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

Screen Shot

UF Students Welcome Bill Proposing Tax-Free Textbooks

A new law in Florida could help students save money on expensive textbooks. The bill looks to eliminate the sales tax from textbooks to give students a break on the hundreds they already spend on required texts.


The SPLC lists and classifies hate groups in the country. Only organizations and their chapters known to be active during 2014 were included.

Southern Poverty Law Center Issues Report on Hate Groups

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports there are currently 784 hate groups nationwide. Florida’s 50 hate groups ranks second in the nation, with California topping the list with 57 different groups.


Nutrislice is an application that allows parents and students to see what’s being served for lunch and the ingredients in the food at their public school. During the summer, people can use the app to find Summer Meal Program sites where children up to 18 can get breakfast and lunch for free.

New App Feature Makes Lunch Easier For Children During Summer

A new feature on the Nutrislice app will show parents and students where the nearest Summer Meal Program site is. With 20 million viewers, the mobile application is designed to inform people about the school lunch program and to help alleviate food insecurity in Florida.


Marcia Daniel (right) is the executive director of Life's Choices of Lake County and Beth Harrison (left) is a former client of Life's Choices. Representative Sullivan is in the middle. The photo was taken just after the bill passed out of its first Senate committee meeting on Tuesday.

Bills Proposing Abortion Counseling, Waiting Period For Women Move Forward

A set of bills moving through the Florida Senate and House of Representatives would require women to attend a counseling session 24 hours prior to having an abortion procedure. Proponents of the legislation believe the bills would provide awareness, while others believe the mandated counseling could have a negative impact on women’s health.


Florida House Bills Allowing Concealed Carry In Schools Pass Judiciary Committee

Two bills proposing changes to existing state standings on concealed weapons and firearms in schools won favorable votes in the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday. HB 4005 and HB 19 will now be put to a vote on the House floor before moving on to the state Senate.


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
Underwriting Payments