Blog

  • 01/25/2021 8:00 AM | Lauren Kelly-Manders (Administrator)

    Representatives of Bass Pro Shops, the Florida State Parks Foundation and the Florida Park Service participated in a tree planting event at Gold Head Branch State Park last Thursday as part of their statewide Plant a Pine project.

    The Foundation announced on Earth Day in April 2020, a goal of planting 100,000 longleaf pine trees by Earth Day 2021 (April 22). In October, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund generously contributed $50,000 to the project, enabling the planting of over 50,000 seedlings across ten different State Parks, said Foundation President Elect Don Philpott.

    “We are delighted that Gold Head Branch State Park is one of the first to benefit from this project,” he said.

    Gold Head Branch State Park, in Keystone Heights, is one of Florida's oldest state parks, developed in the 1930s. It now covers 2,000 acres of rolling sandhills on the North Central Ridge of Florida with one of the few remaining examples of an old growth stand of longleaf pines. A steep head ravine with seepage springs forms Gold Head Branch and bisects the park while marshes, lakes and scrub provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife.

    The pine seedlings are being planted in coordination with the Florida Park Service in park areas identified for restoration efforts. The longleaf pine is native to the Southeast and once flourished over a range of 90 million acres. Sadly, it is now endangered, covering less than 3 percent of its original range. It has long been prized for commercial use in building houses, ships, and railroads and its resin used for making turpentine. 

    Mature longleaf ecosystems support more than 30 endangered and threatened species, including red cockaded woodpeckers, gopher tortoises, and indigo snakes. Regular burning to restore natural rhythms enables longleaf pine to become rich, stable ecosystems. Longleaf pines are fire-adapted and dependent on burning, which stabilizes and enriches the soil.

    “Our Plant a Pine initiative has really resonated with the public,” he said. “People can even dedicate a tree to a loved one. It is a gift that will continue to grow and flourish for many years to come,” said Philpott. 

    “The Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund is proud to partner with the Florida State Parks Foundation in restoring the endangered longleaf pine across our beautiful state. We all have a role to play in conserving Florida’s treasured natural resources and, by working together, look forward to seeing these pines grow and enrich our state parks. We send a special thanks to our customers who, by rounding up purchases in our stores, enabled the Outdoor Fund grant to support this project.” said Bass Pro’s Steve Washburn.

    Groups interested in supporting hands-on tree planting projects can contact the Foundation through its website www.floridastateparksfoundation.org/trees.

    The 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.

  • 01/06/2021 9:02 AM | Lauren Kelly-Manders (Administrator)

    A project to build a fishing pier and boardwalk at Oscar Scherer State Park that has been in the works for almost 15 years, can now start thanks to a major grant from the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation.

    The grant was made through the Florida State Parks Foundation and allows the first phase of the pier to start, said Foundation President, Gil Ziffer.  

    “This generous donation from the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation means that the pier can now become a reality. It will be fully ADA-compliant and will provide both a fishing pier and a focus for the park's environmental education programs,” he said.

    Oscar Scherer State Park is just north of Venice on Florida’s west coast and the Lake Osprey Fishing Pier, apart from being an added attraction for park visitors, will also be used for school visits to teach children how to fish. But, along with that, the kids will be learning the value of the park's habitats that enable a thriving, healthy environment for the fish, birds, and hundreds of other species to live. 

    The Selby Foundation funding completes the amount needed for phase 1 of the project, which is the construction of one leg of the fishing pier out into the three-acre freshwater Lake Osprey and the central platform.  Phase 2 will be the construction of the roof over the central platform, and phase 3 will be the construction of the second leg of the pier.

    The nonprofit, volunteer group, Friends of Oscar Scherer State Park, have been fundraising for the project for 15 years and are contributing $200,000 towards the cost.

    Ron Newton, president of the park's citizen support group, Friends of Oscar Scherer says, "The Lake Osprey Boardwalk and Fishing Pier will be completely wheelchair accessible with sections of the railing lowered to give seated visitors an unobstructed view of beautiful Lake Osprey.  And, also, a place to cast a line more easily. Our group has been working steadily for many years to raise the money to accomplish this much needed project.  We are incredibly grateful to the Selby Foundation for finally getting us over the hump."

    “The Selby Foundation is pleased to be a partner on this very important project that will increase accessibility for so many to enjoy the beauty and joy of nature.  The Friends of Oscar Scherer State Park and the Florida State Parks Foundation are to be commended for their hard work and determination in ensuring the success of this project.  Their focus has been unwavering”, said Carol Butera, President/CEO of The William G. and Marie Selby Foundation.

    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 represent private and public sectors as well as local and statewide interests.

  • 12/29/2020 8:01 AM | Lauren Kelly-Manders (Administrator)

    Celebrate New Year’s Day by starting 2021 on the right foot with a First Day Hike. You can visit your closest park and enjoy the outdoors with your household or choose from one of the 18 events occurring around the state. 

    “First Day Hikes is a national event started by the National Association of State Park Directors years ago. In recent years it has attracted tens of thousands of people who celebrate the New Year with a relaxing walk outdoors,” said Florida State Parks Foundation President, Gil Ziffer.

    “Rangers and volunteers normally guide the First Day hikes, which provide a great way to learn about the nature and history of our fabulous award-winning state parks,” he said. “However, this year, we are encouraging people to go on self-guided hikes. Eighteen parks will have rangers walking the trails to answer questions.” 

    All hikes aim to create a fun experience for the whole family. If you have guests from out of town, First Day Hikes are a great way to show off your area and have a memorable experience with the chance to spot birds, deer, and other Florida wildlife, he added. 

    “Begin 2021 with a focus on your physical and mental well-being with a First Day Hike in one of our great state parks. Recent research confirms the benefits of just 30 minutes a week spent in nature, and what better way to start a new healthy habit for 2021,” he said.

    “Despite the challenges faced during 2020, volunteers and park staff kept our parks going, providing a welcome and safe place for people wanting to exercise and explore the outdoors during these restricted social times. Hopefully, as we enter 2021 we can all look forward to a healthier and happier New Year,” he said.

    You can learn more at https://www.floridastateparks.org/events.

    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.

  • 12/22/2020 8:00 AM | Lauren Kelly-Manders (Administrator)

    The Florida State Parks Foundation today thanked park staff, volunteers and supporters for all they had done in 2020 and predicted brighter times ahead. 

    “I am sure that we all will be glad to see the end of 2020. It certainly has been a tumultuous year and we share the pain of all those who have suffered during these difficult times,” Foundation CEO Julia Gill Woodward said in an end of year message.

    “However, as we approach the new year, we should reflect on the good things that have happened and look forward with hope to whatever may be round the corner in 2021,” she said.

    “Despite the challenges faced during 2020, volunteers and park staff kept operations going, providing a welcome and safe place for people wanting to exercise and explore the outdoors during these restricted social times.”

    “The Foundation is truly fortunate to have the support of the many tens of thousands of folks – both volunteers and supporters, who recognize the importance of our fabulous state parks and the need to protect and preserve them for generations to come. The impact they have cannot be overstated. Also, during the year $500,000 was raised to benefit Florida State Parks,” said Woodward.

    Thanks to their generosity, the Foundation scored significant accomplishments in its mission of protecting, preserving, sustaining, and growing our Florida State Parks. 

    These successes included supporting the Sea Turtle Ambassador Program at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, providing accessible electric trams to Hugh Taylor Birch, MacArthur Beach and Hillsborough River State Parks, and supporting Hurricane Michael restoration efforts at St. Andrews State Park.

    In addition, trail accessibility was improved at Dr. Von Eula Mizell-Johnson State Park, funding was provided for GPS tracking devices to collect vital data on nesting sea turtles on state park beaches and work began on the construction of Silver Springs State Park’s first ADA accessible glass bottom boat.

    “In the next few weeks, thanks to your support, we will start planting more than 83,000 longleaf pine seedlings, mostly in parks that suffered devastating tree loss caused by recent hurricanes,” she said.

    “We have funded the training of nearly 100 park rangers this year and advocated for the most robust parks budget in recent history.” 

    “Through the work of many much has been accomplished.  Together we will continue to ensure that Florida’s state parks remain the best in the nation and a treasure that we can all be proud of,” she added.

    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 represent private and public sectors as well as local and statewide interests.

  • 12/08/2020 10:40 AM | Lauren Kelly-Manders (Administrator)

    The Florida State Parks Foundation announced today that the nonprofit Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida (FWFF) has donated $20,000 towards the cost of Silver Springs State Park’s first wheelchair accessible glass bottom boat. 

    Funds for the grant came from the FWFF’s Protect Florida Springs license plate, which contains the image of a scuba diver. Twenty-five dollars from each purchased plate supports conservation of Florida’s unique springs. 

    “We are committed to making nature accessible to all,” said FWFF President and CEO Andrew Walker. “Florida’s springs are unique in the country and around the world. It is a travesty that anyone would be limited from experiencing their natural wonder. With this grant, we’re proud to help right that wrong.”

    The Florida State Parks Foundation commissioned the design of the boat which is now under construction and scheduled for launch early in the new year. It will also be equipped with an induction-loop system that assists passengers using hearing aids listen to the captain's narration. 

    In keeping with the tradition of naming the glass bottom boats at Silver Springs after Seminole tribal chiefs, the new boat will be named Chief Potackee after the only female chief of the tribe.

    “Thanks to this very generous grant from FWFF, our new wheelchair accessible vessel will allow everyone to enjoy the famous glass bottom boat tours at Silver Springs,” said Julia Gill Woodward, Florida State Parks Foundation CEO.

    In addition to the two foundations, a consortium of public and private partners have helped fund the boat, including the Felburn Foundation, the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund, the Florida Park Service, Friends of Silver Springs State Park and Cape Leisure. 

    The Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and other public and private partners to conserve Florida’s native animals and plants and the lands and waters they need to survive.

    Since its founding in 1994, the Foundation has raised and donated $45 million to conservation and outdoor recreation and education. More information can be found at wildlifeflorida.org.

    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 represent private and public sectors as well as local and statewide interests.

  • 11/18/2020 8:00 AM | Lauren Kelly-Manders (Administrator)

    The Florida State Parks Foundation congratulates Florida’s Greenways and Trails System for hosting 10 million visitors during the last financial year, which concluded at the end of June 2020.

    “During this period of restrictions and social distancing due to COVID-19, it is very encouraging to see that people are taking advantage of all Florida’s state parks, greenways and trails and turning out in record numbers,” said Gil Ziffer, Foundation President.

    The most popular trail is the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway, a remarkable environmental success story that covers more than 71,000 acres and is enjoyed annually by more than three million visitors.

    The 110-mile, multi-use linear park runs from the Gulf of Mexico to the St. Johns River and in places is more than a mile wide. The trail welcomes exercise enthusiasts and casual visitors alike, with plenty of outdoor recreation activities for everyone from hikers, paddlers and mountain bikers to young families with strollers and friends enjoying a refreshing walk through nature.

    According to the American Heart Association, outdoor activities such as walking, hiking and paddling, can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes while also supporting stress relief and mental health.

    “During this period of restrictions and social distancing due to COVID-19, it is very encouraging to see that people are taking advantage of all Florida’s state parks, greenways and trails and turning out in record numbers,” said Gil Ziffer, Foundation President.

    The most popular trail is the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway, a remarkable environmental success story that covers more than 71,000 acres and is enjoyed annually by more than three million visitors.

    The 110-mile, multi-use linear park runs from the Gulf of Mexico to the St. Johns River and in places is more than a mile wide. The trail welcomes exercise enthusiasts and casual visitors alike, with plenty of outdoor recreation activities for everyone from hikers, paddlers and mountain bikers to young families with strollers and friends enjoying a refreshing walk through nature.

    According to the American Heart Association, outdoor activities such as walking, hiking and paddling, can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes while also supporting stress relief and mental health.

    The Office of Greenways and Trails, within the Division of Recreation and Parks, works with stakeholders throughout the state to plan and implement the state’s greenways and trails system, considered one of the best in the nation. There are more than 7,500 miles of land-based trails in Florida and an additional 4,000 miles of designated paddling trails to enjoy. 

    The 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.

  • 11/13/2020 8:00 AM | Lauren Kelly-Manders (Administrator)

    The Florida State Parks Foundation will restore the Barrier Island Trail in Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park in Dania Beach, thanks to a $5,000 grant from REI Co-op. 

    The REI funds will allow the purchase of 60 yards of crushed coquina shell which will be used to fill in an area of the trail that becomes waterlogged after heavy rain, said Foundation CEO Julia Gill Woodward.

    “Filling this area with natural, crushed coquina shell will make the trail safer, more inviting, and most importantly, will allow visitors access to the entire front loop of the trail”, she said.

    “We expect that stabilizing the wet, muddy section of trail will increase its safety and usability by many different groups of people. For example, people using some types of mobility scooters, trail wheelchairs and beach wheelchairs which can handle some rough ground but not water or mud,” said Woodward.

    REI is opening its latest store location this weekend in Boca Raton and has named Mizell-Johnson State Park as one of the store’s community partners. As a member-owned co-op, REI invest deeply in stewardship of the outdoor places its members know and love. REI actively works with nonprofits across the country to steward and maintain local trails and public lands and connect people to the outdoors. 

    The 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 represent private and public sectors as well as local and statewide interests.

  • 11/02/2020 7:52 PM | Julia Gill Woodward (Administrator)

    As the year draws to a close, it is also time to think about our volunteers who give so much. Since 1998, the Board of Directors of the Florida State Parks Foundation has annually recognized outstanding service of individuals and groups of volunteers in Florida State Parks. Please help get the word out and encourage nominations. The committee looks forward to reviewing the submissions -- it is truly an honor and privilege to do so.

    For 2020 awards, a volunteer can be nominated in any appropriate category or in several categories if relevant. We will also recognize individuals who have 20, 25- and 30-years cumulative volunteer service. They will receive a special pin.

    If you know of an individual or a group of volunteers that deserves nominating, please speak with your park manager or Park Services Specialist. The deadline for online submissions is December 7, which can be submitted HERE.

    Nominations categories are:

    • 1.     ADULT VOLUNTEER: One person aged 18 years and above.
    • 2.     CORPORATE: A group of company employees working on one park project.
    • 3.     LONG PROJECT: Those CSO/park combined partnership projects that have taken more than one year to complete. 
    • 4.     SHORT PROJECT: Those CSO/park combined partnership projects that have taken less than one year to complete.
    • 5.     SPECIAL EVENT:  A one-time event or an annual event.  A recurring annual event may be nominated but it must have occurred within 12 months of date the nomination is submitted.
    • 6.     YEARS OF SERVICE: Awards will be given to any individual contributing an accumulation of 20, 25, & 30 years volunteer service.  These need not be consecutive years, but cumulative.
    • 7.     YOUTH VOLUNTEER: Anyone under 18 years of age.
    • 8.     ADMINISTRATION:  The term ADMINISTRATION refers to clerical work, filing, answering the telephone, certain types of research, tracking volunteer hours, orientation and training, data entry, purchasing, grant writing or tracking, etc. 
    • 9.     MAINTENANCE: The term MAINTENANCE refers to upkeep, repairs and improvements to facilities, equipment and grounds, carpentry, trail maintenance, plumbing, masonry, painting, preventative maintenance, mowing, trash pick-up, restroom upkeep, vehicle and equipment maintenance, small engine work, electrical work, construction projects, etc.
    • 10.  PROTECTION: The term PROTECTION refers to visitor safety, employee safety, emergency preparedness, emergency response, law enforcement, rule enforcement   , voluntary compliance, facility and environmental protection, First Aid, CPR, state vehicle/ watercraft operation, etc. 
    • 11.  RESOURCE MANAGEMENT: The term RESOURCE MANAGEMENT includes both natural and cultural resources and refers to exotic species identification and control, plant and animal identification, ecological or cultural restoration, prescribed fire, lake watch, species monitoring, seed collecting, historical collections management, research, etc.
    • 12.  VISITOR SERVICES:  The term VISITOR SERVICES refer to providing information and access, customer service, interpretation, docent, historical and re-enactment, assisting visitors in the ranger station or visitor center, tram rides, concessions, special events, boat tours, educational programs, guided walks, public speaking, volunteer management, visitor program evaluations, etc.

    In fiscal year 2019-20, volunteers contributed more than 1 million hours of service. These awards recognize the many volunteers who give so much of themselves to the state park system. We look forward to honoring them for their dedicated service!

    Remember, the deadline for online submissions is December 7, which can be submitted HERE.

  • 10/20/2020 8:01 AM | Lauren Kelly-Manders (Administrator)

    The Florida State Parks Foundation announced today that a major grant from The Batchelor Foundation will help fund needed repairs to the outdoor turtle tank at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park.

    The Sea Turtle Ambassador Education Program educates people about the critical need for a healthy marine environment and the sea turtles are the centerpiece of these activities.” said Foundation President Gil Ziffer.

    One ambassador loggerhead female sea turtle is received at about six months of age and housed in a tank inside the visitor center.  After about two years, she is moved to a large outdoor tank vacated by another turtle that has been released back into the wild. The survival chances for the released turtles are higher because of their greater size. The rotation continues so that there are always two turtles on view, - one indoors and one outdoors.

    “The Batchelor Foundation provided funds for the installation of the indoor tank in 2008, and they have generously agreed to help fund critical repairs now needed for the outdoor tank,” said Ziffer.

    “Properly operating aquarium equipment will mean the Sea Turtle Ambassador Education Program will continue to safely house and nurture two female sea turtles so that people can learn and be inspired to protect them,” he said.  

    Because of the tremendous support from the Friends of MacArthur, the state park is the only one in Florida to have a full-time education director.  Because of this, MacArthur maintains a multi-year partnership with Palm Beach County Schools to provide marine education to K-12 school aged children. This park is a valuable marine learning center for the school children of the community.

    Additional funding is needed to carry out other work as part of the ongoing program.

    The 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 represent private and public sectors as well as local and statewide interests.

  • 10/06/2020 3:24 PM | Lauren Kelly-Manders (Administrator)

    TALLAHASSEE, FL - The Florida State Parks Foundation was today presented with a $50,000 check from the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund for its Plant a Pine initiative.

    Foundation President Gil Ziffer received the check at Bass Pro Shops in Tallahassee from General Manager Anthony Price. Also present was Shawn Hamilton, Interim Deputy Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Eric Draper, Director of the Florida Park Service. 

    Guided by the visionary leadership of Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, the Outdoor Fund invites Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s 200 million annual customers to support local and national conservation efforts by rounding up their purchases at the register. The Outdoor Fund rallies passionate customers alongside dedicated team members, industry partners and leading conservation organizations like Florida State Parks Foundation.

    The Foundation announced in April a goal of planting 100,000 longleaf pine trees by Earth Day 2021 (April 22). “Now thanks to this wonderful grant from the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund we will sail past that,” Foundation President Gil Ziffer said.

    “Our Plant a Pine initiative has really resonated with the public,” he said. “And now, thanks to this $50,000 grant, we will be able to do so much more. People can even dedicate a tree to a loved one. It is a gift that will continue to grow and flourish for many years to come,” he said. 

    The campaign launched on Earth Day 2020 and has already raised enough to be able to plant more than 80,000 longleaf pine seedlings in state parks across Florida. The seedlings are being planted in coordination with the Florida Park Service in park areas identified for restoration efforts.

    “Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund’s generous contribution will allow us to plant over 50,000 seedlings across ten different State Parks,” said Shawn Hamilton, Interim Deputy Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. “This opportunity would not be possible without the Florida State Parks Foundation’s Plant a Pine initiative, which will help restore longleaf pines populations in Florida State Parks.”  

    “Florida State Parks provides important recreational access for the public to enjoy the outdoors,” said Anthony Price, General Manager at Bass Pro Shops in Tallahassee. “In addition, state parks also help showcase and conserve an amazing diversity of habitats and natural resources. The Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund is proud to partner with the Florida State Parks Foundation on this tree-planting initiative. Working together, we all can help ensure a bright future for Florida’s treasured natural resources,” he said.

    The longleaf pine is native to the Southeast and once flourished over a range of 90 million acres. Sadly, it is now endangered, covering less than 3 percent of its original range. It has long been prized for commercial use in building houses, ships, and railroads and its resin used for making turpentine. 

    Mature longleaf ecosystems support more than 30 endangered and threatened species, including red cockaded woodpeckers, gopher tortoises, and indigo snakes. Regular burning to restore natural rhythms enables longleaf pine to become rich, stable ecosystems. Longleaf pines are fire-adapted and dependent on burning, which stabilizes and enriches the soil.

    “The trees are being planted in coordination with the Florida Park Service in park areas identified for restoration efforts,” said Ziffer. 

    Groups interested in supporting hands-on tree planting projects can contact the Foundation through its website www.floridastateparksfoundation.org/trees.

    The 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 represent private and public sectors as well as local and statewide interests.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software