Making Florida State Parks Even Greener!

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GOING GREENER IN 2024!

The Greener Initiative is a multitiered campaign that will plan, develop, fund and install projects that increase environmental sustainability, reduce waste and lower utility costs within Florida’s award-winning state parks.

The Florida State Parks Foundation announced the Greener Initiative on April 5, 2023 …

… in a press conference at Wekiwa Springs State Park. The Greener Initiative is designed to expand environmentally friendly practices in state parks, reduce parks’ energy-related expenses and encourage park visitors to make environmentally-conscious decisions in the parks and at home.

Environmental stewardship is one of the Foundation’s top priorities, and all Foundation-sponsored projects are evaluated for their potential environmental impact before they are implemented. The Foundation has a proud legacy of environmentally-minded projects, and we look forward to Going Greener in Florida State Parks in 2023 and beyond.

Energy Efficient LED Lighting

As part of the Greener Initiative, the Foundation announced plans to install new, energy efficient LED lighting at Wekiwa Springs State Park, Blue Spring State Park, Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park, Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park and Highlands Hammock State Park. These five “pilot parks” will realize a combined estimated savings of more than $300,000 over the next 10 years. The project will expand to additional parks in the months and years ahead.

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New LED lighting will support environmental sustainability while lowering parks' energy costs.

Water bottle refilling station unveiled at Honeymoon Island State Park.

Water bottle refilling station unveiled at Honeymoon Island State Park.

Water Bottle Refilling Stations

The Foundation teamed up with Duke Energy Florida to fund the installation of 121 water bottle refilling stations at 85 Florida State Parks. These stations, funded in part through the “Explore Our State Parks” specialty license plate, encourage environmental sustainability by reducing single-use plastic bottles.

Electric Accessible Glass-Bottom Boat at Silver Springs

In 2021, the Foundation unveiled “Chief Potackee- Betty Mae Tiger Jumper,” the first ever accessible glass-bottom boat at Silver Springs State Park. Not only does the boat feature a flat deck and spacious aisles for access for mobility assistive devices, but it also is powered by twin eco-friendly electric engines that create no emissions or combustion scents.

Foundation at Silver Springs Ribbon Cutting for Accessible Glass Bottom Boat
Foundation at Silver Springs Accessible Glass Bottom Boat Ribbon Cutting

Silver Springs State Park hosts a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new accessible glass-bottom boat.

Hugh Taylor Birch Tram Dedication
Hugh Taylor Birch Tram Dedication

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park celebrates their new electric accessible tram at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Electric Accessible Trams

Similar to the accessible glass-bottom boat at Silver Springs, the Foundation has teamed up with a variety of community partners to provide electric-powered accessible trams at parks around the state. Florida Power & Light Co. has provided trams to John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, Henderson Beach State Park and Oscar Scherer State Park, while TECO Energy and the St. Joe Community Foundation have provided a tram to Hillsborough River State Park and Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, respectively. These trams expand accessibility in Florida State Parks while eliminating fuel emissions.

Plant A Pine

The Foundation created Plant a Pine in 2020 to help restore Florida’s native longleaf pine population. These majestic trees support rich, diverse ecosystems across the southeast, but after decades of commercial use, they now cover just an estimated 3% of their original habitat. For every $1 contributed to Plant a Pine, the Foundation plants one longleaf pine in a Florida state park. To date, the program has contributed nearly 300,000 new pines, and will aim to add another 100,000 to that total by Earth Day 2024.

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The Plant a Pine program seeks to restore Florida's native longleaf pine population.

SUPPORTING THE FOUNDATION

For more information about supporting the Florida State Park Foundation, visit our Membership and Ways to Give sections of the website.