CORRECTED NUMBERS: FLORIDA STATE PARKS ANNOUNCES DECEMBER ATTENDANCE RECORD

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 25, 2012

CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112, DEPNews@dep.state.fl.us

CORRECTED NUMBERS: FLORIDA STATE PARKS ANNOUNCES DECEMBER ATTENDANCE RECORD

~State parks served a record number of visitors in December 2011, up more than 400,000 from December 2010~

Park visitors stop at the Ranger Station before enjoying a day at   Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee.

Park visitors stop at the Ranger Station before enjoying a day at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee.

TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Florida Park Service marked record-breaking attendance for December 2011, serving nearly 1.5 million visitors in Florida’s 160 state parks. This is the most December visitors ever recorded.
“Providing access to Florida’s award-winning state parks is a top priority for DEP, and we’re pleased to see citizens and visitors taking advantage of the opportunity to enjoy one-of-a-kind natural resources,” said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. “Our state parks not only provide an affordable, fun and family-friendly places to spend a day, but also help local citizens and visitors learn more about, and gain an appreciation for, our environment.”
In December, Florida State Parks served 1,494,874 visitors, an increase of 439,937 visitors from December 2010. Six months into this fiscal year, attendance is at 9 million visitors, up by nearly 600,000 visitors than at this time last year.
“The Florida Park Service continually strives to provide high quality nature-based recreation and maintain pristine natural and cultural resources,” said DEP’s Florida Park Service Director Donald V. Forgione. “I’m proud of all the staff and volunteers who work daily to ensure each visitor has a positive, memorable experience and that Florida’s resources are preserved for future generations to enjoy.”
During Fiscal Year 2010-2011, Florida State Parks welcomed 20.4 million visitors and made an economic impact of more than $967 million in local communities. Daily entrance fees to most state parks range from $4 to $8 for a vehicle with up to eight people. As Florida’s economy continues to rebound, Florida’s state parks and trails lead the way in affordable adventure.