Wild Ride

A mural by Alyssa Marie of the Happy Mural Project

The Florida Wildlife Corridor is an
18-million-acre statewide network of connected lands and waters that supports wildlife and people.  

Seen in dark green, 10 million acres are protected as Federal lands, state parks and forests, or private lands under conservation easements.

The remaining 8 million unprotected acres in light green are opportunity areas for conservation and are mostly comprised of agricultural working lands, such as cattle ranches and timber land. Not only do these valuable spaces provide food and fiber for Florida and our nation, but they also provide interconnected landscapes that keep Florida’s wild spaces connected. 

Our Mural Campaign is aimed at raising awareness of the importance of the Florida Wildlife Corridor.

The Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation is headquartered in sunny St Petersburg, Florida.

Each year, SHINE® St. Petersburg Mural Festival transforms our shared spaces into a world-class outdoor gallery featuring top contemporary local, national, and international artists. Produced by the
St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, SHINE has created more than 100 murals throughout downtown and the surrounding arts districts since 2015.

The Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation is a proud 2022 Bright Spot participant. Bright Spots are community-based murals created by local artists and centered around a specific audience or organization.

Alyssa Marie is a St Petersburg-based artist who derives inspiration from the natural world and pushes the realms of realism by playfully altering what is expected of traditional wildlife and nature scenes through her art.

Alyssa is the founder of the
Happy Mural Project which aims to spread joy through larger-than-life sunflower murals. ⁣⁠Alyssa’s colorful, community-oriented murals engage the public by inviting them to help paint giant paint-by-numbers. ‘Wild Ride’ is a part of this initiative.

Paint by Number Mural

Muralist Alyssa Marie outlined and numbered the mural and then invited the local community to paint in the giant paint by number!

The mural painting wrapped up in just three days because of the incredible community involvement. The imagery of the mother and baby gator is a nod to the importance of future generations in the effort to conserve our precious Florida wildlife.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission manages fish and wildlife resources for their long-term well-being and the benefit of people. Thanks to their contributions, you can learn more about the species in this mural. Scroll to learn about each of the species featured in the mural.

Photo by Sydney Bope

Photo by Sydney Bope

American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

Mother alligators guard their young for up to a year and it is not unusual for them to carry their babies on their heads or snouts — even inside their mouths!

The American alligator is one of two crocodilians native to Florida. Their diets include prey species that are abundant and easily accessible. Juvenile alligators eat primarily insects, amphibians, small fish, and other invertebrates. Adult alligators eat rough fish, snakes, turtles, small mammals, and birds.

Alligators regulate their body temperature by basking in the sun or moving to areas with warmer or cooler air or water temperatures. Alligators are dormant throughout much of the winter. During this time, they can be found in burrows that they construct adjacent to an alligator hole or open water, but they occasionally emerge to bask in the sun during periods of warm weather.

The American alligator is Federally protected by the Endangered Species Act as a Threatened species, due to their similarity of appearance to the American crocodile, and as a Federally-designated Threatened species by Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species Rule.

Swamp Sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius)

Swamp Sunflower can be found in North and Central Florida in marshes, wet flatwoods and even roadside ditches. Their magnificent blooms can be seen in October and November. These flowers are a great resource for native pollinators.

This mural was made possible by the support of the following. Thank you.


The Happy Mural Project
SHINE Mural Festival

Special Thanks to

St PetersBARK