TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP)
Florida State Parks will offer free day-use entry to all state park visitors on
Thursday, November 11, 2010 in recognition of Veterans Day and in celebration of
the 75th Anniversary of Florida State Parks.
“It is a great privilege for Florida State Parks to honor the American
service members who have courageously dedicated their lives to serve and protect
our country by offering free admission to all state parks on Veterans Day,” said
Florida Park Service Director Donald Forgione. “We hope that all of Florida’s
citizens and visitors will take advantage of this day to experience the state’s
natural and cultural gems while honoring our dedicated service men and women.”
Florida State Parks recently increased benefits for veterans and active-duty
service members. Honorably discharged veterans, active-duty service and reserve
members now receive a 25 percent discount on the purchase of a Florida State
Parks Annual Entrance Pass. The discount provides a savings of $15 on an
individual annual pass and $30 on a family annual pass, which allows up to eight
people in a group to access most of Florida’s 160 state parks. In addition,
honorably discharged veterans who have service connected disabilities and
surviving spouses of military veterans who have fallen in combat, can receive a
lifetime family annual entrance pass at no charge.
“The Department of Environmental Protection has a proud history of honoring
Florida’s more than 1.6 million veterans and their families,” said Bob Milligan,
interim executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs. “I
encourage all Floridians and visitors to the Sunshine State to take advantage of
our outstanding Florida State Parks.”
Florida State Parks proudly flies the POW-MIA flag at all 160 parks and
supports veterans and members of the U.S. Armed Forces year-round through a
variety of initiatives. Florida State Parks works closely with Operation
Purple®, a camp program for children of military parents and other regional
veterans groups, ROTC programs and military affiliated organizations.
Active-duty members of the Florida National Guard, their spouses and minor
children also receive half-price entry to Florida’s state parks year-round.
All other use fees, such as overnight accommodations, tours or special
events, will be charged as usual on November 11, 2010. Skyway Fishing Pier State
Park in St. Petersburg is not included in this special offer.
About Florida State Parks
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. For more information about Florida’s state parks,