Kissimmee Prairie - Opportunities to Get Involved

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Volunteers have played an important part in accomplishing the various short and long-term goals of this state park. They have increased our knowledge of a unique ecosystem, enriched visitors' experiences and enhanced imperiled habitat. Florida grasshopper sparrow monitoring began with volunteers taking an interest in a relatively unknown bird. The Preserve's species lists are continually being updated by observant volunteers. Volunteers helped design and build the entrance kiosk, shelters, cement walkways, trail markers, nest boxes, several bridges and many other projects. More than 110 miles of fire preparation are completed at least once a year and volunteers have proved essential in securing these fire lines. Those who are trained and pass a physical exertion test (pack test) have become members of the Florida State Parks wildland fire crew. Other volunteers help by directing traffic or bringing supplies during prescribed burns. Mechanically inclined volunteers save state parks time and money by repairing vehicles and other equipment. Volunteers serve as campground hosts, allowing rangers to tend to other duties. Landscaping projects and exotic plant removal are rewarding and provide opportunities for interpretation. Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park has been open since 1997 and throughout those successful years many wonderful volunteers have supported the Preserve and the Florida Park Service with their skills, time and energy.

Volunteer

There are 175 state parks consisting of more than 791,000 acres, hosting more than 31 million visitors a year. Florida State Parks could not succeed without the help of volunteers. In 2015, volunteers contributed more than 1.2 million hours. Find out how you can volunteer at a state park. 

Friends of Florida State Parks

Friends of Florida State Parks is a statewide citizen support organization whose dedicated members and volunteers help support the entire Florida State Park system by preserving, protecting and ensuring accessibility to state parks, educating visitors about the value of state parks, encouraging community engagement and active use of state parks, and providing financial support to supplement state funding. For more information, visit the Friends of Florida State Parks.

Florida Greenways & Trails Foundation

The Florida Greenways & Trails Foundation is Florida's chief advocacy organization for non-motorized trails. The Foundation supports greater use of trails for recreation, for fitness and health, for reducing carbon emissions, for attracting leisure travelers, for building community, for beautification, and for a larger role in evolving multi-modal transportation policy. 

Friends Groups

Friends groups, also referred to as Citizen Support Organizations (CSO), provide support to individual parks by volunteering, educating visitors, hosting events and raising funds for specific park projects. There are currently 86 friends groups supporting state parks throughout Florida.

Florida Conservation Corps

The Florida Conservation Corps works to develop natural and cultural resource leaders by connecting them to areas of critical need in conservation, preservation, interpretation and resource-based recreation. The program encompasses Project A.N.T. (AmeriCorps Non-native plant Terminators) and Park Cadets.

Life Program

Are you interested in working with middle school students as they explore the natural world? The Learning in Florida's Environment (LIFE) program brings students out of their classrooms to learn science in Florida State Parks. The LIFE program offers a variety of volunteer duties and spans throughout Florida to include 22 state parks and many other public access lands along the way.