FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 18, 2013
CELEBRATE HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH WITH CULTURAL EVENTS AT FLORIDA STATE PARKS
~A dozen Florida
State Parks celebrate and preserve Hispanic history. Celebrate Sept. 15 to Oct. 15~
A flag flies at Fort Clinch State Park in Fernandina Beach.
TALLAHASSEE- The Florida
Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Park Service join
Governor Rick Scott in honoring the significance and appreciation of Hispanic
culture on Florida's past, present and future during Hispanic Heritage Month,
this celebration, Florida residents and visitors are encouraged to celebrate “The Real
Florida” by spending time with family and friends at the 12 Florida state
parks that focus on preserving Hispanic heritage.
Scott said, “Ann and I are excited to join all Floridians in celebrating
Hispanic Heritage Month. With more than four million Hispanics that call
Florida home, communities throughout the Sunshine State will celebrate with a
wide range of events and activities. Florida’s State Parks will play a
significant role in this important celebration. We encourage Florida families
to spend time together exploring the natural and cultural treasures at
Florida’s State Parks, while celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.”
it’s impossible to capture the importance of Florida’s Hispanic past, present
and future in one month, we enjoy telling the stories at our state parks during
Hispanic Heritage Month,” said Donald Forgione, Director of the Florida Park
Service, “Family is an important thread in every culture, so during this
special month we’re encouraging visitors to host a celebratory family picnic at
a state park or take a visit a state park with significant Hispanic history.”
following Florida state parks offer a window into Florida’s Hispanic heritage:
San Marcos de Apalache
Historic State Park, St. Marks
site’s history began in 1528 when Panfilo de Narvaez arrived with 300 men. In
1539, Hernando de Soto, along with 600 men, followed the same route taken by
Narvaez. In 1679, the Spanish built a fort to protect the Spanish missions. The
museum at the park displays pottery and tools that were unearthed near the
original fort and explains the history of the site.
Big Talbot Island State
during the British period and originally used by the British grantees for
plantation agriculture, including citrus, sugar, indigo and cotton, Big Talbot
Island was used by Spanish settlers during the following Second Spanish period.
Anastasia State Park, St.
than 300 years ago, sites like the coquina quarries located within Anastasia
State Park were busy with workers hauling blocks of rock. With hand tools, they
hewed out blocks of the soft shellstone and pried the squares loose along
natural layers in the rock. The blocks were used to construct the Castillo de
San Marcos and many other buildings.
Fort Mose Historic State Park,
1738, the Spanish governor of Florida chartered Fort Mose as a settlement for
freed Africans who had fled slavery in the British Carolinas. When Spain ceded
Florida to Britain in 1763, the inhabitants of Fort Mose migrated to Cuba.
Although nothing remains of the fort, the site was listed on the National
Register of Historic Places in 1994 for its importance in American history.
San Felasco Hammock Preserve
State Park, Alachua
Felasco is the mispronunciation by settlers and Indians of the name of a 17th
century Spanish mission, San Francisco de Potano, which was located in the
southeastern section of the preserve. The preserve is one of the few remaining
mature forests in Florida.
Paynes Prairie Preserve
State Park, Micanopy
de La Chua, on the Prairie's north rim, is believed to be the site of Hacienda
de La Chua, the largest cattle ranch in Spanish Florida. Established before
1637, La Chua was managed by the politically powerful Menendez Marquez family.
Cattle and wild horses seen today are descendants of those brought over by the
Spanish in the early 1500s and left to roam free after the British raids in the
De Leon Springs State
Park, DeLeon Springs
Legend and folklore claim Juan Ponce de León sought and discovered the mythical
Fountain of Youth at DeLeon Springs. The Visitor Center features exhibits on
the park's 6,000 year history and presentations on Florida's Springs, the St.
Johns River and the Everglades.
Tomoka State Park, Ormond
the park is the Nocoroco Site, a Timucuan village reported by Spanish explorers
in the early 1600s, where visitors can enjoy a half-mile nature trail through a
hardwood hammock that was once an indigo field for an 18th century British
Sebastian Inlet State
Park’s McLarty Treasure Museum, Melbourne Beach
1715, 11 Spanish treasure galleons sank along the east central Florida coast.
One of the survivors’ campsites was located on the present day site of the
McLarty Treasure Museum. A second museum, the Sebastian Fishing Museum also
provides history of the area to visitors.
Mound Key Archaeological State
125-acre island is located in the Estero Bay, and was created more than 2,000
years ago by the indigenous tribe known as the Calusa, or “fierce people.” In
1566, the Spanish Governor of Florida established a settlement on Mound Key
with a fort and the first Jesuit mission, known as San Antonio de Carlos.
Today, interpretive displays can be found along a trail that spans the width of
San Pedro Underwater
Archaeology Preserve State Park, Islamorada
San Pedro was a 287-ton, Dutch-built ship which sailed as part of the fleet of
New Spain in 1733. Her discovery in Hawk Channel in the 1960s, beneath 18 feet
of water, led to the recovery of small silver coins dated between 1731 and
1733, as well as cannons trapped under the ballast pile. Today, this underwater
archaeological preserve features a submerged shipwreck that is available for
diving and snorkeling.
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic
State Park, Key West
Taylor played important role in Civil War and the Spanish-American War. The
fort was one of a series built in the mid 1800s to defend the nation’s
southernmost coastline. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973.
commemorating Hispanic heritage month include:
Fort Clinch State Park,
American War Event
Sept. 21, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 22, 9 a.m. to Noon
event will feature a commemoration of the Spanish-American War. Admission is $6
per vehicle, up to eight people plus $2 per person fort admission. For more
information, call (904) 277-7274.
State Park, Hobe Sound
Florida Virtual Puzzle Cache
Round, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
years ago Juan Ponce de Leon arrived in Florida and discovered the beauty of
the state they called La Florida. Jonathan Dickinson State Park has
unique ties to this anniversary. A downloadable puzzle will guide you through
your own adventure to discover the park’s natural and cultural history.
Complete the GPS or non-GPS version.