FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. — What happened to the old Extension Office Annex on Hollywood Boulevard in Fort Walton Beach, where I used to go to have my lawn and garden questions answered?
Here is the answer as well as info on where to find us now.
The main office for the University of Florida-IFAS Extension in Okaloosa County has always been located in the Crestview area since the early 1900s. Our main office is located at 3098 Airport Road in Crestview. However, a building in Fort Walton Beach was used for many years, since the 1970s, to better serve the citizens of the south end of the county.
This building was located at 127 NW Hollywood Boulevard. Unfortunately, due to the flooding of that building multiple times from storm events, the building had to be closed.
The good news is that we have found a temporary location and are ready for your business. That new location is in the back of the Okaloosa Technical College (OTC) Campus, located at 1976 Lewis Turner Boulevard in Fort Walton Beach.
Master gardener volunteers have been working hard to be ready to again provide reliable, research-based answers to lawn, landscape, and garden questions at this new location. Starting Friday, February 3, from 9 a.m. to noon, volunteers will staff an office at this location to assist the public.
Each Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, you can call to speak to a master gardener volunteer. The phone number is 850-651-7476. Or you can stop by with a sample or with a question, including bringing in a picture or sample of the plant, weed, insect, or plant disease from your lawn, landscape, or garden.
You also can bring a soil sample to have the soil pH determined.
There are two entrances to the OTC. Use the entrance closest to the fire station, not the main entrance, and follow the signs to the Extension building located at the back of the campus. Call the above number or the Extension Office in Crestview at 850-689-5850 for directions.
This is a temporary location in Fort Walton Beach. In the near future, we will be moving into a new, permanent building, which will be located near the Fort Walton Beach Fairgrounds. Stay tuned, and we’ll keep you in the loop on all of this.
In the meantime, we look forward to helping with your lawn, landscape, and gardening needs each Friday from 9 a.m. to noon at the OTC in Fort Walton Beach.
I’d like to thank the Okaloosa County Administration, the Okaloosa County School Board, including the OTC, as well as many volunteers who helped make this current location available.