TALLAHASSEE ? Recognizing National Military Appreciation Month, the Florida Department of Environmental (DEP) Protection?s Florida Park Service will offer free day-use entry to state park visitors on Sunday, May 16, 2010.
?We are pleased to provide this special offer for families as they celebrate the men and women whose selfless courage protects our country and it?s natural and cultural resources,? said DEP?s Florida Park Service Director Mike Bullock. ?History, culture, recreation, archeology and relaxation are some of the highlights to be enjoyed at Florida?s 160 state parks.?
Florida State Parks support veterans and members of the United States Armed Forces year-round through a variety of initiatives, including flying the POW-MIA flag. Florida State Parks also works closely with Operation Purple?, a camp program for children of military parents and other regional veterans groups, ROTC programs and military affiliated organizations.
The only authorized replica of the Three Servicemen statue at the Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. is located at the Orman House Historic State Park in Franklin County. Veterans, military families and others visit the site year-round. DEP worked with the City of Apalachicola and Three Servicemen Statue South, Inc. who constructed the Veterans Memorial Plaza and erected the statue, dedicating the Three Servicemen, Detail statue on August 1, 2008.
The Florida Park Service would like to remind the public that all of Florida?s 160 state parks are open for business and ready for enjoyment, including the 24 state park beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. Free entry to Florida?s state parks is valid during regular park hours, 8:00 a.m. to sunset, on Sunday, May 16, 2010 only and excludes Skyway Fishing Pier State Park.
Created in 1935 by the Florida Legislature, the Florida State Park system has grown from eight to 160 parks in 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.
"We are pleased to provide this special offer for families as they celebrate the men and women whose selfless courage protects our country and it?s natural and cultural resources."
Last updated: May 12, 2010