Generous Bequest Promotes Birding Knowledge at Sebastian Inlet State Park

11/08/2021 8:00 AM | Lauren Kelly-Manders (Administrator)

The Florida State Parks Foundation announced a series of interpretive birding panels at Sebastian Inlet State Park on Saturday during a dedication ceremony in honor of Bonnie Lizer, who loved both the park and birding.

“Bonnie Lizer passed away in June 2019, at the age of 82, in Indialantic, Florida, and she very generously left a quarter of her estate, more than $1.3 million, to the Foundation. Bonnie loved Sebastian Inlet State Park and birding was her favorite pastime, so this is a very fitting and lasting tribute,” said Foundation President Tammy Gustafson.

“In her memory, a series of interpretive panels has been created to educate visitors about bird identification, bird habitat protection and appropriate bird observation techniques in the park,” she said. “A plaque to commemorate Bonnie’s generosity was also unveiled.”

Sebastian Inlet State Park is one of Florida’s most visited parks with over 760,000 visitors a year. Although known as a fishing and surfer’s paradise, this 24-hour park is also part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, and offers many special wildlife programs. It is a stopover for many migratory birds and 225 different bird species have been recorded there. 

The interpretive panels will assist visitors in identifying common migratory and resident bird species. Visitors will also learn about bird migratory patterns, feeding and nesting requirements, habitat, and life cycles, she said.

They will feature tactile and interactive elements for visitors of all ages and will include QR codes that will link visitors to additional information that can be viewed in the park or once they return home. Visitors will also learn about the park’s estuary ecosystem and its importance to a variety of bird species. 

The Florida State Parks Foundation, founded in 1993 as Friends of Florida State Parks and renamed in 2018, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation whose mission is to support and help sustain the Florida Park Service, its 175 award-winning parks and trails, local Friends groups and more than 20,000 park volunteers. 

It does this through programs that preserve and protect state parks, educate visitors about the value of state parks, encourage community engagement and active use of state parks, and advocacy.

The volunteer Board of Directors represents private and public sectors as well as local and statewide interests.

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