WUFT News

Florida Parks Receive Record Number Of Gold Medals For Excellence

By on November 18th, 2013
Attendance at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park increased by more than 100,000 visitors in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

Photo by Florida Park Service

Attendance at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park increased by more than 100,000 visitors in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

The Florida Park Service won its third National Gold Medal for Excellence from the National Recreation and Park Association this October. Florida became the only state to win three gold medals for excellence, an award given every two years.

“The medal speaks to how we manage our state parks because it’s about the people who are managing and reaching out to the community,” said Donald Forgione, director of the Florida Park Service. “Last year we had over 27,000 volunteers.”

In addition to the thousands of volunteers, 19,104 jobs are supported as a result of the state park system operations.

In the 2012-2013 fiscal year, Florida state parks produced $1.2 billion in economic impact, which is the amount of new dollars spent in local economies by park operations and non-local park visitors.

The Florida Park Service uses a money generation model designed for and used by the National Park Service to assess economic impact in the area around a park.

“We study economic impact because it’s very important to Florida’s economy,” Forgione said. “Florida state parks are a big business.”

The parks hosted a record 25.2 million visitors in the 2012-2013 fiscal year. The Florida Park Service attributes the high attendance to the active lifestyles of Floridians and responding to customer feedback.

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park’s attendance increased by more than 100,000 visitors in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

“That park itself produced almost $300,000 in revenue and had a direct economic impact benefit to the community of over $12 million,” Forgione said.

Florida’s state parks attract visitors from around the world with their diverse offering of more than 161 parks, 10 state trails, 800,000 acres of land and 100 miles of beaches.

“State parks and trails have inspired residents and visitors for more than 78 years,” Forgione said.


This entry was posted in Florida and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • http://www.grouptravelodyssey.com/ Jean Marcus

    Wow. This is awesome. Florida Park Service are definitely preserving spots more than they could. Gold medal for excellent are not easy to achieve, it needs efforts, more extra efforts to get this kind of achievement.

  • magnummedals

    Congratulations. They really do deserve the award as the service they delivered is really incredible.

 

More Stories in Florida

Florida Inches Closer to Other States in Tuition Charged Undocumented Students

Florida may soon offer undocumented students in-state tuition at public colleges and universities, joining the ranks of 20 other states with similar tuition equity laws and policies.


Gov. Scott Declares State of Emergency for Heavy Rain Event

Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for 26 counties, including Alachua County Wednesday morning. The National Weather Service has issued flood or flash flood warnings in several counties throughout North Central Florida.


Government Aid Loophole Raises Questions About Efficiency

A loophole in Florida’s Electronic Benefit Transfer card program allows eligible cardholders to buy restricted items through the cash-back option at many ATMs and stores.


Cody Eugene Wygant, 24, was arrested Thursday after he confessed to suffocating his infant son. Wygant said the child's crying was distracting him from playing Xbox.

Homosassa Man Kills Infant Son Over Xbox, Police Say

Cody Eugene Wygant has confessed to suffocating the 16-month-old, whose crying was distracting him from playing.


Jeff Groves, the owner of Williston Blueberry Farm, gives samples of his pesticide-free blueberries to customers at the Union Street Farmers Market on Wednesday in Downtown Gainesville.

Organic Farming Sustains Popularity Despite High Costs

North Central farmers are straying away from pesticide-filled, genetically engineered foods with an emphasis on organic practices. The number of organic farms has more than doubled in the past two years.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments