• Dry Tortugas

    Dry Tortugas

    National Park Florida

Help Us Make Americas Best Idea Even Better!

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Date: September 24, 2009
Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714

Key West, Florida – Be part of an unprecedented event on September 26 when Dry Tortugas National Park and national parks across the country invite you to make America’s Best Idea – the national parks – even better. Presented by the National Park Service and National Park Foundation, it will be a special day of service and celebration for visitors and volunteers to experience their parks and catch a sneak preview of Ken Burns’s new documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea premiering on PBS on September 27.



"We are excited about the opportunity to greet old friends and welcome new visitors to explain how Dry Tortugas is part of America’s Best Idea," said Site Manager Dave Walton. "Making that best idea even better is our goal and one we can only accomplish with the support of our visitors, volunteers, and partners."



Visitors traveling to Dry Tortugas National Park on Saturday September 26, are invited to attend a brief talk by current park volunteers who will share their experiences on volunteering and living at Fort Jefferson. The talk will highlight the special challenges volunteers face working and living at the most remote National Park in the contiguous 48 states. From the environmental conditions experienced through month long stints of service, to the way in which water and electricity are provided to these hardy supporters of the park system, the lifestyle of these volunteer island dwellers will surely inspire those who come to this program.



Join us as we recognize the significant contribution made to the American people by the hard work and dedication of the volunteers who help to protect and preserve the treasures of America`s Public Lands. This event is being held as part of the National Public Lands Day Celebration across the National Park Service.



In addition to this program the park will offer a sneak peak of the new Ken Burns film The National Parks: America’s Best Idea to visitors on the Yankee Freedom as they make the almost 70 mile boat trip to visit the island. For those who can’t make the trip the film will be played at the EcoDiscovery Center at noon and 2PM on Saturday, September 26th.



The EcoDiscovery Center is located in the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Dr. Nancy Foster Florida Keys Environmental Complex on the Truman Annex waterfront in Key West. In addition to the film, visitors can experience the center’s numerous exhibits that interpret the resources and management efforts of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, two national parks, and four national wildlife refuges. Staff from partner agencies and the park will be on hand to help plan your visit or answer your questions.



The Dry Tortugas event is just one of many occurring in the national parks across the country. The nationwide program is cosponsored by the National Park Foundation (

Did You Know?

Sooty Tern in Flight

Between the months of March and September, some 100,000 sooty terns will come to nest on the islands of the Dry Tortugas. They are joined by brown noddies, roseate terns, double-crested cormorants and brown pelicans.