The South Florida National Parks Trust has provided more than $5 million to South Florida’s four national parks since 2002 to support programs & projects in five critical areas: Environmental Education, Resource Protection, Visitor Programs, Volunteer Activities and Community Engagement. The grants listed below represent a selection of programs and projects funded and/or completed during the year ending June 30, 2014.
Everglades National Park
- Everglades Education. Grant Amount: $134,600. Outcome: More than 8,000 students visited the Everglades in FY 2014 on ranger-led field trips and overnight camps supported by SFNPT and its donors. The funding paid for seasonal rangers to lead education programs and bus transportation for disadvantaged schools.
- BioCorps Intern: Grant Amount: $12,000. Outcome: Everglades National Park hired two student interns to work with park biologists for six months to capture invasive Argentine tegu lizards, conduct fish surveys and monitor sea turtle nests in the park. The SFNPT grant was matched by the National Park Service.
- Everglades Camping Adventure. Grant Amount: $1,997. Outcome: 25 first-time park visitors from four African-American families participated in a ranger-led camping program in the Everglades with equipment provided by this grant.
- Volunteer Program. Grant Amount: $6,200. Outcome: More than 35 volunteer groups completed projects in the park with the support of SFNPT. Grant funding paid for a volunteer program assistant from November 2013 through April 2014.
- Focus on Parks. Grant Amount: $3,743. Outcome: 25 middle school students participated in a six-week photography program with visits to Everglades National Park as part of this program, a partnership among NPS, Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation, History Miami and Florida State Parks.
- Florida Bay Seasonal Rangers. Grant Amount: $50,000. Outcome: Everglades National Park hired two seasonal law enforcement rangers to patrol Florida Bay during the winter and spring seasons with grant funding from the SFNPT.
- Florida Bay Educational Programs. Grant Amount: $6,400. Outcome: The park will launch another season of the popular Florida Bay Day education program in Fall 2014 for students in the Florida Keys with funding from this grant.
Biscayne National Park
- Sea Turtle Programs. Grant Amount: $8,500. Outcome: 252 students on college break worked as volunteers to remove more than 13,000 pounds of debris from Biscayne beaches in advance of turtle nesting season. The grant also allowed the park to hire 2 interns for 5 months to monitor and protect turtle nests in the park.
- Bilingual Podcasts. Grant Amount: $10,000. Outcome: The park is developing a series of bilingual podcasts in English and Spanish to introduce park visitors and online audiences to the park’s four main ecosystems.
- Maritime Heritage Trail. Grant Amount: $19,000. Outcome: The park will install bronze interpretive plaques at six historic shipwrecks in the park. The six wrecks make up the Maritime Heritage Trail, a popular diving and snorkeling trail established by the park with funding from the SFNPT.
- Law Enforcement. Grant Amount: $6,742. Outcome: In a pilot project, the park equipped one law enforcement boat with computers and wireless technology to connect with national crime databases and streamline ticketing for resource violations. Biscayne is one of the first national parks to adopt the technology.
Dry Tortugas National Park
- Sea Turtle Nesting. Grant Amount: $30,340. Outcome: The park hired two student interns to track nesting activity on park beaches and monitor the success of those nests during the 2014 nesting season.
- Education Program. Grant Amount: $4,500. Outcome: The park has developed a curriculum-based education program for Dry Tortugas National Park with support from SFNPT. Student trips to the Dry Tortugas were funded through this grant.
Big Cypress National Preserve
- Swamp Water & Me Program. Grant Amount: $25,360. Outcome: More than 2,750 students explored Big Cypress on ranger-led field trips during the school year as part of the preserve’s signature education program for 6th-grade students.
- Turner River Restoration. Grant Amount: $35,000. Outcome: The preserve will install canal plugs and additional culverts to restore the natural flow of water into the Turner River, one of the most scenic and popular creeks in Big Cypress.
- Swamp Heritage Festival. Grant Amount: $7,600. Outcome: The Big Cypress welcomed more than 600 visitors for the 3rd annual Swamp Heritage Festival on December 7, 2013 celebrating the culture and history of the Big Cypress.
By supporting these and other projects, the Trust seeks to foster a greater appreciation for our national parks and promote a legacy of stewardship in South Florida. You can support our work on behalf of South Florida’s national parks by making a donation today.