The Foundation is a partner in both raising and granting funds for the programs, projects, and equipment highlighted below. As a funding partner the Foundation considers the overall budget and the percentage of funds being requested of the Foundation compared to the funds provided from other public and private sources. We seek to maximize our impact by leveraging partnerships.
Learning in Florida’s Environment (LIFE)
Yellow Buses in the Parks
- LIFE is a model for science-based environmental education on public conservation lands. The Foundation is proud to host the program that was started by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Each program represents a partnership between the Florida State Parks Foundation, a State Park citizen support organization (CSO) and their park and the school or school district. Florida State Parks provide a unique outdoor classroom where students can learn and have science lessons reinforced. Grants are intended to assist with LIFE program startups and then transition to a self-sustaining program through the CSO/state park/school partnership. Some of the most successful LIFE programs are at parks where local companies have donated the program’s transportation costs year after year. This is great community relations for them and its tax deductible.
Access for All
- Florida State Parks play an indispensable role in preserving the jewels of Florida’s natural environments and historical and cultural history. The Foundation believes it’s vital that children understand the importance of these environments and to know of Florida’s deep history and past cultures. Florida State Parks offer excellent educational opportunities designed specifically for school field trips. However bus field trip transportation costs may not be within reach by many schools and school districts. Yellow Buses in the Parks purpose is to assist with these costs so that no child is deprived from the benefits of these valuable educational experiences. Yellow Buses in the Parks grants can be requested for paying transportation costs only directly to the provider.
State Park Citizen Support Organization Project Assistance
- The Foundation supports the Florida Park Service’s commitment to providing inclusive experiences to every park visitor. Many innovative advances have been made that allow people with disabilities unprecedented access to the outdoors: all-terrain power wheelchairs able to handle deep sand or rugged trails; accessible kayak launches; roll out matting that transforms sandy beaches into stable easily traversed paths; and more. Access for All grants can be requested to provide funding for accessibility projects, equipment and services.
- Florida State Parks are successful, in large part, due to volunteer citizen engagement at the individual park level. Many parks have a citizen support organization whose exclusive purpose is to support their host park(s). The Foundation is a partner in both raising and granting funds for park projects that are part of the Unit Management Plan or achieve the goals related to the plan. This grant assistance program was created to help individual parks achieve special project goals. This ranges from small projects completed by volunteers to large-scale capital projects completed by contractors. Services, such as strategic planning, board development, grant and fund development training are also considered for this grant category.