Grant of more than $20,000 purchased six viewfinders for use along the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk

COPELAND, Fla. – The Florida State Parks Foundation and Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today celebrated the purchase and installation of six accessible viewfinders along the iconic Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park in southwest Florida. 

The viewfinders, which are included as part of broader expansion of the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk, were provided by a donation of $21,500 through FPL’s charitable arm, the NextEra Energy Foundation. FPL previously funded the purchase of accessible trams at Henderson Beach and Oscar Scherer state parks last year.

“Fakahatchee Strand Preserve is one of our most unique and magical state parks,” said Julia Gill Woodward, CEO of the Florida State Parks Foundation. “The experiences found at Fakahatchee are unlike anywhere else, and we are grateful that FPL is a dedicated partner in expanding these experiences to all visitors.”

Known as the “Amazon of North America,” Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park is Florida’s largest state park comprising more than 77,000 acres and is home to the largest strand swamp in the world.

The Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk winds 2,500 feet through a pristine portion of the Fakahatchee Strand and ends at an alligator pond and observation deck.

Three of the new viewfinders feature lowered heights so visitors seated on mobility devices may also enjoy an up-close look at the expansive variety of wildlife, habitat and ecosystems found within the park.

“The Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk offers a unique Florida experience that should be available to as many people as possible,” said Kate MacGregor, FPL vice president of environmental services. “FPL is proud to enhance public access through the installation of these viewfinders, which will allow all visitors to further experience our beautiful Fakahatchee Strand and the many species that call it home.”

About the Author: Foundation Staff