Oct. 2, 2014
~Volunteers donated more than 7,000 hours to state parks and trails on Sept. 27~
Volunteers work on lake restoration at Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey.
On Sept. 27, volunteers across the state gathered at Florida’s state parks to celebrate National Public Lands Day. Overall, 2,149 volunteers contributed more than 7,067 hours of service at 96 events held at 77 of Florida’s state parks, beating last year’s record.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Recreation and Parks joined with the Friends of Florida State Parks, the National Environmental Education Foundation and many other citizen-support organizations across the state to host these volunteer opportunities at Florida’s state parks.
“I appreciate all the hard work of the volunteers on National Public Lands Day,” said Donald Forgione, director of the Florida Park Service. “Volunteers are amazing. They give their time, talent and energy to tend to our natural treasures. Our parks are better for their service.”
From Pensacola to south Florida, volunteers collected trash, cleared invasive plants, conducted trail maintenance, landscaped grounds and enjoyed their efforts caring for Florida’s state parks and trails. Volunteers learned about natural resources and the restoration of the environment, while working side-by-side with their neighbors. Some parks also offered recreational lessons, informational speakers, kids’ activities and live music.
Last year, Florida’s state parks held more than 70 National Public Lands Day events with more than 1,550 volunteers contributing 6,740 hours of service.