Florida DEP Banner


CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112,


~Summer is a great time to explore all the natural wonders Florida has to offer~


Florida's beaches are perfect for spending time outdoors.

TALLAHASSEE – Governor Rick Scott has proclaimed June as Great Outdoors Month in Florida in recognition of the outstanding recreational opportunities provided by Florida’s natural resources, including forests, parks, trails and other public lands and waters. Great Outdoors Month is celebrated across the country each June, highlighting the health and social benefits of active fun outdoors.
With students out of school during the summer months and family vacations on the calendar, June is the perfect time to celebrate the environment by getting outside and enjoying the state's beautiful wild, green spaces and its blue waterways. Florida's state parks and trails provide opportunities to ride bicycles or horses, paddle kayaks or canoes, enjoy birds and butterflies, run or hike and more.
“Florida enjoys a wealth of scenic recreational and conservation lands,” said Florida Park Service Director Donald Forgione. “With our award-winning state parks, state trails and historic sites, Floridians and visitors have an abundance of healthy, affordable opportunities to explore and experience the great outdoors in their own recreational style.”
Between April and June last year, approximately 21.8 million visitors came to Florida to experience the 12 million acres of beautiful public lands, which include lakes, rivers and islands.
Great Outdoors Month focuses on celebrating our natural resources and encourages communities to come together around healthy activities that Florida’s residents and visitors can enjoy at little or no cost. From the rustic pine forests and rivers of North Florida to the tropical, island paradise of the Florida Keys, the state’s naturally diverse landscape serves as an outdoor playground for all ages.
Throughout the state, activities will take place to celebrate Great Outdoors Month and other banner days occurring in June. National Get Outdoors Day® is June 9, the primary purpose of which is to increase first-time visitors to public lands and reconnect youth to the great outdoors. This is a free-admission day for U.S. Department of Interior sites, such as national wildlife refuges, national parks and national forests. Find out more at
Support Florida state parks in Coca-Cola's "America's Favorite Park" contest by placing votes through Facebook. Four state parks are in the top 25: John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, Long Key State Park, Curry Hammock State Park and Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.  
In addition, to support Florida’s state parks in a vote about best places to fish, please visit the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Facebook page.
Activities during Great Outdoors Month in Florida State Parks include:

Guided Garden Walk

10 a.m. Saturday, June 9

Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

6400 North Oceanshore Blvd.

Palm Coast, FL

Join a Park Ranger on an informative stroll through the formal park gardens to learn about the various flowers, plants, and butterfly species. Also, visitors may take a tour through the 1940s greenhouse that was recently restored by park staff and volunteers.

Summer Reading Program

10:30 a.m. Wednesdays, June 13, 20, 27

Big Lagoon State Park

12301 Gulf Beach Highway

Pensacola, Florida 32507

Partnering with the Southwest Branch Library, Big Lagoon State Park will host special summer reading programs at the amphitheater including music, gymnastics, a cartoonist and more.

Discovery Saturdays

10 a.m. Saturday, June 16

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

5 East Quay Road

Key West, FL 33040

Discovery Saturdays are held on the third Saturday of every month, and provide kids an opportunity to have fun while learning about the environmental and cultural resources of the Florida Keys. Children in kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to participate from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Attendance is free, and pre-registration is recommended. Call (305) 809-4750 to register.

Humongous Hurricanes

10 a.m. Saturday, June 16

Dr. Nancy Foster Environmental Complex

35 East Quay Road

Key West, FL 33040

Play games and make crafts while learning about hurricane preparedness and weather safety.

Sing Like a Bird

2 p.m. Saturday, June 16

Little Talbot Island State Park  

12157 Heckscher Drive

Jacksonville, Florida 32226

Join a park ranger to learn the different songs of Talbot Island’s feathered residents. The program will take place at the multi-use trail pavilion located at the south beach area on Little Talbot Island. No reservations are necessary and the program is free with regular park admission.

Nighttime “Turtle Walks”

9 p.m. Thursday, June 16, 23, 30

Sebastian Inlet State Park

142351 North A1A

Vero Beach, FL

Learn all about sea turtles in a visual presentation followed by a beach walk of up to three miles which may include the chance to view a nesting loggerhead sea turtle. (Limited registration; reservations required.)

Pollinator Day

10 a.m. Saturday, June 23

GTM Research Reserve

505 Guana River Road

Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082

The GTM Research Reserve along with the Florida Native Plant Society, Sea Oats chapter, will have an array of displays and activities that educate all about local pollinators, as well as a native plant sale. Learn about pollinators and how they significantly contribute to our ecosystem and economy. Also, learn how you can help attract them to your own yard.

Animal Signs

2 p.m. Saturday, June 23

Fort George Island Cultural State Park

State Road A1A South

Jacksonville, Florida 32226

Join a Park Ranger for a presentation and leisurely guided hike through different Florida ecosystems on a quest to characterize tracks left by an assortment of critters. 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.

Cradles Of The Ocean

2 p.m. Thursday, June 28

Estero Bay

3266 North Sailboat Avenue

Crystal River, FL 34428

We will take a refreshing journey into the waters of the bay, wading into mudflats and seagrass beds at low tide to find many of the plants and animals that call this estuary home. Using dip nets and seine nets we will collect organisms such as fish, shrimp, crabs, snails and seagrasses and place them in buckets or magnifiers to take a closer look. The guide will explain how each living creature plays an important role in the ecosystem. You'll be amazed at what can be found just past the shoreline, what few take the time to see. Come and let the estuary surprise you!

“Take A Walk On The Wild Side”

9 a.m. Saturday, June 30

Anastasia State Park

1340A A1A South

St. Augustine, Florida 32080

Guided tour on 2.5–mile walk through various coastal habitats will explore the flora and fauna that make up the fascinating ecosystems of Anastasia State Park.