Walt Spence, an active member of the Choctawhatchee Audubon Society and a prolific photographer of birds and other wildlife in their natural habitats, will be the speaker at the Tri-County Horticulture and Environmental Studies Group at 10 a.m. Oct. 26. The meeting will take place at the Fort Walton Beach Library, 185 Miracle Strip Parkway SE. Parking is located behind the library on First Street.

Following the lecture and after viewing the speaker’s slides of birds, the group will have a field trip to Veterans’ Park on Okaloosa Island. From the library, drive east on Miracle Strip Parkway, cross the Brooks Bridge and travel through the traffic light at the foot of the bridge. Turn into the parking lot of the Emerald Coast Convention Center on the north side of the road. Park in the northeast corner of the Convention Center parking lot. Spence will accompany the group and assist in identifying birds mentioned in his presentation. Hopefully, monarch butterflies will be in abundance at this time.

Following the field trip, attendees are invited to join the group for lunch at The Gulf on Okaloosa Island, 1284 Marler Ave. After leaving the Convention Center head west on U.S. Highway 98. Turn right onto Santa Rosa Boulevard at the traffic light. Turn left at the Stumble Inn. The restaurant is a large blue building on the Sound. Reservations are not required.

The program is free and open to the public. The mission of the group is to provide opportunities to learn about the horticulture of the area and to encourage others to appreciate and protect our fragile environment.