TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service recognizes the invaluable contribution of the members of the Florida State Parks volunteer corps. More than 30,717 volunteers help with a variety of tasks, including picking up litter, landscaping park grounds and driving a tour boat. Last year, volunteers contributed 1,307,005.5 hours to the state park system.
“Florida’s state parks and trails are fortunate to have the most passionate and dedicated volunteers. We thank our volunteers for their time and expertise in helping us manage, protect and interpret Florida’s natural and cultural resources,” said Donald Forgione, director of the Florida Park Service.
At special events around the state, the Friends of Florida State Parks, Inc. have presented annual awards to individuals and groups whose volunteerism has made a significant impact in the past year.
The 2014 winners are as follows:
- Dr. Madeline Carr of Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, adult female volunteer of the year
- Al Pendergrass of Silver Springs State Park, adult male volunteer of the year
- Anna Reeves of Oscar Scherer State Park, youth female volunteer of the year
- Justin Lee of Savannas Preserve State Park, youth male volunteer of the year
- Friends of Silver Springs State Park, Citizen Support Organization of the year
- Great Outdoors Adventure Day at Lovers Key State Park, special event of the year
- Marine Railway Restoration and Replica Skiff Construction at the Barnacle Historic State Park, long-term project of the year
- Event Tent and Parking Lot Lights Project at Dudley Farm Historic State Park, short-term project of the year
- Maintenance Team at Silver Springs State Park, team of the year
Last fiscal year, more than 27.1 million people visited Florida’s award-winning state parks and trails, generating nearly $2.1 billion in direct economic impact. Florida State Parks and Trails support 29,396 jobs for Floridians. For more information on Florida’s state parks and trails, click here.