FORT LAUDERDALE – Representative Anika T. Omphroy, who represents District 95, visited Hugh Taylor Birch State Park in Fort Lauderdale yesterday as a guest of the Florida State Parks Foundation and the Florida Park Service.
The visit, ahead of this year’s Legislative Session, was to brief Representative Omphroy about new developments at the park and to discuss issues affecting all of Florida’s 175 award-winning parks and trails. Representative Omphroy is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and the Democrat Ranking Member of the Agricultural and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee.
She has long been a champion of the environment with a special interest in preventing further development west into the Everglades and addressing the threat of saltwater intrusion into the South Florida aquifer.
“We appreciate Representative Omphroy spending time at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park and for her commitment to our state parks and trails,” said Florida State Parks Foundation CEO Julia Gill Woodward.
Also representing the Florida Park Service were Florida Park Service Acting Director, Chuck Hatcher, District 5 Bureau Chief Kevin Jones, Foundation Board Member Jose Romano and Park Manager LeAnn Hinson.
“Our state parks form the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation and deliver invaluable cultural, economic and social benefits to our state. That is why my commitment to preserving and protecting Florida’s natural heritage is unwavering,” said State Representative Anika T. Omphroy.
“Our parks are not only natural treasures, but they are also economic generators as well. Our award-winning state parks attract 24 million visitors from around the world, have an economic impact to the state of $2.2 billion and support more than 31,000 jobs,” Woodward said.
The 175-acre Hugh Taylor Birch State Park attracts more than 285,000 visitors a year and generates more than $25.6 million to the state’s economy and supports 359 local jobs.
The 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.