TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State Parks Foundation today awarded funding to five Florida State Parks citizen support organizations (CSOs) through its 2022 small grants program.
These CSOs, often known as Friends groups, will each receive individual awards of $5,000, for a total of $25,000, to advocate for or support their affiliated parks.
The winners include the Natural Bridge Historical Society, the Friends of Ichetucknee Springs State Park, the Friends of Gamble Rogers State Park, the Friends of Fakahatchee and the Friends of Jonathan Dickinson.
The Foundation awarded a previous round of funding in May, bringing this year’s total grant allocation to $50,000.
“All across Florida, there are CSOs working tirelessly to make our award-winning Florida State Parks the absolute best they can be,” said Tammy Gustafson, Florida State Parks Foundation President. “We are proud to offer our small grants program, and we are looking forward to seeing the amazing projects and enhancements that come to fruition as a result.”
- The Natural Bridge Historical Society (Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park, Tallahassee) received $5,000 toward the construction of an open-air shelter in the park’s picnic area. The shelter will increase public access to space for large gatherings and serve as a focal point for interpretation of the park’s historical and natural resources.
- The Friends of Ichetucknee Springs State Park (Fort White) received $5,000 for equipment and gear to enhance their prescribed fire program. Prescribed fire is one of the Florida Park Service’s most important tools to manage natural landscapes and reduce the risk of wildfires.
- The Friends of Gamble Rogers State Park (Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area, Flagler Beach) received $5,000 toward a new golf cart that will support volunteer teams with safe, dependable transportation across the 145-acre park. Volunteers perform crucial operations such as maintenance, repairs, cleaning and campsite preparation.
- The Friends of Fakahatchee (Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, Copeland) received $5,000 toward the renovation of the park’s visitor center. The grant will fund an interactive touchscreen display, interpretive panels and other associated materials.
- The Friends of Jonathan Dickinson State Park (Hobe Sound) received $5,000 to update and publish A Visitor’s Guide to Jonathan Dickinson State Park, a 96-page guidebook detailing the park’s history, ecosystems and available experiences. The book contains 12 maps and 173 photos to help park guests better understand and enjoy their visit to one of Florida’s most expansive state parks.
Previous small grant awardees include the Friends of St. Joseph State Parks, Friends of Fort Cooper, Friends of Silver Springs State Park, Friends of Collier-Seminole State Park and Friends of the Islamorada Area State Parks.
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. These grants are through the Florida State Parks Foundation Services LLC, which is a limited liability company affiliate of the Foundation.