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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Palm Beach International Film Festival
7:01 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Palm Beach International Film Festival Looks To Make Stars Out Of The Audience

'Lost Boy Home' will screen at the Palm Beach International Film Festival.
Credit Courtesy photo / Palm Beach International Film Festival

On the schedule for this year's Palm Beach International Film Festival are some of the usual suspects: Independent films starring Hollywood stars given the freedom to explore something outside of the typecasting norm. But the festival, which kicks off today, also includes an opportunity for South Floridians to become the star of the show while literally exploring a city's real and imagined history. 

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Everglades Restoration and Climate Change
7:02 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Why Everglades Restoration Really Needs To Be About Adapting To Climate Change

Robert Johnson, with the Department of Interior, talks to members of the National Academies about how projected sea level rise will impact the Everglades.
Credit Tricia Woolfenden / WLRN

When the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) was approved in 2000, it was a historic move to "restore, protect and preserve" water resources in central and south Florida. The 30-year framework was designed with the ultimate goal of restoring historic water-flows to a "dying ecosystem." Project leaders and scientists are now focused on incorporating climate change adaptation into the plans and acknowledging that the Everglades will likely never look the way it once did. 

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FWC Zeros In On Lionfish
9:03 am
Tue April 2, 2013

In The Fight Against A Lionfish Invasion, Florida Turns To Creative Photo Contest

Invasive, exotic lionfish have infiltrated the waters at Biscayne Bay National Park and elsewhere in South Florida.
Credit Tricia Woolfenden / WLRN

Lionfish are the newest target of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation's (FWC) efforts to use social engagement to tackle the problem of exotic, invasives in the state. The FWC announced last week the launch of its "Lionfish Control Team" photo contest for the month of April.

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Artists in Residence in Everglades
11:00 am
Mon April 1, 2013

For Inspiration, Everglades National Park Inserts Artists Deep In The Swamps

Naomi Fisher is the current resident artist in the Everglades AIRIE program. Her work will screen on March 30 at Everglades National Park.
Credit Naomi Fisher / AIRIE

Discussions of South Florida artist enclaves and art incubators typically reference places like Wynwood in Miami, FAT Village in Fort Lauderdale, or downtown Boynton Beach. Rarely do the Everglades enter into the conversation. Artists in Residence in the Everglades (AIRIE) could change that. 

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Feral Cats in Florida
8:01 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Feral Cats Bill Pits Animal Welfare Advocates Against Conservationalists

Feral cats are a contentious topic in Florida.
Credit Austin Evan / Flickr Creative Commons

Animal welfare advocates are at odds with wildlife conservationalists as the Florida Senate prepares this week to look at a controversial feral cat bill. 

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The Environment
8:00 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Volunteers Pull 57,154 Pounds Of Litter From Natural Areas

ERM volunteers pull old tires and other debris from a Palm Beach County-managed natural area.
Courtesy photo ERM

On a recent Sunday morning, a group of hikers paused on a heavily canopied trail to observe a bird perched high atop a tree, its body silhouetted against the rising sun. A brief hush took hold as binoculars focused in on the back-lit bird, loudly churring its morning song. Bodies shifted for a better view, until: "Yep, great crested flycatcher!"

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Politically-Charged Art in Boynton Beach
10:01 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Miami Artist Who Faced Censorship In Pembroke Pines Moves Sex Exploitation Statement to Boynton

'Baby Whores and Other Political Commentaries' will feature work by EVol i ART, plus many others.
Credit EVol i ART

South Florida artist Virginia Erdie strives to be "a little bit of an activist" with her work. It's fitting, then, that her art has ruffled a few feathers along the way. Her next major installation almost didn't see the light of day.

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How Do Sharks Feel? Not As Cold As You'd Suspect
6:00 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Here's What It Feels Like To Pet A Live Shark

Writer Tricia Woolfenden performs a nictitating membrane reflex test on a female bull shark during a shark tagging expedition.
Credit Megan Jacobson / Sharktagging.com

When we caught the first shark of the day, I'd already spent a good hour or so turning Neil Hammerschlag's words over in my head, like a gambler might fidget with a lucky coin in his pocket: 

"We might not see any sharks today." 

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Science
7:02 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Impact Of Tamiami Trail Bridge 'Will Be Huge,' Says Conservationalist

The Tamiami Trail bridging seeks to restore historic water flows to the Everglades.
Credit Balthazira / Flickr Creative Commons

State officials, local dignitaries, and conservationalists gathered last Tuesday to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the Tamiami Trail bridge project. The plan took more than two decades to achieve and is part of a larger effort to restore fresh water flow to the Everglades.

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Florida grasshopper sparrows vs. fire ants
7:01 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Here's One Way To Help The Almost-Extinct Grasshopper Sparrow: Kill Fire Ants

Less popular than even the Burmese python? The red imported fire ant is a blight on Florida's landscape.
Credit AZRainman / Flickr Creative Commons

Fire ants are notorious Florida invasives, leaving a trail of painful welts and blisters in their wake. Those pesky exotic intruders also happen to be a serious threat to some of the state's most vulnerable endemic species. This includes the Florida grasshopper sparrow, which recently made the March/April cover of Audubon Magazine as "the most endangered bird in the continental United States." 

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Science
7:01 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Shark Tagging Program Seeks To Turn The Tide For Misunderstood Species

A bull shark is ventilated during a shark tagging expedition off the coast of Miami.
Credit Megan Jacobson / Sharktagging.com

On Saturday morning, Neil Hammerschlag stood on the stern of a charter boat frequently used for his innovative shark tagging and research program. The boat had departed just after 9 a.m. from Miami Seaquarium's docks. It stopped just a few miles offshore, Miami's skyline still visible in the distance. 

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Science
7:01 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Red Tide Claims 170 Manatees, But South Florida Population Should Be Spared

Manatees that winter in Southeast Florida are unlikely to be impacted by the red tide blooms killing dozens of manatees on the Southwest side of the state.
Credit Tricia Woolfenden

One of Florida's most beloved endangered species is facing a tough end to the winter. State wildlife officials have confirmed the deaths of more than 170 manatees in Southwest Florida as red tide impacts regional populations of the gentle water-dwelling mammals.

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Vulture Tagging Everglades National Park
7:03 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Tagged Vultures May Solve Mystery About Why They Attack Cars In The Everglades

A tagged black vulture (left) is part of a group of more than 100 vultures being monitored in Everglades National Park.
Credit Tricia Woolfenden

In January, WLRN reported on the curious -- and destructive -- habits of some of the Everglades National Park's vulture population. The birds have been reported to "attack" parked vehicles, picking off rubber and vinyl. The baffling and costly behavior has led Everglades' staff to pass out anti-vulture kits to park visitors. It has also motivated state conservationalists and scientists to look into the matter more thoroughly. 

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Sinkhole Cost in Florida
7:00 am
Thu March 14, 2013

What Florida Homeowners Should Know About Sinkholes

The Florida sinkhole situation is getting a lot of attention.
Credit Richard Elzey / Flickr Creative Commons

The recent spate of sinkhole activity in Southwest Florida -- including a fatal sinkhole in Tampa earlier this month -- has shed light on the state's geologic anomaly. But how do sinkholes impact state economic factors like property insurance and home sales?   

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Bear and Bird Boutique Girls vs. Boys
4:00 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Bear And Bird Boutique Gives Budding Collectors An Easy (And Affordable) Entry Point

Danielle Estefan's 'Need Some Space' is included in the Girls vs. Boys show currently at Bear + Bird Boutique + Gallery in Lauderhill.
Credit Courtesy photo

Between Art Basel, Art Palm Beach, and the American International Fine Art Fair -- plus dozens of galleries from West Palm to Wynwood --  South Florida's well-heeled art collectors are pretty well covered. That leaves room for niche galleries like Bear and Bird Boutique + Gallery in Lauderhill to cater to fledgling art buyers and up-and-coming artists. 

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