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Contact: Matt Johnson, 786-335-3679
Contact: Gary Bremen, 305-230-1144, x007
HOMESTEAD, Fla. --- Florida’s eleven national parks joined forces to honor the National Park Service Centennial with a 100-mile paddle challenge. The challenge kicks off at 10:00 am on January 23, 2016, at Biscayne National Park’s Dante Fascell Visitor Center. A brief ceremony and photo op will be followed by a ranger-guided paddle and lessons for those just getting into the sport.
Over the course of 2016, participants will log miles paddling canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards in at least three of the eleven parks, taking selfies at each location. When they reach a cumulative total of 100 miles they can present their log and selfies at any of park visitor center to earn a commemorative patch.
“Paddling is a great way to get exercise, be outdoors and find your park,” said the Challenge’s coordinator Yelitza Sepulveda. “Paddling is one of my passions, and this just offers an incentive to get out and visit new places during the centennial year of the National Park Service.”
“A few national parks in Florida immediately spring to mind, but we wanted to do something to highlight ALL of the national parks in the state,” said Biscayne National Park Ranger Gary Bremen. “The state’s parks are so diverse: sandy beaches at Gulf Islands and Canaveral National Seashore, grassy waters at Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve and the Everglades, great opportunities for wildlife spotting at Big Cypress National Preserve, islands and reefs at Biscayne and Dry Tortugas, and amazing histories of exploration and colonization at DeSoto National Memorial, Matanzas National Monument, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument and Fort Caroline National Memorial.”
Participants are encouraged to share selfies on social media using hashtag #FLNPS100PaddleChallenge. Learn more about the Florida National Parks Centennial Paddle Challenge at nps.gov/bisc/paddlechallenge.htm.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 409 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.