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Press Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 10, 2010
CONTACT: Amy Graham, (850) 245-2112, (850) 778-7258 (cell)


Florida State Parks Launch Online Portal to Natural Florida

~Florida State Parks celebrate 75th Anniversary with launch of redesigned Web site~

TALLAHASSEE— Planning a trip to a Florida state park just got easier with the launch of a redesigned one-stop-shop Florida State Parks Web site. FloridaStateParks.org, the online portal for Florida’s 160 state parks, today launched the redesigned site packed with vacation planning resources, lodging information, deals and discounts, striking photos and park descriptions, special events and activities guide, a media room, the opportunity to purchase annual park passes and passports, and many more features - all in one easy to navigate format.

The timing of the Web site redesign launch coincides with the 75th Anniversary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Florida State Parks in 2010. The Web site was created internally using existing staff and resources, saving the state more than $200,000.

“With the growing presence of the Web and technology in our daily lives, it is important that we offer exceptional customer service, not just in our parks, but online as well,” said DEP Secretary Michael W. Sole. “The redesigned Web site is a phenomenal resource for both frequent park visitors and first time Florida vacationers, as it provides the tools needed to plan a cost-efficient trip and presents a gateway to the natural, cultural and historic gems that exist in Florida’s state parks.”

One of the Web site’s new features is a section dedicated to ‘deals and discounts.’ Florida’s state parks are proud to boast a value that can’t be beat, at a price that fits most any budget. Now visitors can also learn about special deals and discounts through both the redesigned Web site and Twitter.

Examples of current promotions include:
• Go Play Weekday Discount – visitors pay 75¢ admission Monday through Thursday at featured state parks.
• Travel Tuesday – One state park will offer free admission exclusively for @FLStateParks Twitter followers each Tuesday.
& Sweetheart Special – A getaway package including a one-night stay at the Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park Lodge, dinner for two at the Wakulla Ball Room restaurant, a boat tour for two on the Wakulla River, and garden entry for two at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park, all for just $145.

Other Florida State Park Web site highlights include:
• Information about the 75th Anniversary of Florida State Parks.
• A listing of more than 40 activities available and the parks that offer them.
• ‘One Tank Trip’ locator identifies parks within 100 miles of a specific location.
• Resources for becoming a state park volunteer.
• A link to each park’s citizen support organization.
• Opportunities for visitor feedback through the report card and feedback form.
• An online request form for persons with disabilities to receive special accommodations.

“By celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Florida State Parks, we are honoring our past and the evolution that has made the park service what it is today,” said DEP’s Florida Park Service Director Mike Bullock. “By launching a more streamlined, user friendly Web site, we are adapting to the future and offering people from all over the world a glimpse into Florida’s beautiful state parks.”

To view the redesigned Florida State Parks Web site, visit www.floridastateparks.org. To follow Florida State Parks on Twitter, visit www.Twitter.com/FLStateParks

Throughout 2010, DEP’s Florida State Parks will celebrate 75 years of recreation and preservation. Florida State Parks will host special activities and interpretive events from coast to coast, including 25 signature events which highlight individual parks’ histories, as well as the history of the state park system as a whole.

Created in 1935 by the Florida Legislature, Florida State Parks has grown from eight to 160 parks over the last 75 years. Today, the Florida Park Service manages more than 700,000 acres of Florida’s natural environment, including 100 miles of beaches, eight National Historic Landmarks and 39 sites on the National Register of Historic Places. Florida State Parks has been recognized by the National Recreation and Park Association as the nation’s first and only two-time Gold Medal winner for the nation’s best park service.

To learn more about 75th Anniversary events, and the history of Florida State Parks, visit www.floridastateparks.org/history

Florida State Parks Web site

"With the growing presence of the Web and technology in our daily lives, it is important that we offer exceptional customer service, not just in our parks, but online as well."

Michael W. Sole
DEP Secretary

10–021

Last updated: February 10, 2010

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