A Message From Our Director

A view of the springs in Rainbow Springs State Park.

Summertime is often synonymous with baseball and, just like a baseball team, the Florida Park Service keeps a multitude of statistics.

But rather than hits, home runs and strikeouts, we measure our results based on each fiscal year – the most recent of which ended on June 30. I’m pleased to share that our statistics reflect a winning season.

Persevering through a time that presented challenge after challenge, our park staff across the state delivered a year for the record books. Among the highlights:

  • We welcomed a record number of visitors in several individual months, which led to our highest total revenue since 2016-17.
  • Our good work was recognized with a budget from the Florida Legislature that allows us to invest more in park improvements and resource management than ever before.
  • We exceeded our goals for treating invasive exotic vegetation such as Australian pines and Brazilian peppers.
  • Nearly 10 million people enjoyed walking, running, bicycling or any of the myriad ways to explore our state's trails.

And while every single member of our team contributed to these successes, I also want to shine a spotlight on an equally important part of our team: our park visitors. None of these achievements would be possible were it not for the people who love Florida State Parks.

As we embark on another year, we’re excited to pursue new goals.

We’re striving to:

  • Encourage more community members to join our corps of dedicated volunteers –  visit our volunteer portal for more information.
  • Create a richer park experience through updated interpretive facilities, exhibits, programs and events.
  • Continue our pioneering work in prescribed fire, which provides immeasurable benefit to Florida’s natural resources.
  • Recruit new park staff as we continue to deliver outstanding service.

We at the Florida Park Service are proud to be the nation's only four-time Gold Medal winner for excellence and we believe that achievement is reflective of our status as America’s best parks.

And we also hope that our state parks are a source of pride for all Floridians.

 Best,

Eric Draper signature

Eric Draper