• 10/06/2016 9:00 AM | Florida State Parks Foundation (Administrator)

    Raptor Month is an annual designation observed in October. Raptor Month celebrates various birds of prey. Birds of prey are defined as birds that hunt other vertebrates.

    Use #RaptorMonth to post on social media.

  • 10/04/2016 9:30 AM | Florida State Parks Foundation (Administrator)

    Did you know that October is Squirrel Awarness Month?

    Take some time to enjoy a squirrel’s strange antics. Use #SquirrelAwarenessMonth to post on social media

  • 09/30/2016 1:17 PM | Don Philpott (Administrator)

    Many congratulations to Sally, her staff, all the volunteers and the many others who contributed to the new boardwalk, officially opened this morning by FPS Director Donald Forgione. It is a wonderful addition to what is already a fabulous park and it just keeps getting better. If you haven't visited Silver Springs recently, get over there soon and check it out.

  • 09/30/2016 10:19 AM | Florida State Parks Foundation (Administrator)

    Posted: 9/16/2016 | By: Florida Park Service

    KEY LARGO, Fla. - During the summer of 2015 Rosemarie took her daughters and grandchildren kayaking at John Pennekamp State Park. After her visit she sent Assistant Park Manager Cassandra Meadows a thank you card and a picture toremember their trip.

    “Dear Ms. Meadows,

    Special thanks to you and your staff for making our kayaking experience at the park a highlight of our summer holiday. Anyone thinking Disney world is the only handicap friendly vacation spot in FL obviously has not been to John Pennekamp. They need to experience your excellent and caring staff which enables us to enjoy our activities together though differently. We were looked after and watched out for at every turn. My grandchildren, Megan, Sydney and Robby found kayaking fun, challenging and at times frustrating. However, my Jared found kayaking through the mangroves with his guide, Dave, to be a totally “Zen” experience.

    Thank you,


    For more information about upcoming events at Florida State Parks, please visit the events page here. If you are planning to attend an event and require accommodations, please complete an accommodation request form, to see a particular park's accessible amenities click here: accessible amenities or simply call the park in advance of your visit.

    Access for All at Florida State Parks

  • 09/26/2016 11:09 AM | Florida State Parks Foundation (Administrator)

    That’s the feedback we receive from teachers whose students are lucky enough to go on field trips to Florida State Parks.  The Parks offer excellent environmental education programs that allow children to have hands-on science based learning experiences in the environments and habitats they are studying about in class.  But, too often school districts don’t have the funding to get them there.

    Our Yellow Buses in the Parks Project funds field trip bus transportation costs allowing thousands of children to attend these programs.  It also purchases equipment and materials, such as microscopes, dip nets, and paper to record test results and observations to make the learning experience as interesting and educational as possible.

    Your memberships and donations makes this good work possible.  Thank you!

    Not a member?  Join here.  Donate here.

  • 09/26/2016 11:06 AM | Florida State Parks Foundation (Administrator)

    Almost 50 volunteers turned out on Saturday, September 24 – National Public Lands Day – to clear land for Wekiwa Spring’s new Serenity Garden.

    The Wekiva Wilderness Trust, the non-profit volunteer group that supports the work of the park, is creating the half-acre garden with the help of and guidance from Seminole County’s Florida Master Gardeners.

    The garden will occupy disturbed land – formerly the site of a hotel - between the nature center and the main parking lot and will be surrounded by a tall hedge to keep out noise from surrounding areas. It will feature several plots of Florida native plants and other butterfly-attracting plants, sculptures, water features, benches and a winding trail accessible by all. It will also serve as an educational and environmental exhibit where visitors will be able to see, touch, smell and hear nature and learn about Florida friendly plants and sustainability.

    Wekiwa Springs attracts almost 400,000 visitors a year and can be noisy with thousands of visitors filling the swimming and picnic areas. That is why the Trust came up with plans to build the serenity garden in a corner of the park as a quiet place for people to relax, contemplate and meditate while surrounded by the sounds of nature. It is believed to be the first such garden in any Florida state park.

    The garden should be completed within a year at an estimated cost of $150,000 to $200,000 being raised from private donations.

    For more information contact Don Philpott

    To learn more about the project go to

  • 07/25/2016 11:27 AM | Florida State Parks Foundation (Administrator)

    Friends of Florida State Parks is partnering with TYCC in its outdoor summer service and learning experience program.  Students learn science techniques and land management skills that enhance their classroom studies and help them determine a career path.  The students are provided free transportation and lunches.

    Nothing is more important than the support and education of our young people.  You can help programs like these by becoming a member of Friends of Florida State Parks here.  Already a member?  Make a donation here.

    Photo Caption: 

    TYCC's "Crew A" (Tariq Salley, Deonte Ogletree, Viktoria Brooks) collect samples from the Econfina River at the Econfina River State Park dock and boat launch.  They measured and tested water samples for acidity/pH, turbidity, phosphate, nitrogen and other environmentally important and scientific content.

  • 07/25/2016 11:15 AM | Florida State Parks Foundation (Administrator)

    It is amazing to think of the range of knowledge pioneer farmers and settlers needed just to survive, let alone make a solid go of it.  Being tough and determined was important but it took smarts too. 

    Growing crops required the understanding of different types of soils, seed germination rates and how pollination and cross-pollination worked.  In addition, the survival of an entire family sometimes depended on the health of just one mule so knowledge of animal husbandry was a must. 

    Everything was built by hand with no power tools except the power of their own muscles!  Being able to estimate how many feet of lumber there might be in a particular tree was very important since the manual labor of sawing or chopping down trees used a lot of valuable energy and time. 

    These things are just a small fraction of the knowledge and skills needed.  Knowledge built on and passed down from generation to generation. 

    Florida State Parks play a significant role in continuing to pass knowledge from generation to generation.  Much of Florida’s rich history and cultural heritage is protected and interpreted in Florida State Parks, from pre-Columbian Native American sites to the museum about the Floridian who invented air-conditioning.     

    We are going to feature some of these historical sites in posts to our Facebook page this month.  So, check in and be sure to “like us”.    


  • 07/15/2016 9:30 AM | Deleted user

          A perfect example would be The Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park. It is a a 210-acre park that encompasses some of Florida’s lovliest landscape and the headwaters of the Homosassa River. The park serves as a rehabilitation center and refuge for injured and orphaned endangered West Indian manatees. The natural spring environment allows them an opportunity to re-acclimate themselves to a more natural environment before they are returned to the wild. The park also offers visitors an opportunity to observe Florida’s native wildlife in natural settings. One strolls along paved trails and boardwalks to see manatees, black bear, bobcats, key deer, alligators, grey fox, otters and cougars at close range. Most of the birds and animals that live here cannot survive in the wild.

    Admission Fees
    Adults (age 13 and over): $13.00 per person
    Children (ages 6 through 12): $5.00 per person
    There is no charge for children ages 5 years and under.

    4150 S. Suncoast Blvd.
    Homosassa, Florida 34446
    Phone: 352-628-5343
    Fax: 352-628-4243

    Original article here.

  • 06/23/2016 2:57 PM | Florida State Parks Foundation (Administrator)

    Wheels:  What a Wonderful Invention!
    Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, Ft. Lauderdale

    It used to be that anyone who has difficulty walking, going from pavement to sand and then even actually into the water was as feasible as taking a trip to the moon.  But not anymore at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park in Ft. Lauderdale because a cleverly modified lounge chair adapted with wheels and able to float called, the Water Wheels, has been purchased for the park and is available for use by people with disabilities at no charge.

    This happy acquisition was made possible through the combined efforts and donations from Russell Hibbard, owner of the Bamboo Room in Lake Worth, Florida, Friends of Florida State Parks, Friends of Birch State Park, and David Dearth, Park Manager.  Thank you for making a real difference in peoples lives which shows in this posting on the Facebook page of the Friends of Birch State Park.

    “Oh, now I am excited. I was raised in Ft Lauderdale and spent a lot of time at the beach and Birch State Park - we even went to summer camp there. Wonderful memories. I am now "elderly" and in a wheel chair and believed that I would never be able to go to be beach of my youth again. I am very homesick so my hubby plans to retire to Florida so I can come home. I cannot wait too tell him that when we get there I will be able to get in the Atlantic Ocean again. TY so much to all who made this possible.”

    You can help make more of this kind of thing happen in other Florida State Parks by making a contribution here and be sure to designate the Access for All Campaign.

    Check it out on Facebook!

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