People go to parks because they want to
feel connected. Every park tells a story and each one is a piece of our history.
It gives people a sense of pride and it brings people together.
At the Florida Park Service we challenge ourselves to be the best we can be and
that affects everything we do, from providing recreational opportunities for
our 32 million annual visitors, to preserving interpreting and restoring
our parks for future generations. Park rangers love to learn and we’re
always pushing ourselves to be on the cutting edge of conservation and
recreation. We have tools to monitor the health of ecosystems across all eight
hundred thousand acres of land we manage, and we use an aggressive regimen of
prescribed fire to enhance wildfire resistance and to build ecosystem
resilience. We’re partnering with concessionaires to improve and evolve
our customer service to provide the best possible visitor experience. We’ve solved
connectivity issues in remote and rural parks and we’ve created a five-year plan
to close internet access gaps at all parks. We don’t just preserve, but we
rejuvenate, we restore. We’ve transformed an old phosphate mine into a premier
mountain biking destination with a community building bike shop. We
revitalize state parks with beachside bars and eateries and we’ve added a
full-service concierge tubing rental and shuttle along a popular Spring Run.
One of our core values is accessibility we want all people to be able to connect
with the Real Florida, that’s why we provide beach wheelchairs all-terrain
mobility devices and accessible kayak launches. We want everyone to feel
comfortable in Florida State Parks. We also make sure to get feedback so that
we can improve visitor experiences and park operations. We ask questions and we listen, and by listening to our visitors we’ve been able to make great strides
and improving Florida State Parks so we’re the best in the nation. People love
interacting with park rangers. We train our staff and volunteers so that they
tell the story of Florida’s cultural and natural resources. We have a proud legacy built on
connecting people to outdoor recreation through leadership, engagement, innovation and adaption we really believe that Florida is leading the way. We strive to find a balance and connecting people to their parks, while we restore and
preserve the land for future generations. Our commitment to connection and
progress goes beyond park boundaries, into our local communities. We’ve
sponsored the Emmy award-winning show The Outsiders Club to teach the next
generation about conservation and recreation. We developed an impact study
that local park agencies are using to communicate the economic health and
social benefits of outdoor recreation, and with the Florida Trail Town Program,
we’ve given communities another tool to promote local outdoor recreation
opportunities. We have also developed and upgraded the Outdoor Florida app which documents and showcases all conservation lands in Florida that offered recreation.
We’re committed to our communities. We’ve been through five hurricanes in three
years and we’ve responded and helped restore normalcy in difficult times.
We’ve grown and adapted by improving emergency response strategies, mobilizing response teams and implementing tools for faster recovery. We’re engaged with
our communities and that’s never going to change. We connect with people and we adapt to the changing needs of our visitors and surrounding communities.
That’s what we do, that’s who we are and that’s our legacy.