Florida State Parks, Florida Prepaid Partner to Provide Student Scholarships

DEP Press Release header


CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850-245-2112, DEPNews@FloridaDEP.gov

Florida State Parks, Florida Prepaid Partner to Provide Student Scholarships

~Ten Florida children will receive a $1,000 scholarship as part of a Florida Prepaid sweepstakes~ 

Junior Ranger Program

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Get ready, get outside! The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Florida State Parks and the Florida Prepaid College Savings Program are joining forces to encourage families to explore and enjoy all that Florida has to offer children now and in the future. 

The partnership invites families to discover educational opportunities through a Florida Prepaid college savings plan, as well as enjoy the instructive aspects of the Florida State Parks Junior Ranger Program. 

Adventurous parents and guardians of children from newborn to eighth grade can enter the “Exploring Education Scholarship” sweepstakes for a chance to win big. 

Ten Florida children will be awarded grand prizes – a $1,000 scholarship in a Florida 529 Savings Plan and a Florida State Parks Junior Ranger gift pack, including a hammock and an inflatable standup paddle board.  

The promotion runs now through June 30, 2023. Winners will be randomly selected and notified by July 20. 

Additionally, during this sweepstakes period, Florida Prepaid will invest $50 toward every newly created Florida 529 Savings Plan account. 

“A Florida 529 Savings Plan is a great option for families,” said John Rood, Chairman of the Florida Prepaid College Board. “It offers an affordable, flexible way for Floridians to save. We will contribute $50 into newly opened accounts to support Florida families as they make the important decision to save toward a child’s postsecondary education.” 

“We encourage children to become Junior Rangers and explore the 90 state parks offering the program,” said DEP Secretary Shawn Hamilton. “This provides unique ways for children to discover the natural world and how to protect and conserve Florida's unique environment.” 

Florida’s 175 award-winning state parks provide boundless recreational and educational opportunities. Park rangers provide year-round programming to tell the stories of Florida’s state parks, while museums, visitor centers and interpretive displays provide opportunities for self-paced learning. 

Junior Rangers pledge to learn about Florida's state parks and share what they have learned with others as they “explore. . . the Real Florida.” If unable to visit a park, explore as Virtual Junior Ranger from anywhere. 

Through education and service, Junior Rangers help support the mission of Florida State Parks to preserve and restore Florida's natural and cultural resources. 

To learn more about the Junior Ranger Program, the partnership with Florida Prepaid and to submit an entry for the scholarship program, visit FloridaStateParks.org/FloridaPrepaid.