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


~Summer is the perfect time to enjoy outdoor recreation and get a little park on ya!~

Little Talbot

Digging your feet into the sand at the beach is a time-honored tradition in Florida. Near Jacksonville, the Little Talbot Island State Park beach is perfect for burying your toes.

TALLAHASSEE - Governor Rick Scott, along with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service and the Florida Recreation and Park Association, proclaimed July as Park and Recreation Month. Floridians and visitors alike are encouraged to spend time outdoors at one of Florida’s 171 managed lands, which include state parks, state trails and historic sites. The Florida Park Service also launched a new web page highlighting some of the most unique and fun activities in state parks. The Get a little park on ya! website offers 50 fun things to do this summer in state parks.
“No matter where you live in Florida, you are less than an hour away from one of our award-winning 160 state parks and 11 state trails,” said DEP Florida Park Service Director Donald Forgione. “Whether you like to hike, bike, canoe or picnic with friends and family, tour a historic site or read in the shade of a tree, Florida’s state parks are a great place to enjoy the outdoors and get a little park on ya!”
Park and Recreation Month recognizes the benefits of recreational and educational opportunities, including boosting economies, attracting new businesses and strengthening families. Since 1985, state, national and local recreation areas throughout America have celebrated July with this designation.
The Get a little park on ya! website highlights state parks that are favorite locations for many park visitors, but the large crowds aren't as likely to block views of Florida’s beautiful natural resources or hold up lines for recreational activities.
Family-friendly activities during Park and Recreation Month in Florida include:

18th Annual 4th of July Firecracker 5K Race

7:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 4

Highlands Hammock State Park

31 Hammock Road

Sebring, Florida 33872

Pop out of bed and get cracking as we celebrate the 4th of July at the annual Firecracker 5K Race. Plaques for overall, master and grand master male and female winners, age group awards, technical T-shirts and ice-cold watermelon for runners.

Kids Summer Workshop Series

10 a.m. to Noon Thursday, July 5

Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park

11016 Lillian Saunders Drive

White Springs, FL 32096

These workshops will provide a fun and safe experience of learning heritage and heirloom crafts and skills. Participants are welcome to take part in a single workshop or multiple workshops. Workshops are available to children ages 8 to 13.

Adult Saltwater Fishing Workshop

9 a.m. to Noon Friday, July 5

Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

6400 N. Oceanshore Boulevard

Palm Coast, Florida 32137

During this exciting and informative workshop, a Florida Park Ranger will illustrate techniques that anglers use to catch fish and emphasize the importance of conservation and safety while fishing.

Nature Hike

2 p.m. Saturday, July 7

Fort George Island Cultural State Park

State Road A1A South

Jacksonville, Florida 32226

Participants are encouraged to bring bug spray and bottled water. This program will take place at the Ribault Club on Fort George Island Cultural State Park. No reservations are necessary and the program is free.

Collector’s Day

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 7

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

4150 S. Suncoast Boulevard

Homosassa, Florida 34446

This will be a great opportunity to display your family-friendly collection whether it is antiques, spoons, trains, coins, books, maps, utensils, etc. Exhibitors can share their knowledge and enthusiasm with event visitors.  

Library Summer Reading Program

10:30 a.m. to Noon Wednesday, July 11

Big Lagoon State Park

12301 Gulf Beach Highway

Pensacola, Florida 32507

Join us at the park amphitheater for storytime, followed by special programs including music, gymnastics, a cartoonist and more.  

Second Saturday Gamble Jam!

4 p.m. to sunset Saturday, July 14

Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach

3100 S. State Road A1A

Flagler Beach, Florida 32136

Musicians of all levels are encouraged to bring instruments and a chair to join the circle for a casual acoustic jam session. Instruments of all types are welcome but no power is available near the pavilions.

Sport Lobster Mini Event

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 24

Bahia Honda State Park

36850 Overseas Highway

Big Pine Key, Florida 33043

Get information about lobstering, fishing, diving and boating. There will be information booths from several of organizations including Reef Relief, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, National Key Deer Refuge and the Dolphin Research Center.

Pioneer Day Camp

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, July 30

Dade Battlefield Historic State Park

7200 County Road 603

Bushnell, Florida 33513

Children will get hands-on experience in historical living arts including soap making, cow milking, participate in home crafts, watch historical reenactments, make pioneer toys and play pioneer games and more.
John Dickinson

Florida's federally-designated Wild and Scenic Rivers are ideal places to canoe or kayak and take it all in at a slow pace. The Loxahatchee River runs through Jonathan Dickinson State Park in South Florida's Hobe Sound.