The Florida State Parks Foundation today celebrates the second anniversary of the “Explore Our State Parks” specialty license plate, which debuted on March 28, 2022.

In two years of availability, the “Explore Our State Parks” plate has been an unqualified success and has already helped to create a wide variety of improvement projects and visitor amenities at parks across the state.

The plate, designed by Tallahassee-based artist Steve Leacock, has now sold more than 12,000 units, ranks 49th among 150 specialty plates in Florida and has generated more than $500,000 to benefit Florida’s award-winning state parks.

Each plate sold contributes $25 to the Florida State Parks Foundation, the official nonprofit support organization for Florida State Parks.

“As great as the ‘Explore Our State Parks’ specialty license plate’s first year was, I think year two has been even better,” said Kathleen Brennan, board president of the Florida State Parks Foundation. “Because not only have we noticed more and more plates on vehicles across the state, but we also started to see some truly amazing impacts that were made possible because of the plate.”

In two years, revenue generated from license plate sales has:

  • Helped to fund the purchase and installation at 144 water bottle refilling stations at 98 state parks.
  • Funded the purchase and installation of energy-efficient LED lighting to replace outdated fixtures at five pilot parks, with a goal of expanding to more parks in the future.
  • Exclusively funded the purchase of the “Great Blue Heron,” a hybrid-electric, full-accessible tour boat for use at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park near Tallahassee.

The plate came to fruition thanks to a bill co-sponsored by Senator Dennis Baxley and Representative Allison Tant. Governor Ron DeSantis signed the enabling bill to authorize a specialty license plate to benefit Florida State Parks in June of 2021.

The plate reached its pre-sale requirements in only a few weeks and then began distribution the following spring.

“The Florida Legislature showed great support for Florida State Parks in approving this license plate, and we are proud to have rewarded their faith through the first two years,” said Julia Gill Woodward, CEO of the Florida State Parks Foundation. “The impact from the license plate has already exceeded our most optimistic goals and expectations, and we cannot wait to see the ways that it benefits our state parks in the future.”

About the Author: Foundation Staff