National Public Lands Day Recognizes Florida’s Natural Resources

Florida DEP Banner

For Immediate Release: Sept. 23, 2011

Contact: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112, 


~Statewide events to showcase Florida’s publicly-owned lands and parks~

Hillsborough River Bridge

A bridge at Hillsborough River State Park. Clean-up events, like National Public Lands Day, help keep Florida’s natural lands clean.

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) invites Floridians to celebrate the 18th annual National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, on any of Florida’s more than 9 million acres of public land throughout the state.
“We are delighted to take part in National Public Lands Day, which is a perfect opportunity for Floridians and visitors to engage in the preservation of our beautiful state-owned lands,” said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. “I encourage Floridians to head to their favorite state park to enjoy the day and even participate in one of many volunteer opportunities.
Coordinated by the National Environmental Education Foundation, National Public Lands Day brings together thousands of volunteers to improve and restore the publicly-owned lands that are used for recreation, education, exercise and relaxation. This yearly opportunity for stewardship and service provides an opportunity for community members to volunteer to preserve America’s lands.
“It is very fulfilling to give back to the community on a day like National Public Lands Day,” said eco-VolunteerUSA™ Program Director Christine Small. “A sense of community and volunteerism is what we need.”
National Public Lands Day volunteers in Florida’s state parks can contribute to the restoration of Florida’s public lands in many ways, including: removing trash and exotic plants from park property, picking up litter by beaches, replanting trails, and volunteering for demos, exhibits and kids activities. In addition, the Florida Park Service will waive state park entrance fees for all volunteers participating in National Public Lands Day.  
Florida’s system of public lands includes parks, unique landscapes, forests, wildlife refuges, historic trails, natural streams and wetlands, nature centers, gardens and other landmark areas, which represent irreplaceable national resources.
Cleanups taking place at state parks on Saturday, Sept. 24th:
Blue Springs State Park – 9 a.m. to noon
Help improve wildlife habitat by removing the trash and nonnative plants from park property.  Join the nation's largest hands-on effort to improve public lands. Registration required; ages 16 and up.
Wakulla Springs State Park - 9 a.m. to noon
Join community members to help replant trails.
Jonathan Dickinson State Park  -10 a.m. to noon
Family Exotic Plant Removal
Coastal clean-up
Oleta River State Park - 8:30 a.m. to noon
Assist land managers remove exotic plants, clean up the coastline and plant trees.  
Oscar Scherer State Park - 9 a.m. to noon
Entertainment & Education Day - volunteers needed for demos, exhibits, kids activities.
Delnor-Wiggins State Park - 8 a.m. to noon
Sea-grape planting, seed collection, relocate small cabbage palms
Big Lagoon State Park - 9 a.m. to noon
Volunteer at the yearly event and help with trails, coastal and Highway clean-up.
Topsail Hill State Park - 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Restore wetlands, clear invasive vegetation and remove debris.
St. George Island State Park - 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Beach & Bay litter pick-up