Florida State Parks volunteers play a vital role in supporting park operations, and this National Volunteer Month the Florida State Parks Foundation recognizes the work of 31 volunteers for exceptional service during State Fiscal Year 2020-2021. The award-winners are part of the corps of 4,432 people from all over the country and world whose total volunteer hours equaled 454 full-time employees during that same year.  

These select recognitions were awarded for varying volunteer accomplishments, including 30 years of service, extraordinary youth volunteer service, more than 10,000 lifetime hours served, and park improvement efforts.

“Throughout the year volunteers serve as a backbone to our state parks. This National Volunteer Appreciation Month, we are recognizing their outstanding work and contribution of 946,282 hours between July 2020 – June 2021. Florida’s award-winning state parks are made even better through the energy and commitment provided by our volunteers,” said Florida State Parks Foundation President Tammy Gustafson. 

The award recipients contributed services to the following parks: Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park, Camp Helen State Park, Three Rivers State Park, Fort Clinch State Park, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, Rainbow Springs State Park, Talbot Islands State Park, Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach, Silver Springs State Park, Dade Battlefield Historic State Park, Highlands Hammock State Park, Lake Manatee State Park, Myakka River State Park, Oscar Scherer State Park, Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park, Bahia Honda State Park, Curry Hammock State Park, Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park, and John D. MacArthur Beach State Park.

Florida State Parks volunteer opportunities are diverse and can range from ranger station duties to park maintenance work to special event coordination. To learn more about Florida State Parks volunteer opportunities, visit www.floridastateparks.org/volunteers.

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.

About the Author: Foundation Staff