. 

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Environment
7:03 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Feds Do About-Face, Step In To Help Endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrow

The clock is ticking for the Florida grasshopper sparrow.
Credit MyFWC.com / Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

The clock is ticking for the highly-endangered Florida grasshopper sparrow, but a new project recently green-lit by a federal agency may offer some hope for avoiding extinction. Scientists believe there are roughly 200 of the tiny birds remaining in the wild. Two years ago, scientists found the lowest count of the birds in history: last year's numbers dipped even lower. 

      

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Climate Change
6:03 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Sea Level Rise May Happen Too Quick For Shore Birds To React

Shore birds in South Florida are facing down the threat of rising sea levels.
Credit Hunter-Desportes / Flickr Creative Commons

Humans aren't the only species facing an uncertain future in South Florida should current sea level rise predictions prove accurate. Migratory and resident shore birds also would feel the pinch of encroaching salt water, beach erosion, and shore line and habitat loss. 

When examining current land modeling and other scientific data, in addition to physical evidence, "It becomes clear what a substantial threat sea level rise will be," said Julie Wraithmell, director of Wildlife Conservation, Florida, for the National Audubon Society. 

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Environment
2:16 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Why The 'World's Weirdest Bird' Is Ditching South Florida And Heading North

Roseate spoonbills are increasingly ditching South Florida for points north.
Credit Patdaversa / Flickr Creative Commons

The roseate spoonbill -- often mistaken by confused tourists for the non-native flamingo -- is one of Florida's great iconic species. Dubbed "one of the most breathtaking of the world's weirdest birds" by naturalist Roger Tory Peterson, the gangly creatures are an increasingly rare sight in South Florida. 

According to a feature in the May-June issue of Audubon Magazine, spoonbills have been vacating South Florida in droves, heading north to more hospitable (read: often less developed) lands.

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Arts
6:30 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Boynton Beach's Growing Arts Scene Keeps Things "Fresh And Green"

Artists will work to repaint the bay doors in the Boynton Beach Art District with colorful murals as part of an ongoing public exhibition.
Credit ActivistArtistA / Boynton Beach Art District

As one of the key players behind the up-and-coming Boynton Beach Art District (BBAD), artist and gallery owner Rolando Chang Barrero is getting no down time during South Florida's "off season." Barrero is among the region's year-round residents who stick it out during the slow, sultry months to ensure his pet projects make it through to grow another season.

"It's time to get the community to really step it up if we're going to become a year-round arts scene," said Barrero, who owns ActivistArtistA, which serves as something of a launching pad for many of the BBAD projects. 

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Environment
7:03 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Enjoy Florida's Wetlands Before They Disappear

Wildlife hotspots like Green Cay Nature Center in Boynton Beach are ideal places to mark American Wetlands Month.
Credit Tricia Woolfenden / WLRN

The recently-wrapped 2013 Florida Legislative session was an active one for those who track environmental issues in the Sunshine State.

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Everglades National Park
7:00 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Read About New Boating Guidelines For The Everglades

The public is asked to weigh in on proposed changes to boating regulations inside Everglades National Park.
Credit Tricia Woolfenden / WLRN

Proposed changes at Everglades National Park have put anglers at odds with environmental groups. The park's draft general management plan, which includes several variations (or "alternatives"), is currently up for public comment. This Sunday is the deadline to weigh in on proposed measures, which include prohibiting traditional boating in about one-third of Florida Bay. 

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Science
7:01 am
Tue April 16, 2013

2 Million Floridians Threatened By Sea Level Rise, But New Study Says It Can Be Slowed

Parts of Miami will be under water if sea level rise projections are correct.
Credit maxstrz / Flickr Creative Commons

If sea level rise continues unabated, sections of South Florida -- and Miami in particular -- will be under water in a matter of decades. But a new study suggests that swift reductions in "short-lived climate pollutants" and carbon dioxide levels could help to slow the rise.  

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SFWMD Assessing Lands In Palm Beach County
7:01 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Like Kayaking The Loxahatchee River? Public Asked To Weigh In On Future Of State Lands

Sections of land surrounding the Loxahatchee River are being assessed for possible surplus by the SFWMD.
Credit Tricia Woolfenden / WLRN

Several ecologically-significant tracts of public land in Palm Beach County will go under the microscope this month as a state agency continues its multi-region assessment of state-owned lands throughout South Florida. 

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Miami Scientist Featured On Discovery Channel
2:03 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Miami Researcher Stars In TV Special On Great White Sharks

A Miami-based shark researcher routinely goes face-to-face with nature's top predators.
Credit Hermanusbackpackers / Flickr Creative Commons

Miami-based shark researcher Neil Hammerschlag, whose work WLRN has covered in the past, is getting international attention with his latest study on the feeding habits of the ocean's most feared and misunderstood creature: the great white shark. 

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A Gator-Free Look At Everglades Animals
7:01 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Nine Awesome Everglades Animals (Aside From The Alligator)

Roseate spoonbills.
Tricia Woolfenden WLRN

Is there any animal more closely associated with the Everglades than the American alligator? OK, the Burmese python has been the 'glades press "darling" as of late, but invasive, non-natives do not count for the purposes of celebrating the Everglades. While Florida's iconic reptilian king deserves all of the attention it gets, there are plenty of other cool critters that inhabit the Everglades.

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Sea Turtles Are Nesting In South Florida
7:02 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Sea Turtle Nesting Season Begins: Here's How To See Them In Action

Sea turtle nesting season is in full swing in South Florida. Hatchlings, like this green sea turtle, will start appearing later this summer.
Credit USFWS/Southeast / Flickr Creative Commons

Sea turtle nesting season is off and crawling this year with the first reported sea turtle nest in Boca Raton. The nest, made by a leatherback turtle, was recorded on Sunday morning in South Beach Park by Marine Turtle Specialists with the Boca Raton Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program based out of Gumbo Limbo Nature Center. 

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Youth Theater
5:02 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Read About This Innovative High School Program If You Dream About A Career In Theater

High school students perform in a high-pressure, but supportive, environment at The Youth Artists' Chair at Maltz Jupiter Theatre.
Credit Courtesy photo / Maltz Jupiter Theatre

Sure, logging a stint with South Florida's largest theater company's rigorous high school mentorship program looks good on a college application. But the Maltz Jupiter Theatre's Youth Artists' Chair is about much more than beefing up a resume. 

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Seminole Tribe Photo Exhibition
7:02 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Rediscovered Photographs From 1910 Offer A Glimpse Of Seminole Life In The Everglades

Photos from the Julian Dimock collection will be on exhibition through the end of the year.
Credit Julian Dimock Collection / American Museum of Natural History

Throughout the month, WLRN will celebrate the Everglades in audio, visual, and written form. On Sunday, Florida's singular River of Grass got a national shout-out when the weekend edition of NPR's "All Things Considered" profiled an exhibition of recently "rediscovered" photographs of Seminole subjects living in the Everglades in 1910.

In her introduction to the story, host Jacki Lyden spoke of her annual spring pilgrimage to the Everglades: "There's nothing quite as evocative as the Florida of mangrove swamps and inhospitable terrain that you will find in the Seminole territories..."

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Arts
7:02 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Palm Beach International Film Festival: Four Documentaries To See (VIDEO)

'Haiti Untold' will have its US premiere at Palm Beach International Film Festival.
Credit Courtesy photo / Palm Beach International Film Festival

The Palm Beach International Film Festival boasts a few star-studded indie films, but the schedule also is packed with a host of alternately gritty and inspirational documentaries featuring everyday folks in extraordinary circumstances. 

The festival, which kicked off on April 4, continues through Thursday. Every day, there are a dozen or so films screening at various theaters throughout Palm Beach County. You can't be everywhere at once, so below are four documentaries to consider making a priority at this year's festival. 

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Florida Panther Released in PBC
8:01 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Florida Panther Released In Palm Beach County: VIDEO

A Florida panther is released April 3 into Rotenberger Wildlife Management Area in Palm Beach County.
Credit Tim Donovan/MyFWCmedia / Flickr

Florida wildlife news often is dominated by loss: record numbers of manatee deaths, an endangered species on the brink of extinction, invasives over-taking entire ecosystems and so on.

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