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Contact: Gary Bremen, 305-230-1144, x007
On February 29, 50 people will become US Citizens at Biscayne National Park…a place that now belongs to them as it does to all Americans. The ceremony, open to the public, takes place at 10 am at the park's Dante Fascell Visitor Center, located 9 miles east of Homestead at 9700 SW 328 Street.
The National Park Service (NPS) and Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) established a formal partnership several years ago to host naturalization ceremonies in the nation's most treasured places, its National Parks. This event marks the first time such a ceremony will take place in South Florida.
"National parks speak to who we are as a people and as a Nation," said Assistant Superintendent Sula Jacobs. "Biscayne National Park is an ideal setting for such an important event."
The keynote speaker will be Lloyd Miller, widely considered to be the "father" of Biscayne National Park. Miller describes himself as an ordinary citizen who worked with many other ordinary citizens to fight two major development projects on south Biscayne Bay. That fight led to the establishment of Biscayne National Monument (the park's predecessor) in 1968. Miller is fond of quoting Margaret Mead, who said "never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has."
After the ceremony, a variety of ranger-led programs will be available, including walks, talks and a guided canoe trip. Those wishing to attend the ceremony as spectators should plan to arrive early, as parking will be located at neighboring Homestead Bayfront Park with free shuttle transportation provided.
For more information on the ceremony, contact Gary Bremen at 305-230-1144, x007. For more information on Citizenship Ceremonies in National Parks, visit www.nps.gov/aboutus/newcitizens.htm. For regular updates from the park, "like" us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/BiscayneNPS and "follow" us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BiscayneNPS.