Florida Park Service Honors Park Volunteers in Northwest Florida

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

Florida Park Service Honors 
Park Volunteers in Northwest Florida

~Florida volunteers contribute more than 1.2 million hours of service annually~

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is honoring northwest Florida individuals and groups with 2017 Volunteer Appreciation Awards for their invaluable contributions at Florida State Parks.

More than 14,400 state park volunteers and 80 Friends groups, or citizen support organizations (CSOs), contribute over 1.2 million hours of service annually. From painting cabins to leading nature hikes, volunteers help protect resources and improve visitor experiences at Florida's 175 state parks and trails. In addition to individual volunteers, a network of CSOs supports individual state parks or groups of parks.

In northwest Florida, two volunteers and two CSOs were honored:

  • Lynn Cherry at Camp Helen State Park was honored for her 21 years of volunteer service. She has volunteered at the park since leading the campaign that resulted in the state acquiring the park.
  • Robert Deyle at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park was honored as Adult Volunteer of the Year for Resource Management. Deyle has been recognized for serving hundreds of hours as a river boat guide, and for carrying the message of preservation and restoration to the public.
  • The Friends of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park was honored as CSO of the Year in the Resource-Based Recreation category. Among its accomplishments, the group remodeled the campground store and added rentals of canoes, kayaks and paddleboards.
  • The Friends of Maclay Gardens State Park was honored for Special Cultural Event of the Year, Moon Over Maclay, which brought more than 700 visitors to the park.

Congratulations to the individuals and groups honored during the statewide 2017 Volunteer Awards, sponsored by the Friends of Florida State Parks. Find more information about the 40+ volunteers and Friends groups that received statewide awards on the Volunteer Appreciation page of FloridaStateParks.org. Additional recipients will be featured in coming months.

Volunteers support and improve Florida State Parks with their time and talent. Learn how to get involved.