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Press Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 16, 2010
CONTACT: Kristin Lock, (850) 245-2112 or (850) 778-7294 (cell)
  Marguerite Jordan, (850) 245-3029 or (850) 251-7282 (cell)


State Parks Celebrate Earth Month with Special Events throughout Florida

~Events promote environmental stewardship and education in Florida’s natural environment~

TALLAHASSEE – Celebrating Earth Month throughout April, the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Florida State Parks are encouraging Floridians to participate in events highlighting conservation and environmental protection.

“Celebrating Earth Month throughout April at one of Florida’s award winning state parks helps individuals learn how they can make a personal commitment to become an environmental steward,” said Florida State Park Director Mike Bullock. “With 160 parks statewide, we encourage all Floridians to participate in an outdoor activity at a local park and learn simple ways to conserve and preserve our natural resources now and for future generations.”

Earth Month events include:

Northwest Florida

April 17, 10:00 a.m.
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

2nd Annual Earth day Celebration
Kicking off the Earth Day event, a 5K run and walk race will take place at 8:00 a.m. The event will include music, food, and educational games and activities for children. There will also be local artists on hand who will be displaying their work.

April 17, 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Henderson Beach State Park

The Earth Day Beach Cleanup
Part of a state wide effort to remove litter from our communities and beaches, the event is sponsored by the Tourist Development Council and organized by the Okaloosa Environmental Council. T-shirts, sodas and snacks will be available to volunteers at no cost while supplies last. Participants may choose to wear closed shoes, gloves, a hat and sunscreen. For more information, please contact Nancy Hussong with the Tourist Development Council at (850) 651-7131.

April 24, 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park

Earth Day Coastal Cleanup
This will be a family friendly event and participants will help clean up the bayside of St. George Island State Park. Participants may wish to bring drinking water, sunscreen, bug spray, gloves and appropriate clothing. Hot dogs and sodas will be provided at no cost to all participants at the end of the cleanup.

April 24, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Florida Caverns State Park

Earth Day Celebration
Expand your appreciation for the beauty found within the Florida Caverns State Park. Participants will enjoy guided nature walks, reptile and amphibian interpretations, and a tree planting ceremony.

Northeast Florida

April 18, 10:00 a.m.
Crystal River Preserve State Park

Earth Day Celebration
The event will include live music, kid’s crafts/games, demonstrations, food and boat rides.

Central Florida

April 17, 10:00 a.m.
Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

21st Annual Earth Day Celebration
Event to include arts and crafts vendors, living history demonstrations, environmental and cultural booths, live entertainment, nature programs, live animals, games of chance, and a large children’s environmental activity center. A variety of food and drink will be sold by vendors and local organizations.

April 22, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Wekiwa Springs State Park

Earth Day Cleanup
Volunteers will help remove trash and exotic species from the natural areas of the park to celebrate Earth Day.

Southwest Florida

April 17, 10:00 a.m. and April 19, 10:00 a.m.
Honeymoon Island State Park

Island Earth Days
The event will include live music and entertainment, a Hawaiian outrigger race, a shark bite challenge kayak race, a bungee jumping and rock wall, fresh seafood, and a variety of other food and beverages, fine artists and quality crafts, and local environmental vendors. Participants will also be able to experience guided walks in the woods and on the beach.

April 17, 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon
Highlands Hammock State Park

Earth Day at the Hammock
Come help staff and volunteers remove exotic plants from native habitats. Please bring work gloves and wear closed-toed shoes, long pants and a hat. Bug spray and drinking water are also suggested. At 7:00 p.m. there will be a concert featuring the popular California Toe Jam Band’s Oldies and Rock n Roll. It is suggested to bring a lawn chair and flashlight.

April 18, 10:00 a.m.
Oscar Scherer State Park

21st Annual Earth Day
Event will include environmental booths, kids coloring contest, kayak and fishing demo, native plant sales, storytelling, live music, guided walks, tram rides, food and more.

April 24, 10:00 a.m.
Koreshan State Historic Site

Earth Day
Event will include environmental vendors and exhibitors, live music and food and beverages.

Southeast Florida

April 17, 9:00 a.m.
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

Earth Day Celebration
Event will include something for everyone with earth-friendly vendors, face painting for the kids, a community ecological mural, Native American storytelling, guided nature walks, and special presentations on responsible pet ownership and sea turtle conservation. There will also be a shorebird release by the Wildlife Care Center.

April 18, 11:00 a.m.
The Barnacle Historic State Park

Earth Day Celebration
Festivities will include displays from earth-friendly businesses and organizations, crafts for kids, games, and live music by Coconut Grove singer/songwriter Grant Livingston. Please bring a picnic lunch or food and drink will be available for purchase from the concessions. Coolers, chairs, and blankets welcome.

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.

For more information on Florida’s state parks, visit www.floridastateparks.org.

earth

"Celebrating Earth Month throughout April at one of Florida’s award winning state parks helps individuals learn how they can make a personal commitment to become an environmental steward."

Mike Bullock
Florida State Park Director

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Last updated: April 23, 2010

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