Monday, September 23, 2013



~Floridians can join nationwide effort on its 20th anniversary to appreciate and volunteer at public lands around the state Saturday.~

Volunteers clear trail.

Volunteers clear a trail during National Public Lands Day in 2012.

TALLAHASSEE –The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Florida Park Service and the Friends of Florida State Parks will celebrate the 20th anniversary of National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 28. As proclaimed by Governor Rick Scott, residents are invited to volunteer and participate in a variety of activities planned at more than 70 of Florida's award-winning state parks.
In coordination with the National Environmental Education Foundation, National Public Lands Day invites volunteers to join ranks and improve the publicly-owned lands where our state parks provide recreation, outdoor education and relaxation. For the past 20 years, this day has provided an opportunity for citizens of all ages to help preserve the lands of this nation.
“It is such a joy to take part in National Public Lands Day. It is a wonderful chance for the residents and visitors of Florida to engage in restoring and preserving our public lands,” said Donald Forgione, Director of the Florida Park Service, "It is also great to partner with the Friends of Florida State Parks and the 84 Friends groups around the state who are helping to coordinate this effort."
By contributing time in one of Florida’s many state parks, volunteers can restore Florida in many different ways. More than 70 events offered throughout the state provide the chance to remove trash and invasive plants, pick up litter surrounding the parks and plant trees and other foliage along the trails. In addition, demonstrations, exhibits, activities and complimentary snacks will be provided at various events.
Below is a sampling of events taking place within Florida State Parks on Saturday, Sept. 28:
Northwest Florida
Big Lagoon State Park, Pensacola, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Trash pick-up along the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf Beach Highway and hiking trail maintenance.
Pick up litter along the bay side of St. George Island State Park.
Florida Caverns State Park, Marianna, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Nature trail clean up, native animal exhibit and cave clean up.
Northeast Florida
Nature Photography and leisurely stroll on the Fairway Loop Trail to learn techniques and capture the beauty of the maritime forest and salt marsh. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., learn about the impact of invasive exotic plants and have an opportunity to remove some of the invaders.
Manatee Springs State Park, Chiefland, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Great Suwannee River Clean-Up. Join us for a river clean-up along the Suwannee River.
Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park, Keystone Heights, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Florida Trail Hike & Habitat Restoration. Restore the Sandhill habitat by removing invasive hardwood shrubs and an accumulation of slash in the understory.
O’Leno State Park, High Springs, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
River cleanup along the banks of the Santa Fe River.
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, Micanopy, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
National Public Lands Day Weed Removal! Removal of the exotic plant, Coral Ardisia.
Central Florida
Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park, Ormond Beach, 10 to 11 .am.
National Public Lands Day Walk. One hour walking tour of the historic sugar mill ruins of the 1800s.
Lake Louisa State Park, Clermont, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Removal of the invasive latana bush.
Silver River State Park, Ocala, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Silver Green Trail Project. Trail clearing, maintenance, and exotic plant control.
Tomoka State Park, Ormond Beach, 10 a.m.
National Public Lands Day Walk. One mile nature trail walk with a Ranger explaining flora, fauna and Tomoka State Park’s history.
Wekiwa Springs State Park, Apopka, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Scavenger hunt activity with cameras while collecting litter along the trails.
Cross Florida Greenway, Landbridge Clean Up, 8:30 a.m. to noon
Clean up the Landbridge Trail Head parking areas and along the lime rock road trimming, clearing and mowing.
Southwest Florida
Highlands Hammock State Park, Sebring, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Trail Maintenance. Trim back protruding cabbage and palm fronds and overhanging vines from hiking trails of the Loop Drive. Or participate in the Florida Scrub-Jay Habitat Restoration Event. Cutting down Sand Pines and letting them naturally decompose in known Florida Scrub-Jay nesting areas.
Hillsborough River State Park, Thonotosassa, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Pulling invasive weeds with AmeriCorps team members.
Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Live music, tram tours and work service project opportunities for volunteers. Demonstration and informational booths for businesses and organizations. Activities for children.
South Florida
Fort Pierce Inlet State Park, Fort Pierce, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Remove litter, establish trail markers and trim overgrown vegetation.
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, North Palm Beach, 9 to 11 a.m.
Planting native vegetation in front of then park’s primary dunes.
Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Hobe Sound, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
National Public Lands Day/Make a Difference! Hand-pulling, shoveling and clipping plants and hauling loads for disposal.
Visit our website for a complete list of National Public Lands Day events in Florida's state parks.

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