Audubon Florida News

Department of Environmental Protection Proposes to Close 53 State Parks

posted on January 27, 2011 in FL Special Places,Land Conservation

Florida Park ServiceIn what has become an annual exercise, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) along with other agencies, yesterday presented to the Legislature reductions they would make if ordered to reduce their budgets by 15%. In a year when the state faces a nearly $4B shortfall, this is likely to be more than just an exercise; and with the high proportion of freshman members, there is less familiarity than past years with the importance of Florida’s environmental programs.

Part of DEP’s proposal last year, which was not adopted, was to close some parks to public access to result in expense savings. This year, this proposal includes an unprecedented 53 state parks which garner the least attendance and do not have camping, despite being economic engines in some of Florida’s smallest and most rural communities.

Additionally, three parks—Egmont Key, Three Rivers and Forest Capital—are proposed to be returned to their primary owners, whether or not those owners have the capacity to manage them for conservation and public access.

Egmont Key State Park Courtesy of Florida Park ServiceWednesday in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Committee, members seemed concerned but not willing to simply remove these cuts from the table. One suggested these lands should be sold to put them back on county tax rolls. Another suggested enlisting cash-strapped local governments to manage them. A third suggested closing them “except on weekends.”

The list of proposed park closures is below. Are these some of the places you would consider among Florida’s Special Places? Tell us why these sites are important to you, and share that with your legislators too. The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and Senate General Government Appropriations Committee will be the first to consider which cuts they will accept.

Of course, more reductions were proposed in DEP as well as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee and other important conservation programs. Be sure you are subscribed to Audubon’s Advocate e-newsletter to receive our thorough summary at the end of this and each committee week, through the State Legislative Session.

    The 53 Florida State Parks

  • Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park, Haines City
  • Atlantic Ridge Preserve State Park, Stuart
  • Big Shoals State Park, White Springs
  • Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park, Flagler Beach
  • Camp Helen State Park, Panama City Beach
  • Cedar Key State Museum State Park, Cedar Key
  • Colt Creek State Park, Lakeland
  • Constitution Convention Museum State Park, Port St. Joe
  • Crystal River Archaeological State Park, Crystal River
  • Dade Battlefield Historic State Park, Bushnell
  • Dagny Johsnon Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park, Key Largo
  • Deer Lake State Park, Santa Rosa Beach
  • Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park, Gainesville
  • Don Pedro Island State Park, Boca Granda
  • Dudley Farm Historic State Park, Newberry
  • Dunn’s Creek State Park, Pomona
  • Estero Bay Preserve State Park, Estero
  • Fort Cooper State Park, Inverness
  • Fort George Island Cultural State Park, Jacksonville
  • Fort Mose Historic State Park, St. Augustine
  • John Gorrie Museum State Park, Apalachicola
  • Judah P. Benjamin Confederate Memorial at Gamble Plantation Historic State Park, Ellenton
  • Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park, Tallahassee
  • Lake June-in-Winter Scrub State Park, Sebring
  • Lake Talquin State Park, Tallahassee
  • Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park, Tallahassee
  • Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park, Islamorada
  • Madison Blue Spring State Park, Lee
  • Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park, Cross Creek
  • Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park, Woodville
  • Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park, Olustee
  • Orman House Historic State Park, Apalachicola
  • Paynes Creek Historic State Park, Bowling Green
  • Peacock Springs State Park, Luraville
  • Perdido Key State Park, Pensacola
  • Ponce de Leon Springs State Park, Ponce de Leon
  • Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park, Jacksonville
  • Rock Springs Run State Reserve, Sorrento
  • San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park, Alachua
  • San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park, St. Marks
  • Savannas Preserve State Park, Jensen Beach
  • St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park, Stuart
  • St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere
  • Suwannee River Wilderness Trail/Nature and Heritage Tourism Center, White Springs
  • Terra Ceia Preserve State Park, Palmetto
  • The Barnacle Historic State Park, Coconut Grove
  • Troy Spring State Park, Branford
  • Wacasassa Bay Preserve State Park, Cedar Key
  • Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, Palm Coast
  • Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park, Port Richey
  • Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park, Islamorada
  • Ybor City Museum State Park, Tampa
  • Yellow River Marsh Preserve State Park, Holt

172 Comments

  1. This has got to be an episode from The Twilight Zone, right? These parks are of greatest value to Floridians! We must not allow the closings of these beautiful wild places.
    Many of these parks are attended by persons and families with annual passes, such as The Devil’s Millhopper in Gainesville, where the steps and trail draw the health conscious as well as public school students on field trips learning about Florida natural history. Are these revenues included in the assessment? Perhaps not.
    Our family has enjoyed at least a dozen of these parks on the list for closing. Three Rivers has lovely camping sites on the river including a wonderful cabin we enjoyed during Christmas break of 2009. We rented canoes and viewed more wildlife in those couple days than we could ever have imagined.
    It is incomprehensible that sites like the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Cross Creek residence, Olustee Battlefield, and Dudley Farm are included. The historical and educational value to our children, Florida residents, and visitors is priceless. So to is the value of the natural sites like San Felasco and the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail that draw so many.
    The Treasure Coast’s jewels, like the St. Lucie Inlet, Savannas, and Atlantic Ridge are habitat to countless birds and native species that are recovering from direct hits from the hurricanes of 2004.
    Any park located anywhere near the gulf, such as Cedar Key, should get monetary help from the BP settlements! Because there is a reduction in revenues since the gulf oil disaster, Florida parks should get compensated, regardless where they are located in the state. Tourism has suffered and our citizens should not lose their local natural havens from corporate negligence.

    Comment by Lizzie Wood — January 27, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

  2. I thought Rep. Bembry made some excellent comments late in the committee discussion yesterday– he reminded folks that we don’t have state parks to make a profit, we have them to provide a service to all Floridians.

    Comment by Julie Wraithmell — January 27, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

  3. Last year, the State abruptly decided that scuba divers were not allowed to dive using the $60 annual pass.

    A huge grassroots movement flooded the State with petitions to reconsider.

    Some leaders actually gave many of us phone calls to discuss the matter with us.

    Then, they decided that the diving fee was misinterpreted, and dropped it altogether, lowering revenues to the daily entry fee, often $3-$5 per CAR.

    This, even after all the divers wanted was for diving to remain at the $15/day or $60/year rate. I do not believe any of us asked for the fee to be reduced, merely for the annual pass to include diving. Instead, the State had to give up revenues of approximately $11 for the first in a car, and $15 for every person after that, for people who do not have an annual pass.

    For the State to now inform us they are thinking about closing parks due to lack of funds, after ignoring our request that fees NOT be LOWERED, is simply incomprehensible.

    This is especially hard to believe considering how little some of these parks could cost to run. Several on the list, such as Madison Blue and Peacock, can be run with an “iron ranger” that has a low hourly wage: $0. A ranger can swing by once or twice a week to check up on things, or the CSO can appoint officers to do the same. These sites require almost nothing in the way of facilities, and could cost the state almost nothing to run, if need be, and apparently, the need is being!

    Comment by Michael G — January 27, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

  4. I truly believe the only way to begin to build jobs and save the economy from complete and utter collapse, is to consider the old CCC. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilian_Conservation_Corps
    It was truly a life saver when first introduced, so many years ago, and could be again. The only was to save this great nation, is to preserve it’s natural resources.

    Comment by dawn schreiner — January 27, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

  5. I believe the state should revise the fee schedule and raise the fees instead of lowering to retain the revenue. I as a diver who has had a year pass would rather pay more to be able to use the parks and keep them open. To lower the fees and then want to close the parks due to lack of revenue is ignorant.

    Comment by W. Creel — January 27, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

  6. This is very sad! The quality of life will be significantly diminished for those who live in Fla as well as for those who visit.

    Comment by Theresa Sheil — January 27, 2011 @ 4:57 pm

  7. am appalled but not surprised.the people that were sent to tallahassee by the voters of this state have no true love for the beauty that has been set aside for all.very disappointed.But then look what was elected and there is your answer.

    Comment by rebecca howell — January 27, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

  8. This is sad, should not the personnel be reduced to volunteers and the Iron rangers be installed? Or perhaps the groups that have problems with port-o-potties allow the rest of us who don’t care(as at Cherokee sink in Wakulla)to use the property without any improvements?

    Comment by Nick L. — January 27, 2011 @ 8:04 pm

  9. I do not understand why San Felasco State Park is on this list. The Park is already being run by “Iron Rangers” and the north side gets maintenance help from the plethora of mountain bikers who use the trail every day. It is truly scary to think what would happen to this preserve if the state did decide to sell it. Example: Alachua County Commission selling themselves out to allow an ecological monstrosity, Florida Rock Cement Plant.

    Comment by Carmen M — January 27, 2011 @ 8:47 pm

  10. Find your state legislators (you’ll need your zip+4) at: http://www.flsenate.gov/Legislators/index.cfm?Mode=Find%20Your%20Legislator&Submenu=3&Tab=legislators

    Comment by Dave Kandz — January 28, 2011 @ 4:18 am

  11. […] Department of Environmental Protection Proposes to Close 53 State Parks […]

    Pingback by 정부부처의 주립 공원 폐쇄 제안(DEP proposes to closure 53 State Park) | dive.re — January 28, 2011 @ 4:46 am

  12. I’d like to know which idiot said, “Just open them on weekends.” There are a lot of people who work weekends, and what about those people who take trips during the week who might want to visit the parks?? C’mon people!! As a diver, I hate to see this happening. Some of the great freshwater diving spots are in these parks.

    Comment by Norine Blanton — January 28, 2011 @ 4:50 am

  13. We need all of our State Parks–reduce the gov’s salary, and make all of the congressmen and senators pay for health insurance and find other great ways to reduce the budget–don’t mess with the State Parks!!!

    Comment by Lee Kelly — January 28, 2011 @ 7:03 am

  14. Closing even just one of these 53 state parks is a ludicrous idea. There must certainly be other options available to utilize where zero parks need to be closed.

    I for one would understand the necessity to raise fees by a set percentage or have taxes raised slightly in order to accomplish this goal. I’m sure a penny tax might help immensely. I don’t think any of the citizenry would mind this slight tax increase if it would mean the parks would be able to remain open and staffed properly.

    I really hope this freshman state government will quickly realize the important role the state parks play in the lives of Florida’s citizens and our tourist-based economy. People need wilderness areas to rejuvenate their spirit and re-connect with the land, especially when our sprawling urban and suburban development pries us farther and farther away from our natural environment.

    Comment by adam zions — January 28, 2011 @ 7:27 am

  15. This CANNOT happen!!!!i live in Deltona Florida, near several of these parks. Let me know if there is anything that I can do to help prevent this from occurring! :(

    Comment by jessica Winthrop — January 28, 2011 @ 8:05 am

  16. Just look at the list of our wonderful state parks. They all add so much to the rich natural and cultural history of our state. I am sure that there are plenty of other budgets that can be trimmed to keep our parks open. Please write your legislator!! Don’t let them close our Florida parks.

    Comment by Christa W. — January 28, 2011 @ 8:21 am

  17. I think it’s a shame that the state is looking at what they can take away from us and not looking at ways to “trim the fat.” But that does seem to be the way the government works.

    Comment by Marty Senetra — January 28, 2011 @ 8:28 am

  18. There’s a simple solution. Sell the Tallahassee Taj Mahal. The proceeds from that should fund parks expenses for the next 20 years.

    Comment by Kathleen Finnerty — January 28, 2011 @ 8:39 am

  19. I am not surprised by the plan to close these parks. The natural beauty of these parks is quite the lure for developers. Never mind that Florida has a surplus of developments and empty housing. These parks provide areas for residents to see real Florida and Florida wildlife and get a sense of history that theme parks can’t provide. These theme parks are unaffordable to many families. Our state parks provide unmatched relaxation and recreation. raise fees if necessary but don’t close them.

    Comment by Paul Pasternak — January 28, 2011 @ 8:41 am

  20. This is truely truely sad. It breaks my heart to think we will lose all these parks. There is not enough natural FL as it is. What will become of these lands??

    Comment by Patsy LaFrance — January 28, 2011 @ 8:45 am

  21. How much does the state stand to save from closing these parks? How many acres do these parks preserve? I can’t imagine that the savings would make a dent in our deficit.

    I have always been proud of our wonderful state park system, and Hillsborough County’s Environmental Land Acquisition Program. So, I am most concerned about the parks they plan to return to the original owners, or someone’s proposal to sell the lands. Then they would be lost forever. I cannot believe that after all we know about the benefits of natural spaces to man and nature, and the harm we have already done by over developing our lands, that anyone is so ignorant as to propose we reverse our efforts to preserve these places for us and future generations.

    My personal finances have been hurt badly by the poor economy, but I have continued to renew my yearly State Park pass, as I have for nearly 10 years. I think the park system owes it to me, and the many other citizens who support the parks to preserve and continue to allow access to the parks.

    One point made was to close the parks that do not have camping. I know most of the parks that do have camping are very busy (making reservations is a challenge now) and this does provide some revenue for their operating costs. Instead, then, why not develop more revenue opportunities. What happened to all the cabins the state parks were going to build? Our parks are heavily visited by state, out-of-state, and foreign visitors, invest in improving access to our state parks and you will be investing in increasing our state revenue, not decreasing it.

    Comment by Donna Bollenbach — January 28, 2011 @ 8:45 am

  22. This is too many parks, cant you use floridas inmates to take of these places or some other cost effective means….how about the juvenile detention facilities something…this is truely a sad thing to read.

    Comment by Theresa Algren — January 28, 2011 @ 9:02 am

  23. Let’s analyze the closing of State Parks: Parks create a tremendous economic impact to the state and our local communities, Parks are prime destination locations for out of state and in state visitors which equates to dollars for the states economy, Parks do not receive a penny of general tax revenue (yes this is true) they are funded via the State Park and land acquisition Trust Funds. The money they collect does go back into the States General Fund though. The Florida State Park System is already staffed with 40% volunteers. The leadership of the Park Service understands how to do more with less and have applied that over the years by creating a top notch volunteer program. The number of Parks has grown by 17% over the last 10 years and for the same period the Parks have 5% less paid employees. Parks have already done their part in cutting to the bare bones and have found a way to still survive. Let them be a model for other agencies to do the same. Keep our parks open as an example for other agencies to follow and to send the message that our state is open for business. Closing any State Park would send the wrong message if we really want to promote tourism. Oh, and by the way, when visitation at other major tourist destinations has fallen off drastically in the last few years, State Parks have seen record visitation numbers. Where else can you go to spend a full day with the family and enjoy Florida at it’s finest for a whopping 5 dollar bill. Let’s think this one out before doing something foolish. Keep Florida open for business starting with keeping the gates open to our State Parks.

    Comment by Ray C. — January 28, 2011 @ 11:16 am

  24. No way! These parks are where we can see what Florida really used to be before the wonderful world of fake-animals and trees took over the central part of our state and people flocked to see artificial sights instead of the real thing. Please DO NOT CLOSE OUR PARKS. ALL THAT WILL BE LEFT WILL BE CONCRETE AND PLASTIC AND STEEL. THAT IS NOT WHAT MADE FLORIDA BEAUTIFUL.

    Comment by Pamela M. Steiner — January 28, 2011 @ 11:38 am

  25. State Park fees should be raised and not lowered. A few dollars increase in fees is not going to hurt those of us who enjoy the beauty of state parks. There are 3 on this list that I have been going to for 30+ years on a regular basis! Please do what is necessary to keep these state parks, not close them!!!

    Comment by A. June Vickers — January 28, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

  26. Thanks everyone for your spirited comments! You can help Audubon of Florida protect these parks by speaking up for them! Head over to the Florida’s Special Places Facebook Page and tell us about your experiences at a Florida State Park. Let’s see if we can get testimony for each of the 53 threatened parks! If you don’t have Facebook, you can email us at FLConservation@audubon.org.

    Comment by Jonathan Webber — January 28, 2011 @ 12:53 pm

  27. This is outrageous! Close Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings State Park, the Milhopper,Washington Oaks, Olulustee, Sanfelasco Hammock and so many other wonderful places of refuge where we can go to relax with nature, learn and teach our children history and ecology What are we thinking here? They are taking away things many of us have enjoyed since we were kids. REally, closing 53 state parks. Does that mean they won’t be manned or completely closed to the public? How can this happen without public outrage from Floridians and visitors alike.

    Comment by Jackie Host — January 28, 2011 @ 1:42 pm

  28. My wife and I are “snowbirds” with a condo in Collier County. I have visited many of the state parks, including some on the list. The value of our time spent in Florida would certainly be diminished by these park closures. I would gladly pay a fee or a higher fee to visit the state parks.

    Comment by Robert Petersen — January 28, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

  29. It looks like just about all our historical and archaeological parks are on the hit list. It is killing our wonderful history. Most of these parks are already under very limited funding and minimal staff. Some are not staffed at all, and it doesn’t make sense to close them when they already have an iron ranger or donation box–at least they would still bring in money. This plan seems like it is being rammed through, regardless of the objection by the local Floridians.

    Comment by Chris K. — January 28, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

  30. Govt owns too much land as it is.

    Comment by Golden Pyr — January 28, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

  31. Our state parks are a really big tourist destination. Natural Florida draws the eco-tourists that we need here. Folks who leave nothing but their footprints and money. We don’t need more of the rampant out of control development that put us in this economic downward spiral in the first place. Unfortunately, I’m betting the closing of the parks is simply the first step to turning them into large residential developments to benefit private and mostly out of state developers. It is a no-brainer: if they are turned back to their private ownership they will be sold to developers. If they are turned back to local public ownership by muncipalities/counties who can’t afford to run them, they will be sold to private developers. If you don’t learn the lessons of history you are doomed to repeat it. So here we go again with the start of uncontrolled rampant development to make our economy even worse. Contact your Legislator and demand the state keep their public lands and parks intact and open.

    Comment by Allegra Kitchens — January 28, 2011 @ 2:14 pm

  32. I believe that this whole idea of closing parks, is so that the developers is that will have more land to get thier greedy hands on. Will they not stop untill every patch of grass is covered in concrete.
    There are more areas to cut back on spending than just closing the parks. Our parks should stay because there is almost nowhere you can go that have any bit of nature left that the public has access to.

    Comment by Charles — January 28, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

  33. This is an outrage. Is there anything left that is holy and sacred and untouchable? Fine, raise my taxes to support these unique treasures. The penny-pinching mood now is not going to solve the overall problem. What ever it takes, keep these parks open for the world to enjoy, as it should.

    Comment by Clyde Stephens — January 28, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

  34. It makes no sense to do this, however it doesn’t look like the powers at hand did any due diligence since some parks aren’t even open, case in point “DUNNS CREEK”. Another off the hand idea that will only hurt our State and it’s citizens. Hopefully Gov. Scott will put a quick stop to the madness.

    Comment by Denise Sistarelli — January 28, 2011 @ 5:43 pm

  35. I was commenting to my hubby last time that we were at San Felesco how I bet the developers would just love to get their hands on this beautiful park and ruin it..and now it will probably happen. Maybe there is more to this shut down than meets the eye?

    Comment by Marge — January 28, 2011 @ 6:20 pm

  36. THE GOVERNMENT OWNS TOO MUCH LAND AS IT IS???? You have got to be kidding me. These lands belong to the PEOPLE of the state of Florida and we share them with our visitors from around the world. Did you know that after Disney and Universal, Florida State Parks are the REASON that people visit Florida! Parks are a great boon to their local economies. Parks do not get any revenue from taxes paid in but are funded mainly through user fees, grants and donations, and a fraction of a per cent of the sale of documentary stamps. It is an outrage that every year or so that we are threatened with the loss of OUR access to OUR lands. Contact your legislators and tell them this is unacceptable and there is no more fat to be cut in our parks. And above all — start visiting your state parks more often. Vote with your feet – every visit counts!

    Comment by Adella — January 28, 2011 @ 6:20 pm

  37. […] State Parks on the cutting block Camp Helen, Deer Lake, and Ponce DeLeon ore on the choppoing block along with 50 other State Parks. Florida DEP Proposes to Close 53 State Parks | Audubon of Florida News […]

    Pingback by State Parks on the cutting block - SoWal Beaches Forum — January 28, 2011 @ 7:15 pm

  38. When people are willing to pay 7 cents on the dollar to build a sports stadium, but unwilling to pay a small increase (across the board) in usage fees or tax…well let’s just say priorities are out of order. But, I don’t believe that is the case with those that utilize these wonderful parks.

    Several of the parks raised equine trail fees, then after much complaint, lowered them again. Horse enthusiasts didn’t mind paying the increase as much as we minded being singled out. I think all disciplines would be willing to pay slightly higher fees, don’t you?

    Comment by Deanna Long — January 28, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

  39. These are certainly tough times. Our state parks depict our history and protect our environment and to close any of them deprives both residents and tourists of our birthright. Plus, they bring in revenue, and so do our non-motorized trails. The Office of Greenways and Trails will also be gutted by these budget proposals if they pass.

    Comment by Doug — January 28, 2011 @ 7:32 pm

  40. How about Audubon of Florida initiate a petition drive throught their website? That should generate much more responses in addition to contacting our representatives.
    Also cuts down the legislature’s ability to say they were acting because of voter’s demands for budget reduction.

    Comment by Bill Calhoun — January 28, 2011 @ 7:33 pm

  41. I believe that state ownership is contingent upon public access. If you propose, as a public body, to own a public resource, then allow us as the public to access it. Charge us a reasonable fee, but deny us not total access. If you use our funds to ostensibly protect our access, then you cannnot deny our access to the resource we have duly paid for. We are the people, the ostensibly protected ones. Deny us not that which we have collectively paid for.

    Comment by john brown — January 28, 2011 @ 9:03 pm

  42. but the State can spend millions of dollars a year to lock people up for pointless crimes… like for example smoking weed.

    Our govt, top to bottom, has lost any and all touch with reality.

    RIP USA… 2011 Collapse is coming.. so sad.

    Comment by Brett — January 29, 2011 @ 12:01 am

  43. Close the damn parks. Nobody goes to them. It cost $5 or more to get in any state park and they are losing money.
    Why? Because people will not pay to look at trees, get eaten by bugs and have to poop in the woods.

    Comment by Corneo — January 29, 2011 @ 2:58 am

  44. […] Find the full list of parks here. […]

    Pingback by With state park closures, Florida poised to abandon its heritage | Abel Harding — January 29, 2011 @ 5:30 am

  45. How many jobs will be lost with the closing of state parks. Doesn’t our new Governor want to CREATE NEW jobs. How about keeping not deleting existing jobs. DUH.

    Comment by Ginge Ketcham — January 29, 2011 @ 7:19 am

  46. I am a horseback rider and use a great many of these parks.Even the ones that don’t have trails like Madison Blue Springs are a place to go close to our camping areas that we can find a place to cool down and enjoy the water.

    What about the poorer folks in these areas that no other place to go and enjoy.

    We share these trails with bikes and walkers, why would they take this away-or threaten to take away every other year.
    My friends and i have never minded paying the extra fees that the state had equestrians pay up till last year.Then they dropped the fees and we still pay what others pay to enter the parks.
    We help to maintain these areas on specific work days and most of the parks have very little ranger presence.
    So what are they really saying here? they want the land to develop?
    Once again we will go head to head as we always do and make a stand against this stupidity.

    Comment by Cathy dennison — January 29, 2011 @ 7:38 am

  47. WOW! We are so impressed with all the sincere comments on this blog! Our parks are that important to Florida. How you can help keep the people’s parks open:

    Head over to the Florida’s Special Places Facebook Page and tell us how these parks are important to you, personally! We need you to speak up on behalf of your parks – let’s see if we can get support for each one.

    Don’t have a Facebook Account? No problem! Email your Special Places nominee to FLConservation@Audubon.org. Tell us how each of these threatened parks is important to you and your community. Florida’s public lands need your voice!

    Contact your legislators and ask them to stand up for our State Parks.

    Forward our latest email to your friends, family and co-workers so they can stay up-to-date with the threat to our State Parks.

    Comment by Jonathan Webber — January 29, 2011 @ 8:12 am

  48. must not allow the closings of these beautiful beaches and spring florida is knowen for our springs and beaches no matter where they our located.
    Many of these parks are attended by persons and families and scuba divers like me its hard anuff to fing good dive spots that our not in salt water…. save our springs……………..

    Comment by derick wilson — January 29, 2011 @ 8:40 am

  49. I agree with idea of petition drive. they move like wildfire on face book.

    Comment by joan mckniff — January 29, 2011 @ 9:10 am

  50. Many of these state parks have local “friends of” organizations. Why not at least bequeath the jepordized parks to them to operate on a volunteer basis?

    Comment by Greg — January 29, 2011 @ 10:31 am

  51. Today’s children, with their structured and busy lives, are increasingly disconnected from the natural world. Roaming and wandering is not as easy as it once was. We need to encourage and provide experiences where children can learn to appreciate nature for their own good health as well as for the health of our planet. Closing State parks — the only places where many families are able to experience wild Florida — is simply wrong and short-sighted. As an educator, I sincerely hope legislators will see the folly in this. Sometimes value lies beyond the bottom line.

    Comment by Sandy Beck — January 29, 2011 @ 11:28 am

  52. Why are they offering deals and discounts on the state parks web page if things are bleak enough to warrant closing close to 1/3 of all parks?! We the people don’t want deals and discounts at the expense of losing 1/3 of OUR REAL FLORIDA!! In looking at this proposed closure list — about HALF are historic sites. Our heritage is at stake. It’s OURS – don’t give it away, don’t close it. Every park is a hard-won treasure and means something to every community. Florida Parks are worth saving — ALL of them. Let your legislator know that this proposal for closure is unacceptable and we won’t stand for it! Parks are our connection to nature and tranquility. Not all of us want to pay $82 for a single adult ticket to see plastic alligators at Disney — we’d rather pay $5 – $10 PER CAR LOAD — honestly we could stand to pay MORE to get in to see all the wondrous things OUR REAL FLORIDA has to offer. Do the math and make it work, Mr. Governor and Legislature. You ran on getting Florida back to work. Our parks haven’t stopped and don’t need you standing in their way. Fund the parks, keep them open and move on to the next solution.

    Comment by Anabelle — January 29, 2011 @ 1:40 pm

  53. My family lives in north Florida and we use the parks in our area as often as two to three times a month. We visit them more often in the summer months when our son is not in school. As parents, we would much rather our child be out-of-doors learning to appreciate our environment, seeing the wildlife, kayaking, horseback riding, and bicycling and spending time with his parents outside than sitting cooped up in our home watching television or playing video games for hours at a time. We feel heartbroken that parks we feel are important parts of our life might be taken from us and from other people that love the parks, too. We have made wonderful friends on our journeys from park to park. Some we have stayed in touch with after we left the park premise and others we rub shoulders with, share memories with, and carry in our hearts. We pray that the parks remain open.

    Comment by The Ware House — January 29, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

  54. Please become a FAN of this Facebook page and spread the word. We are not taking this lying down. Let’s get VIRAL and stop the Florida legislators from even dreaming of denying us access to OUR Parks. I am all over this! Help!!!

    Email everyone on your contact list to become fan of this page, and we will save our parks!!!

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Florida-State-Parks/196556007022136?v=wall

    Comment by John Morrison — January 29, 2011 @ 1:49 pm

  55. These parks represent what the real Florida use to be. Cuts, start in Tallahasee, with all those managerial jobs earning over $100,000 a year.

    Comment by Theone Wilkenson — January 29, 2011 @ 1:49 pm

  56. San Felasco used to cost 2 bucks a visit. Now it’s 4 bucks. No wonder attendance is down. what exactly do they do to preserve it anyway? besides collect the fees?

    Comment by frank — January 29, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

  57. Something must be done to save these parks. Fl. is losing our wild life as it is due to population. We need these parks to have any of natural Fl left. Ponce DeLeon is packed with people. It is a grat plae for family. I can not believe that this will close. This is a sad day for Fl if our parks close. Families can go to the parks and enjoy nature in many ways and also learn history

    Comment by sylva Parrillo — January 29, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

  58. They’re NOT proposing that these parks be closed because visitation is down…20 MILLION people visited Florida State Parks last year. These parks are being offered up for closure to meet the 15% cuts requested by the governor/legislature. RE-READ the article. “This year, this proposal includes an unprecedented 53 state parks which garner the least attendance and do not have camping, despite being economic engines in some of Florida’s smallest and most rural communities.”
    They looked at a the attendance figures and picked a spot and said any park with attendance less than X goes on the chopping block. Not every park can be Myakka, St. Andrews, Stephen Foster, Honeymoon Island, Cape Florida, or Pennekamp. But those lesser attended parks without camping are just as important and just as awesome as the big boys.
    What do they do besides collect fees? What don’t they do? Rangers offer educational programs, clean the restrooms, pick up litter, remove exotic plants that are taking over the native habitats, maintain buildings and equipment used, serve as positive role models for youngsters who visit, monitor wildlife, conduct prescribed burns to keep the habitat healthy, host special events of all kinds, and all for very meager salaries – they do this as labor of love. They preserve and protect an endangered resource – natural spaces and historic places.

    Comment by Denny — January 29, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

  59. I am still in shock.
    As a former Chairman of the Advisory Council for Bulow Ruins State Park, I fought to keep state funds intact to preserve those ruins from the ravages of nature, delved into its history, and cheered when the State used some of those funds to construct the small museum on site.
    It now looks as if I must fight once more to preserve a precious part of Flagler County’s heritage. This county isn’t the only one that is targeted. What a disservice to rob Floridians and tourists of the opportunity to enjoy the very things that make Florida what it is. Without a past we can’t move forward.

    Comment by Ann Creal Taylor — January 29, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

  60. In the Planning of my 3rd trip, by boat, down the Suwannee, I became aware of the park closing proposal. In 1997, (first trip and in a row boat) the river was truly “wild” in large sections. Now I stand on the river side in a park and look across the river to see houses build. The parks are the only thing that keeps both sides and the entire legnth from being a housing development. Once gone, always gone. Simply closing these parks is the wrong approach to cutting expenses. There are areas of costs in our state budget where cuts will not cause the permanent damage to our citizenry that the divesting of public lands will bring. I thought our elected officials were supposed to have the long term good of the people in their minds and heart. A sharp cutting knife whould not be used indescriminately, but with intelligence and care.

    Comment by Charles D Rivers — January 30, 2011 @ 4:20 am

  61. Taking away our parks is one step from the big developers taking the land for commercial purposes or larger residential areas. This increases revenue for the state of Florida, but it also destroys the very things Florida is known for, and increases our already burdened natural resources. We are filling in, digging up all the things that keep us green.

    Comment by Irene Patino — January 30, 2011 @ 6:18 am

  62. TODAY MANY FAMILIES CAN ONLY AFFORD A DAY OUT IN STATE PARKS. THE MAJOR THEME PARKS ARE TO EXPENSIVE.FLORIDA STATE PARKS ARE SOME OF THE BEST IN THE COUNTRY.PLEASE THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT CLOSING PARKS. THANK YOU,RALPH

    Comment by RALPH THATCHER — January 30, 2011 @ 7:41 am

  63. This is a nightmare maneuver! I feel like I’m in a bad dream just reading this mess! Write to your Congressmen and Senators send them a clear message that this can not happen and if they allow it to happen, they are on their way out next election!

    Comment by Disturbed — January 30, 2011 @ 8:31 am

  64. Knee-jerk reaction to get you ticked off, or to pay more to visit a park.

    Those in charge at the DEP that decided to close these parks (they won’t) should be fired for not doing what they were told.

    You know you exagerate yout budjet some anyway.

    Most of you can volunteer to help pick up the trash or do other duties until the economy gets better, say November 2012.

    Be sure to thank a Park Ranger for his dedication to his job and Florida Parks when you visit. They certainly don’t do it for the money.

    Comment by Iron Head — January 30, 2011 @ 8:54 am

  65. Closing parks is a very bad Idea! Parks are why people come to Florida. They teach about plant life and history and botany and medicine and lots of other things that keep our state alive.

    All of the parks are nescessary and when left alone will cost triple the amount to bring back to their present state.

    We the voters of the state of Florida deserve better from our government than this kind of treatment.

    Bob Brennan Voter and potential organizer

    Comment by Bob Brennan — January 30, 2011 @ 9:40 am

  66. This is truly terrible news. I’ve lived in Florida almost all of my life, I grew up here. I have to say that its state parks are just about the only thing I hold dear in my heart in regard to Florida, and some of my favorite places are on this list. I can’t imagine living in Gainesville without San Felasco, and as mentioned in others comments above, Devil’s Millhopper is cherished by the community.

    I’m shocked to see so many beautiful and popular parks on this list. It’s understandable that our representatives and administrators have their work cut out for them making difficult decisions to cut programs in response to sharp budget cuts. However, cutting support for most of these parks just doesn’t seem like an effective way to save money.

    Back to the drawing board- this isn’t the solution we’re looking for.

    Comment by Matt Demers — January 30, 2011 @ 11:08 am

  67. National Parks are part of our legacy. They should remain open for the public to enjoy and should be protected for future generations. Please don’t close our national parks, and please do continue to protect them.

    Comment by Pamela Wilkey — January 30, 2011 @ 11:32 am

  68. Why do we not have a volunteer program to staff these parks. I would gladly help out even though I work full time

    Comment by Sharon Baron — January 30, 2011 @ 12:44 pm

  69. I don’t understand why there is not a volunteer program implemented. There are hundreds of us who would be honored to help out. I work full time and would be willing to give a few days each month.

    Comment by Sharon Baron — January 30, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

  70. I find this move to be TOTALLY UNACCEPATBLE!!! Our new govenor needs to get a grip on this, and figure a way that PUBLIC LANDS not become NON PUBLIC!!!! I am sick and tired of hearing about economy woes, when it has become obvious that this situation may have been mis managed for a long time.
    I get the annual park pass every year, and my family knows that this is a resource that is available for us. Our TEENS actually ASK to go to these places. They can take their bikes, we pack a picnic, and off we go.

    WHAT A DISGRACE!!!!! I say PAY CUTS for LEGISLATORS!!!!

    Comment by Terri Webb — January 30, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

  71. […] Proposes to close 53 states parks – including Troy, Peacock and Madison FYI Florida DEP Proposes to Close 53 State Parks | Audubon of Florida News Reply With Quote + Reply to Thread « Devil's Eye […]

    Pingback by Florida Proposes to close 53 states parks - including Troy, Peacock and Madison — January 30, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

  72. The state parks are nature preserves important for wildlife, but are also essential social infrastructure to residents and tourists. Any proposal should consider all the positive impacts these lands provide, and also consider alternative funding. For example, some parks could also serve as retreat sites, wedding venues, etc. Sporting events such as running and bicycle competitions could be charged increased fees as well.

    Comment by Kathleen — January 30, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

  73. State Parks – not national – the crisis is ours.

    Florida State Parks has an extremely successful volunteer program. Every single state park has one. According to their website, “n 2008-2009, more than 6,000 volunteers contributed more than 1.2 MILLION HOURS, making this the largest volunteer program of any state park system in the nation.”

    Many of the parks have Friends organizations who raise money for the parks to augment the State’s funding. There is also a Friends organization for the entire Park Service. GET INVOLVED!!!

    As for weddings and alternative fundings – the parks are already doing that…have you been to http://www.FloridaStateParks.org lately?

    Parks seek donations, parks seek grants, parks have concessions, parks have events. Parks are doing as much as humanly possible and 20 MILLION visitors and the amazing amounts of money these parks bring to their local economies needs to be considered. Not to mention to the degradation and loss if these parks are shuttered. There will be no cost savings!

    Parks are special, parks are OURS!
    Do what’s right and not only protect them, but fund them adequately!

    Comment by Disappointed in Florida — January 30, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

  74. it seems to me the the powers that be, who removed these places, are not familiar with ANY OF FLORIDAS PAST nor are they interested in the future of the real Florida. I was born in Fla. will die in Fla. and only hope and pray that someone with the power that be will step forward and try and save some of our history and let the future children of our state see some of the beauty. I DON’T SEE THE OTHER STATES getting rid of their unwanted, parks or whatever they choose to call them…..why has FLORIDA chosen , where is the vote of the people of FLORIDA, to choose which will go and which will stay. and WHO are these people who have the power to kill or get rid of our parks and very special places. LET THE PEOPLE COME FORWARD AND TELL US THEIR NAMES AND EMAILS SO THAT WE CAN LET THEM KNOW PERSONALLY WHAT WE AS THE PEOPLE OF FLORIDA THINK. Why hide come forward…..let us tell you what we think and then lets see your true colors…….

    Comment by Susan Mayo Lorch — January 30, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

  75. Unintended consequences, you voted for Rick Scott, now live with it.

    Comment by John Boy — January 30, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

  76. So disturbing! This is our last piece of heritage for our families and friends to enjoy the few remaining parcels of land and water that is affordable to all! They need to make more campsites and picnic areas. I have spent many wonderful times at State Parks. Politicians see the dollar signs in these elite parcels of land!! Whatever happened to a society that looked out for all the people ‘s interests. Presidents set aside these Parks For The People of the United States.

    Comment by Vivian Bannister — January 30, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

  77. As president of the Suwannee Bicycle Association (SBA) our organization is extremely disturbed by these recommendations. Big Shoals is a beautiful natural tract of undeveloped land along the banks of the Suwannee River in White Springs, Florida. It offers miles of bicycling and hiking opportunities and should remain as a state park. A short hike or bike allows visitors to see “white water”. Visitors can also see wild turkeys, deer and other wildlife and birds. In March, you can see beautiful wild azaleas that grow along the banks of the river. This park should continue to be protected by the park service and open to the public. There are many other disturbing recommendations for closure. I would recommend that the DEP officials responsible for this list instead get outside and enjoy the state parks. As it is obvious that they do not recognize the natural treasures that Florida has to offer visitors. They should leverage these sites for eco tourism opportunities. Thus attracting visitors, nationally and internationally. SAVE our parks… SAVE our heritage and environment.

    Comment by Sharon Shea — January 31, 2011 @ 6:10 am

  78. Yup, This is Tallahassee at it’s best. “Let’s grease our pockets and cut out everything that is insignificant. The employees that work at these parks are not important either, they can find another job”……..YEAH RIGHT. You got it you idiots in your ” Ivory Tower”

    Comment by Denise Duchesneau — January 31, 2011 @ 6:11 am

  79. Please note that although we encourage competing points of view in an open forum, we will not tolerate foul or impolite language. We are a family-friendly blog. All comments that include this type of language will be deleted. Let’s keep it friendly, people! : ) Thank you and keep the discussion going!
    -Administrator

    Comment by Jonathan Webber — January 31, 2011 @ 8:04 am

  80. […] Here Today, Gone Tommorrow. For the complete list on the chopping block and more detail, check out Audubon of Florida. Share and […]

    Pingback by Let’s get to work … gutting parks – Eric Ernsts Blog - Sarasota Herald-Tribune - Sarasota, FL - Archive — January 31, 2011 @ 10:23 am

  81. […] you want to visit Colt Creek State Park, be quick about it. It’s on the list of 53 state parks that are the list for possible temporary closure to save money as the Florida Legislature faces a […]

    Pingback by Colt Creek, Catfish Creek on park closing list – Endangered and Drained in Polk - The Lakeland Ledger - Lakeland, FL - Archive — January 31, 2011 @ 10:44 am

  82. Now is the time to SEND emails and MAKE calls to our Florida senators, representatives and governor about our feelings and how this is unacceptable. We must move now and be heard before they convene their next session. Florida has already given away too much to developers. Our poorest communities are at risk of losing even more revenue. This will ALSO impact tourism as more and more people are looking for vacations that focus on natural pristine areas. PLEASE forward the Audubon email link to your family, friends and organizations so that we can make a difference.

    Comment by Sharon Shea — January 31, 2011 @ 11:21 am

  83. I wonder how many of these are unstaffed. The last time I went to Devil’s Milhopper it was the honor system to pay to get in. It was very busy, almost crowded. I wonder how much overhead is involved in the park? It has no electric or bathroom facilities.

    Comment by Maria — January 31, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

  84. This is the way government budget cut proposals work, ya’ll. They propose cuts that no one wants in hopes of being spared. It’s a game.

    Comment by Margaret — January 31, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

  85. […] […]

    Pingback by florida DEP Proposes to Close 53 State Parks - Redtailboa.net — January 31, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

  86. THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!!!!!! GOVT HAS GONE WAY TOOOO FAR!

    Comment by T — January 31, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

  87. Do whatever is necessary to keep our wonderful
    state parks open. I can’t believe that our representatives would allow such a suggested closing of our facilities.

    Comment by Robert A Kruger — January 31, 2011 @ 7:04 pm

  88. Another department within DEP is also sweating bullets. The Office of Greenways & Trails, with an annual budget of only $1-million, generates more than $90-million in tourism dollars every year and STILL wonders from year to year whether it’ll continue to operate. I have no faith -whatever- in this current administration. No faith it will do the right thing by the people of Florida and no faith it will even consider alternatives to the lunacy being paraded right now. Take it all in — we’re about to become New Jersey!

    KEEP THE PARKS OPEN! They’re one of the greatest sources of tourism revenue at very little cost.

    Comment by Art Carlson — January 31, 2011 @ 7:08 pm

  89. I know scores of people that live in PONCE DE LEON and enjoy the State Park @ PONCE DE LEON SPRINGS. They would be devastated to realize that their park was closing. So many family outings there every year for generations. Great swimming in ice cold water that will take your breath away on the 1st plunge, crystal clear water, trails, picnic tables….

    Comment by Vivian Bannister — January 31, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

  90. Its time for some cuts to happen. I applaud the legislature for creating a list of parks that only a few people frequent. It is time for our state to bite the bullet and stop funding parks with only a few visitors each year. I hope all are cut. People wont be “devastated” about a park being closed. They will adjust and find somewhere else to go for their entertainment dollar. This list of park closings with have no effect on our tourism dollars as hardly anyone goes to the parks to begin with. Wake up people!

    Comment by Russell Ward — February 1, 2011 @ 5:27 am

  91. 20 million people visited Florida State Parks last year. You don’t think those that went to the parks on the hit list will notice or care? You think that 20 million will now stand in line to get in the two-thirds of the park that are left? What’s going to happen to the small-town and rural economies where those parks are that are on the hit list? You think they won’t notice that those tourist dollars walked elsewhere? These parks were chosen because of an arbitrary line drawn on the attendance list and the fact that they are day use only. If each had shown 100,000 visitors they would still be on the closure list as being the least visited. The 15% cut can come from another place – leave the parks alone. They’re about all that’s left good in this state and we need them!

    Comment by Disappointed in Florida — February 1, 2011 @ 6:41 am

  92. This has nothing to do with cutting costs. This is our anti-environment, pro-development new governor and state legislature rewarding the developers who funded their election campaigns.

    Comment by Keith W — February 1, 2011 @ 9:35 am

  93. I’ve been to several of these parks recently. Cedar Key Museum and the Forest Capital Museums were boring and out-of-date. The first was more of a small town museum, the second obviously an industry display trumped up as a state park.

    Werner-Boyce Salt Spring had nothing I can’t see at any of the other county and city parks in the area. Perhaps if the mentioned springs had been on the nature trail, the park might be unique, but that’s currently far in the park’s future.

    Rawlings’ home was held captive by the docent (not a park ranger.) There is nothing on the park’s webpage stating that the house is closed except for paid tours, and there is little outside the house of interest (Note that I already had been to Forest Capital and had seen that homestead.) As her influence on fiction fades into the past, Rawlin’s ability to draw visitors to the park will also fade.

    If the rest of the listed parks are as insignificant or as far from being completed as these parks, then Florida should allow some other group or organization to take them over. If no one cares enough to cough up the time, effort, and money, then leave them fallow.

    The government can’t do it all. It’s time to “… ask what you can do for your country” time, and step up as private groups if you want these locations saved.

    Comment by WC Green — February 1, 2011 @ 10:34 am

  94. I am realistic enough to know the state needs to cut back in areas to improve our financial status. HOWEVER-this is not the area to do any cutbacks-there are a lot of us that can’t afford to take vacations like we used to, that still are able to enjoy the parks. Our state is SO wasteful in so many area that could be cut back and not affect our quality of life-take a look at the proposed rail system! If Govenor Scott wants to entice new business for our state, you have to have a state that people want to be in!

    Comment by Nancy — February 1, 2011 @ 10:55 am

  95. Of course they forget our tourist industry – this would really impact it – people DO enjoy these State parks.

    Comment by Luke Thomas — February 1, 2011 @ 11:23 am

  96. I have to sell my Boston Whaler (really). Now I love that boat and would like to keep it but I can’t afford it. That’s reality and it’s time to face reality with a lot of areas within the government.
    I also have enjoyed many of the parks on the list and as a 57 year-old Florida native, adventure racer, card carrying FTA member, I don’t want to see any more parks closed than need to be. Too bad that this is the best they can do when presented with an annual problem like this. More volunteers? Yep. More Iron Rangers? Yep. Close unused parks? Yep. CCC programs? Yep. But all we get every year is “We’re taking our toys and going home”.

    Maybe the truth is we just can’t afford everything we want………..

    Comment by Charlie Scott — February 1, 2011 @ 11:31 am

  97. This not only saddens but angers me. I’ve lost track of how many state parks (including many on this list) that I have visiting in the past 30 years. I’ve visted three of the parks in the North Florida area in the past 3 months alone. I know, by reading the above posts, that I am not alone in saying I would gladly pay a few extra dollars to visit any state park.

    I recently discovered Ponce De Leon Springs park with my husband last summer. After tiring of the misuse and abuse of Ginnie Springs (a privately run park) for the past few summers, but missing the spring relief in the summer heat, we ventured to De Leon, the closest spring to us in St. Augustine. Granted, it wasn’t as extensive as Ginnie, but it was a GREAT day. We brought our snorkel gear, bikes, etc. and then had breakfast at the Old Sugar Mill. The day was so special, we remarked how great it will be to take our kids there someday.

    We are expecting our first child this summer and I am so sad to hear that, if this passes, my children won’t be able to experience such a great piece of Florida.

    It’s a shame.

    Comment by Leigh Palmer — February 1, 2011 @ 2:01 pm

  98. I hope the people of Florida let their government officials know how very important their State Parks and Preserves really are to them! This story is UNBELIEVABLE! I have been a part of past efforts to purchase and preserve lands…and now some of it could be undone?

    Comment by Brenda Bossman — February 1, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

  99. An incredible step backward for conservation, education, environment and for our future generations! A Pure Shame!

    Comment by Jerry Gorman — February 1, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

  100. Ok by closing these parks, the government are going to stop Floridans from seeing there state at its best. Also, closing the parks are going to make many lose jobs. The parks are here for our pleasurement and the have fun in Florida. This is going to affect the generations to come because they won’t see the Real Florida. This is just wrong.

    Comment by Casey McLean — February 1, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

  101. From what I read, health care (especialy related to obesity) costs are a growing FAST and may be our largest budget buster.
    Road building/widening, maintenance, traffic control, accidents, polution costs …(which increase health costs and more driving instead of walking/biking leading to more obesity health problems) may be as big as budget buster.
    Maybe we should have MORE parks to exercise in and less road projects.

    Comment by Joseph Barnett — February 1, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

  102. Our new governor hasn’t lived in Florida very long. I would like to see him visit these parks! Those of us that have lived here many years know what treasures they are and want to preserve them for our children and grandchildren. In these stressful times, a visit to one of our “nature wonderlands” is good medicine! Lets hope that all these comments make a difference.

    Comment by Susan — February 1, 2011 @ 5:17 pm

  103. Family values? Right! Lock Floridians out of their parks and let the kids play in the streets.

    Comment by Kasimir Drzyzga — February 1, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

  104. Closing parks and returning the land to original owners risk that the land will become another development of commercial enterprises of which Florida has its fill of! I vote for more green space, parks to enjoy the great outdoors and places for the flora and fawna to flourish. One of the reasons I moved to this state was to be able to enjoy the great outdoors all year long which I can do because of its fantastic climate. Closing parks minimizes that “pro” of living here and I think will limit others from visiting this state. If there is no where to hike, bird watch, ride horses, Mt. bike, camp, canoe/kayak, boat, fish…etc…why come to Florida at all?

    Comment by Marsha Hauck — February 1, 2011 @ 5:46 pm

  105. this has got to be a joke! the only good thing about florida is the beautiful nature that the parks offer. take that away and what is left? nothing but an ass-backwards state! very, very sad for everyone.anyway, how much money is spent on keeping the parks open? there are volunteer park rangers and volunteers to help clear the trails,etc. i really cant believe this!

    Comment by christina — February 1, 2011 @ 8:22 pm

  106. Elections have consequences folks.

    Comment by Sam — February 2, 2011 @ 5:45 am

  107. I have been to many of these parks and they are some of the best places I have been too. Crystal River to me is amazing. Its one of my favorite places to kayak. Jensen is a beautiful area as well as plam coast and many of the other parks on that list. Islamorada is beautiful and I would love to see the parks stay. The parks are here for enjoyment, education and protection and to me, are useful and a piece of FL and our history. FL is amazing because of these places. I know a lot of people that come to FL for the NATURE of FL. I dont think the cutting the parks is the right place to make any cuts at all. I doubt that the parks are going to save them as much as making cuts somewhere else.

    Comment by Ashley — February 2, 2011 @ 7:52 am

  108. […] Figured this was relevant to this thread as it will effect trail access in other areas. Florida DEP Proposes to Close 53 State Parks | Audubon of Florida News […]

    Pingback by Virginia Key mountain bike trails to open - Miami - Florida (FL) -Miami-Dade County - City-Data Forum — February 2, 2011 @ 10:00 am

  109. I am so upset to hear of the closings of these parks. They are our state treasures. I have been bike riding in several and camped in several other parks. What will we leave to our children and their children.

    Comment by Linda McLane — February 2, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

  110. I’m a 7th generation Floridian. I left Florida in 1981. I used to go back for short, short family visits (and haven’t been back in 3 years). Florida has become ruined to me. It used to be a beautiful state but in the chase for the almighty dollar, which the residents and politicians hold to be more precious than any natural resource, Florida has become a sleazy pile of condo, age restricted communities and golf courses.

    Comment by Lorna Schinske — February 2, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

  111. […] less than week since we first reported that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection had proposed a plan in the legislature to close 53 of our state parks and transfer 3 others back to their original […]

    Pingback by Florida's Special Places: Who Speaks for the Parks? | Audubon of Florida News — February 2, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

  112. I am both appauled and dismayed that anyone would even propose such a thing. No doubt another ploy to sell off public lands for development. We can’t allow this to happen. Here in South Florida there is hardly any room to breath anymore. Concrete and asphalt everywhere. I relish weekend trips to many of these parks just so I can find peace and tranquility. Crystal River, San Felasco, Devil’s Millhopper are among my favorites! I actually keep a “park bucket list” and have been working my way around many of the State Parks with hopes of visiting all of them. I’m sure those of us who use the parks wouldn’t mind paying a little more in entrance fees if this would generate enough income to keep them open. Who can we write to or call? I’m in!

    Comment by Ana L. Casanova — February 2, 2011 @ 5:13 pm

  113. Government salaries are too high, taxes are wasted and the every day working class keeps getting the short end of the stick while we pay the bill. There is not much the blue collar workers can afford to enjoy anymore. If the politicians made what the average working person makes they would better understand how we feel about what they do with our tax money and why these parks are so important to us. I wonder if any of those trying to close these parks even consider spending a day off with their family at one of these beautiful places. I volunteer my time, equipment and gas money along with other volunteers in my neighborhood to help maintain a small preserve in. Funds are tight and budgets have been cut so our solution to have our little place to horseback ride, jog and walk our dogs was to just pitch in. We have continued to improve things for two years. No one complains about who does what or how much anyone does or doesn’t do. The preserve is a labor of love with friends working together. Isn’t that the way it use to be in America.

    Comment by Vicky Baldwin — February 2, 2011 @ 6:07 pm

  114. Yes this sucks and as a avid camper to the state parks and a Florida State Parks Passport holder sometimes we have to suffer our lifestyles during tough times. The Government, the states and counties need to take care of the Budget. I look at the list and most of them have a honor box, if people dont put money in the honor box this is what happens.

    Comment by Shawn — February 2, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

  115. government salaries too high? ask park staff what they make…they’ve taken a vow of poverty to work in the real florida! green color workers are among the lowest paid around. it’s truly a labor of love. and most of the parks on the list? only have two or three full-time employees on staff – with a few part-time staff (no benefits) and volunteers. and private sector options for these workers? don’t exist – there are no private park rangers.

    Comment by Disappointed in Florida — February 2, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

  116. […] Speaking of money, in another one of those dumb schemes to save money, the State of Florida is proposing closing 53 state parks, to help offset budgetary shortcomings. Arizona did this last year, as well as closing highway rest areas. A lot of our RVing friends who are Florida snowbirds use state parks, and I’m sure they’ll be disappointed if this measure goes through. Here is a list of state parks targeted for closure.   […]

    Pingback by Remittance Man » Gypsy Journal RV Travel Newspaper — February 2, 2011 @ 11:02 pm

  117. There are much better avenues to save revenue than closing state parks! This is horrible!!!

    Comment by Mary — February 3, 2011 @ 5:24 am

  118. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Lake June in Winter Scrub State Park already has an iron ranger – no staff on site. How can the state save anything by closing parks that already have no staff? Stupid. Do they think a “closed” sign will really keep people out of it anyway? I think not…

    Comment by Chris — February 3, 2011 @ 9:03 am

  119. I was in Florida from June till September 2010 and found respite from development in your beautiful state parks. Were it not for those experiences I probably would never return. Florida’s special places are unique and beautiful and I would hate to see them closed to the public.

    Comment by Betsy Johnson — February 3, 2011 @ 9:23 am

  120. Im a snowbird and the only reason, I go to florida is for the parks. Just say NO…

    Comment by Jimmy Sgroi — February 3, 2011 @ 9:49 am

  121. […] been wondering why I haven’t been jumping up and down – yet – regards the announcements of state park closures, rest assured I’m working behind the scenes on it and will share those efforts as soon as […]

    Pingback by Hike-A-Day: Tarkiln Bayou State Park | Florida Hikes! blog — February 3, 2011 @ 10:50 am

  122. There are alot of divers from all over the United States that Travel to Florida for the “springs” alone..Shutting these down will make a huge dent in where neighbor states like Georgia, Alabama..etc in where to go for certifying new divers..

    Comment by Alan — February 3, 2011 @ 12:22 pm

  123. […] A complete list can be found here. […]

    Pingback by » Action Alert: Protect OGT and 53 state parks Florida Bicycle Association — February 3, 2011 @ 1:40 pm

  124. THIS CAN’T BE TRUE! Devil’a Millhopper, Marjorie Rawlings, San Felasco, and Dudley Farms may be small, but priceless learning opportunities for children and adults.

    Comment by Mary Anne Wagner — February 3, 2011 @ 5:12 pm

  125. Oh, please, no. I love these parks and have been to several of them. Ft. George Island and Madison Blue ? Please no. I realize there are budgetary constraints but i love our parks in this state.

    Comment by Jeannie Greenwald — February 3, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

  126. […] Big Shoals is one of the state parks on the closure list,  so take this opportunity to explore it with a group.  Share your experiences and photos on My […]

    Pingback by IDIDAHIKE this Saturday on the Suwannee | Florida Hikes! blog — February 3, 2011 @ 6:47 pm

  127. In a state with so much development, every remaining park is critical — both as respite for people and habitat for wildlife.
    I believe the proposed budget cuts are $6.8 million. With 18 million people in this state, not counting the tourists, I would think we could start a fund raising campaign to SAVE ALL OUR PARKS!
    My son suggested “Parties in the Parks” — where we can have fundraisers and letter writing campaigns. PLEASE! Let’s organize instead of whining. This is completely doable.

    Comment by Barbara Barker — February 3, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

  128. Let’s see, “Lower fees one year (which no one was complaining about), then complain the next year about not enough revenue.” Really? Are they really that stupid?

    Then one idiot wants to pass them off to local city and county governments. News flash to the completely out of touch Sens and Reps; local govts are doing everything in their power to not fire police, fire, teachers, etc and keep basic services functioning. Many counties are now telling local govts to expect another 7-10% drop in property values, which means lower local revenues.
    Exactly how do the morons in Tally expect local govts to pay for STATE parks? They do not care…they simply pass legislation they think is best, it forces your local govt to raise revenues (taxes) to pay for the state’s brilliant ideas.

    The rub is that the voter will now be PO’d at their local city and county commissions for raising local taxes (generally ad valorem)while the state morons sit far away and insulated from what is really their fault. The state Sens and Reps simply FORCE these things down the local govt’s throats.
    Happens every year, several times a year. These are called unfunded mandates.

    Then the topper is when the state goof troop runs for re-election, they all squeal like stuck pigs about how THEY are going to reign in local govt spending. IDIOTS!!

    Comment by Ed Jones — February 3, 2011 @ 8:19 pm

  129. why do they offer so many free days and lower fees at the parks? you’re right – doesn’t make sense. park admission fees are so reasonable $5-10 dollars a carload of up to 8 people? you can’t drive through disney’s parking lot for that! surely there’s other places that cuts can come from.

    Comment by Disappointed in Florida — February 3, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

  130. […] another endangered state park, this one featuring endangered plants near Lake Placid. Lake-June-in-Winter Scrub Preserve State […]

    Pingback by Hike-A-Day: Lake June-in-Winter Scrub Preserve State Park | Florida Hikes! blog — February 4, 2011 @ 7:50 am

  131. http://www.change.org/petitions/protect-our-florida-state-parks

    I started a petition. Please sign it today!

    Comment by Beth Argyropoulos — February 4, 2011 @ 10:06 am

  132. What happens to the property if they close? Can it be used/enjoyed while its not being maintained?

    Comment by Andy Dubay — February 4, 2011 @ 11:55 am

  133. No no and no! Closing any of these parks is a RIDICULOUSLY bad idea. In this modern world of technology and skyscrapers, pollution and far too many people, these parks are oasis of peace and good health. I defy any one of you to go to a park by yourself after a hard and frustrating day and stay in that bad mood. We need these clean, natural places to escape to when the modern world becomes all too much. I know that without my local park I would have had half as many good memories as I do now. Please, for the sake of those of us smart enough to see what an asset these parks are, don’t close them!!

    Comment by Pleading in Florida — February 4, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

  134. This is not acceptable, take a second look at what you are doing!!

    Comment by Karen Nickerson — February 4, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

  135. I find it interesting that for all the cry to keep these natural lands, not one of you have said you would pay more taxes to keep them. Prices are going up everywhere, does not anyone stop to thank about park maintance costing more…..no.. you get what you elected. Lower my taxes..you voted them in on this ticket now your getting what you voted. Everyone wants lower taxes but does not want to give anything up or pay more to keep it. It cost more to keep your house, your cars, your lifstyle, you pay it. But damm the govt. lower my taxes and let me keep everythig…not going to happen…everyone needs to wake up…you can’t keep asking for lower taxes with everthing else costing more and not expect to lose somthing.

    Comment by jim burgess — February 4, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

  136. EMERGE Miami (www.emergemiami.com) will host a bike ride to The Barnacle and have a letter writing campaign to support keeping open The Barnacle, the Biscayne Aquatic Preserve, and the 52 other State parks and 6 other State aquatic preserves.

    Our pace is that of the slowest rider, everyone welcomed! Meet @ Vizcaya Metrorail Station @ 10 a.m., Sat. FEB 12th.

    Comment by Stephanie — February 4, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

  137. andy – closed means closed – no it won’t be open for you to use.
    if it’s not being maintained there could be safety issues…you think they’re going to open up themselves for that possibility?!

    Comment by disappointedinflorida — February 5, 2011 @ 1:34 am

  138. jim – parks do not get tax funding to stay open. their budget comes from camping fees, admission fees, grants and donations, and a fraction of a percent from the sale of documentary stamp sales. parks generate so much more to their local economies than the paltry budgets upon which they run. 20 million people visited state parks last year; and volunteers contributed 1.2 million hours of service. and you’re right – taxes are not evil – we all need the things that they provide!

    Comment by disappointedinflorida — February 5, 2011 @ 7:56 am

  139. It means that developers want the land, plain and simple. Watch and see. It won’t even make that much money because they will get the land cheap. It is such a shame and a sham. BTW the the article here in FL starts out… “Florida’s new governor is eager to close 1/3rd of Florida’s state parks. So if you have ever wanted to visit fetid, disgusting swampland, you should probably get on that…” What?? Look at the parks closing, not disgusting swampland….

    Comment by Lyric — February 6, 2011 @ 6:31 am

  140. I’m figuring this is what it means to run the state “like a business”—from a guy who clearly didn’t know how to run a business, either.

    Beyond the extraordinary value of natural places to the economy—and to the human spirit—there’s also a fundamental value that’s clearly not being factored here. That’s the value of ecological services provided to the greater community by natural lands. It includes filtering and storing water, abating flooding, cleaning the air, creating new drinking water (via recharge), and so on.

    Evaluating “natural capital” is going to require some actual critical thinking. Then again, a good businessman would know that…

    Comment by Bill Belleville — February 6, 2011 @ 7:50 am

  141. […] amid the ruins of an 1821 sugar plantation where Audubon once stayed – is  listed on the endangered list, so get out and hike and share some photos of the ancient beauty found in the hammocks along Bulow […]

    Pingback by Hike-A-Day: Bulow Hammock | Florida Hikes! blog — February 6, 2011 @ 11:21 am

  142. http://parkprivatization.com/2010/05/ignorance-or-knowing-misinformation/

    Comment by adam smith — February 7, 2011 @ 3:02 am

  143. […] Department of Environmental Protection Proposes to Close 53 State Parks Florida Park Service: In what has become an annual exercise, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) along with other agencies, yesterday presented to the Legislature reductions they would make if ordered to reduce their budgets by 15%. In a year when the state faces a nearly $4B shortfall, this is likely to be more than just an exercise; and with the high proportion of freshman members, there is less familiarity than past years with the importance of Florida’s environmental programs. […]

    Pingback by Lake Pehoe wallpaper, Smithsonian scientists discover 7 new species of fish | tangledwing — February 7, 2011 @ 5:36 am

  144. Hello, My name is Jeffrey “Earth” Nelson, and I just made a “Save Florida’s State Park’s” page on Face Book. I think you will like my idea for saving those parks. PLEASE join to help this cause. TY

    Comment by Jeffrey — February 7, 2011 @ 6:18 am

  145. All these great comments need to be sent to Governor Scott and your state representatives immediately. Also write letters to the editor of local newspapers. It doesn’t do any good talk among ourselves.

    Comment by Blanca Mesa — February 7, 2011 @ 7:51 am

  146. […] Protection, the agency tasked with…well, protecting the environment, this has resulted in a proposal to close 53 state parks. Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve may be closed (photo: […]

    Pingback by Florida government proposes closing 53 state parks « Terpsinoe — February 7, 2011 @ 10:20 am

  147. Our rare and endangered lands here in Florida, some of which have been preserved I within our state parks, are truly a great economic engine for florida! Closing any of these parks will be a disaster. These parks are the lifeblood of our state; their beauty cannot be reproduced,and we cannot risk losing these places to developments. God help our state!

    Comment by Ron — February 7, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

  148. To Jim,
    Actually, if you read the other comments, you will see many people have said they are willing to pay more to keep the parks open.
    Also, I suggested, we all make a donation to keep the parks open. Donations are better than taxes, don’t you think?

    Comment by Barbara Barker — February 7, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

  149. Coud we make the “State Parks System” a seperaate “Cost Center” or ” “Not For Profit Center” and its own “Agency” so the DEP can not use State Park revenues as a cash cow for the DOP? Think “Parkinson’s Law of Economics” and the DOP operations.

    Comment by Carl Bennett — February 7, 2011 @ 5:24 pm

  150. Does DOP = DC&F = “Workfare” vice “Public Service”? Sadly it seems it just might!

    Comment by Carl Bennett — February 7, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

  151. All I can say is our state is doomed skeletor is in control and we can thank all the fine citizens of florida for putting him there.This is just one of the many bad things this guys gonna be responsible for before he’s through.For all the idiots that didn’t vote they should be flogged.This guy isn’t even a florida cracker so state parks are the pretty low on his priority list.To all the teabaggers out there I guess this is what Jesus would do.After all the teabagger interpretation of Jesus is he hates poor people that can’t defend themselves and only the rich will get into heaven.

    Comment by dave — February 7, 2011 @ 8:14 pm

  152. I recently watched a program on television that talked about our state parks. They said that even though they had to raise entry fees they had seen a record number of visitors this past year. What are they thinking. How about pay cuts for these politicians! At a time when people are becoming more health conscious, we desperately need our state parks. I personally love visiting these parks and have camped with my family and taken day trips to dozens of these parks. Also, more people are beginning to take advantage of these parks as an inexpensive time out with family. DONT DO IT! DONT CLOSE THE PARKS.

    Comment by DEAN — February 8, 2011 @ 5:48 am

  153. This is so sad, where is the bail out for our parks?

    Comment by Sara — February 8, 2011 @ 6:59 am

  154. I’m from Texas and don’t even visit your State Parks, but this is dumb. Florida, like Texas, is known for it’s State Parks. Raise the fees, people will still come. Don’t lose a great resource for your children. As a Master Naturalist and leader of walks for adults and children, I love to see a child’s eyes light up when you show them a cool insect, or a scary spider, or a beautiful flower. DON’T CLOSE THE PARKS !!!! GET RID OF A FEW EXTRANEOUS POLITICIANS !!!!!

    Comment by Troy Mullens — February 8, 2011 @ 7:10 am

  155. […] Special Places campaign. Recently, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection proposed a plan to close 53 of our state parks. The response to this unsettling news has been incredible. People from around our state and country […]

    Pingback by 53 Parks in 53 Days: Washington Oaks Gardens State Park | Audubon of Florida News — February 8, 2011 @ 7:29 am

  156. Hello! Check out the possibility that the DEP wants the profits from our popular State Parks to cover overall cuts in DEP funding? Or consider that this a DEP political ploy to save its other “Low or No Value Added” environmental activities?

    Comment by Carl Bennett — February 8, 2011 @ 8:21 am

  157. I say all those who voted for Rick Scott, this is what ya get! We’ll reconsider next time Mr. Scott! I sure hope you’re listening.

    Comment by Christina — February 8, 2011 @ 11:02 am

  158. Bushnell, Florida by no means is an entertainment hot spot. There is no bowling alley, movie theater, mall, or even a nice sit down restaurant (unless you call Sonny’s BBQ “nice”) in the area.

    All we have is Dade Battle Field. In a small town with few entertainment luxuries, Dade Battle Field offers a safe place for children and adults. The park is clean and the playground is safe for small children. There are hiking trails and bike paths.

    I’ve attended numerous weddings, birthday parties, cook outs and other events including the annual battle reenactment. Dade Battle Field is more than just a historic landmark. It is a place for the residents of Bushnell to enjoy picnics and spend time with friends.

    If you close the park, you take away the best part of our little town. Sure, we may not draw thousands of visitors a year, but for a town of about 2,000 residents, Dade Battle Field is an important part of living in Bushnell.

    Comment by Anita — February 8, 2011 @ 11:06 am

  159. The closing of any State Park is a bad idea. Aside from removing the safe-guarding of some of Florida’s most precious resources, the economic impact goes well beyond the revenue that is generated by admission. I for one buy a Family Pass every year at Maclay Gardens State park and use it at and mostly for entry into a number of parks that do not have camping, but do have other recreational venues. Should some of the parks close, I would not have the incentive to buy that pass. I have successfully encouraged others to do so, people who would otherwise not have visited any State Park.
    I am a SCUBA diver and am aware of a number of parks that provide this opportunity. Having formerly managed a Dive Shop, we used these parks as training sites. I have employed many as dive instructors, I have rented equipment and sold merchandise and air fills to many, a great deal from out of state, and those revenues generated jobs for my employees and State Sales Tax to Florida.
    I am aware of dive sites that are on private properties that have been trespassed on and some have resulted in accidents and incidents that had they been in a State Park would not have occurred. Closing parks like Troy Springs, Madison Springs, Ponce De Leon Springs and Peacock Springs will not keep divers out, but will make it more dangerous. Even if they are sold and allowed to be operated by private vendors they will not have the benefit of being part of the State Park System. Some State Parks like Lafayette Blue Springs that do not allow recreational diving will now become attractive to divers and could result in injuries or damage that result in geological or sanitation damage.
    There are private venues that offer diving and none of them afford the additional educational opportunities to those who are using them. The importance of our aquifer, the natural history of our unique state, I can’t begin to list the many lessons that I have learned, the hours of peace and enjoyment I have experienced. Were it up to me I would be looking for opportunities to acquire more State Parks and market them more aggressively. No one has ever left one of these parks a worse person.
    Divers are for the most part, responsible citizens. It would be advantageous for some parks, now not allowing diving, to consider opening for diving. Lake Hall at Maclay Gardens State Park would make an ideal site for dive training. Sally Ward Springs at Wakulla Springs State Park allows diving for certain divers, and justifiably so. Other springs in the Wakulla Springs park system could also be opened for diving even if certain restrictions were applied: Special fees, no unsupervised diving, specially briefed instructor supervision through local dive shops who would pay for the opportunity and privilege, and check in and out procedures with the Main Gate.
    Diving is big business in Florida. We would often take new divers on trips to the Keys. On our return; we would always schedule a stop at spring in a State Park to break up the trip and relax one last time. It provided a non invasive rinse of our equipment, the opportunity for ease of entry secure and peaceful diving, final memory of a special adventure. Often it was the favorite dive of the trip.
    Typically, I would be in favor of privatizing many government services. Florida’s State Parks and its personnel are one of the true exceptions to this. Closing any State Park would be a travesty. We should be looking at ways to do more of what we have done well, not less.

    Comment by Fleet Pride — February 8, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

  160. As someone said already, please thank a Park Ranger for their dedication to the natural Florida. It’s not about making money, it’s the love of the Natural and Cultural Resources! Also when you’re at a State Park, thank the Volunteers!

    Comment by Jan — February 10, 2011 @ 4:47 am

  161. I see where someone said we should consider the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp) from the Depression era. My Father was a member of this group and they did a lot of good in the Federal Parks and Forests.

    Florida did have something like this in the past but it was The Florida Youth Conservation Corp, It was mainly for undereducated young adults, it was overseen by the EPA and run by a private non profit organization. It was very successful as the youth worked in the parks for minimum wage, while gaining a high school education and learning other life skills. The EPA in all its wisdom decided it could no longer fund it, and it was dissolved.

    The Florida Youth Conservation Corp was considered to be one of the best in the nation and a example for many other states to follow and most of them still do.

    Comment by Terry Davis — February 10, 2011 @ 10:15 am

  162. Privitization! That will save them, NOT! Unfortunately that’s what likely will be suggested soon by some idiot Congressperson with a friend or relative in the park consessions industry.

    Comment by Mike — February 11, 2011 @ 1:10 am

  163. Let’s just take everything that IS Florida and why we live in Florida and close it off to those in the state that actually enjoy outdoor recreation. Better yet, let’s privatize the land so developers can get hold of it and give us more crap. Here’s a crazy idea speaking of crap, maybe increase the park entry fees to help pay for toilet paper and cleaning the one bathroom at San Felasco. Better yet, have all those on welfare (i.e. Florida Medicaid) start to contribute to society by actually having a small co-pay for the healthcare and prescriptions that they receive free – compliments of YOU. Maybe we could use that additional income to off set the cost of other state programs that ALL Florida residents can benefit from!

    Comment by Eric — February 11, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

  164. […] A complete list can be found here: http://audubonoffloridanews.org/?p=6830 […]

    Pingback by From Ocala Mountain Bike Association: Greenway trails are at risk again! « Soul Of Miami — February 12, 2011 @ 9:46 am

  165. WOW, I am truly saddened to see Rock Springs Run on their list. I am sad for all of the parks on the list but RSR was one of the first parks I went to with my group: Triple B” and also went with others independantly as friendly groups. We only had cold water showers and the racoons were thick as thieves but we had a super blast there. How sad it is for our country these days…..

    Comment by S. Holcomb — February 12, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

  166. I was born in Gainesville and remember being taken by my parents to Florida parks when I was a child: Millhopper to look for shark’s teeth in the creek, Cedar Key to get oysters and visit the park, later to Blue Springs, White Springs, Cross Creek and other parks on the list. I developed a love for nature and the environment through these visits, and feel very sad that our youth will not have these opportunities in the future if Florida law-makers don’t act in a responsible manner. I have been away from Florida since 1975, but every time I have returned it has been to visit a park there. Please preserve Florida’s heritage for the future and don’t sell out.

    Comment by Pamela Reaves — February 12, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

  167. So, I’m wondering how NEW (not aquired)acquisition projects keep gaining momemtum?

    For example, Big Bend Swamp/Holopaw Ranch.

    There are all kinds of acquisition projects in Florida, with no money to buy, and now no money to operate and maintain. State of Florida, quit biting off more than you can chew!

    Comment by Curtis — February 14, 2011 @ 5:12 am

  168. We need natural parks for a healthy environment. Our Kids also need this important resource of oxigen and nature. Please do not close the parks!!!

    Comment by Nick — February 14, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

  169. […] Click here for a complete list. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_bg", "fff"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_border", "777"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_text", "1c1c1c"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_link", "004276"); GA_googleAddAttr("LangId", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "travel"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "vacation"); GA_googleFillSlot("wpcom_below_post"); […]

    Pingback by 53 Florida state parks may fall victim to budget cuts. « Erica Martin's Blog — February 16, 2011 @ 9:04 am

  170. i say keep the parks open and raise the fee to enter. its for the family who plays together and the enjoyment for them

    Comment by sharon — February 16, 2011 @ 11:17 am

  171. We mountain bike every weekend and although we usually go to Santos, sometimes we go to the closer, San Felasco. If trails begin to dwindle, and without many options near Gainesville, we may seriously consider moving out of state. Mountain biking is that important to us.

    Comment by Lori G. — February 21, 2011 @ 6:34 am

  172. They do know that FDR helped us out of the last Great Depression by starting new parks not closing them…..

    Comment by Brandon Hamilton — February 26, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

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