The Florida State Parks Foundation today applauded Governor Ron DeSantis’ budget recommendations for America’s Best Parks, our award-winning Florida State Parks.
Foundation President Gil Ziffer, said, “The system of Florida State Parks and Trails is one of the state’s greatest success stories. They contribute mightily to the state’s tourism industry while preserving many of the jewels of our natural environments and Florida’s significant historical and cultural sites. The Governor’s recommended budget shows his commitment to a bolder, brighter and better Florida through our state parks.”
Governor DeSantis’ FY21 budget request includes $50 million for land management and repair and replacement of park facilities, an increase of $18.5 million over current budget; $4 million for ADA improvements and $1 million to replace old and unsafe park vehicles, which is a new funding request for park rangers’ most important tool.
“It is imperative that the Florida Park Service receives adequate funding to ensure that our state parks continue to be the best that they can be. When you compare the $55 million that has been requested with the $2.6 billion in economic impact that the state parks generated last year, drawing over 30 million visitors, it is hard to think of any other example that is a better return on the investment,” said Foundation CEO Julia Gill Woodward.
The Foundation, founded in 1993, works in partnership with the Florida Park Service, to support the work of Florida’s award-winning 175 state parks and staff, local Friends’ groups and the 20,000 volunteers who donate 1.2 million hours of their time every year working in them.