Flamingo Commercial Services Plan Approved August 2008
The National Parks Conservation Association, South Florida National Parks Trust, and Everglades National Park hosted a two-day Flamingo visioning event on Monday and Tuesday, August 4 and 5, 2008.
During this two-day event, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) conducted a technical assistance panel that discussed issues related to rebuilding the Flamingo area of Everglades National Park. Click here to view final report from this workshop.
On July 23, 2008 the National Park Service (NPS) issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Flamingo Commercial Services Plan (CSP) project. Southeast Regional Director David Vela approved the FONSI based on the environmental assessment (EA) recommended by Everglades National Park Superintendent Dan B. Kimball. With the environmental assessment and associated compliance completed, the park can now focus on the rebuilding effort described in the plan.
Superintendent Kimball is pleased with the outcome of the planning process and the cooperative spirit in which it was developed. "I’m eager to now focus on bringing the plan to reality since I have heard frequently from so many of you what a special place Flamingo is, how much you care about it, and how important it is to the community and those that care about Everglades National Park. I’m committed to the challenge of reestablishing Flamingo, once again, as a premier destination and ‘gateway’ to Florida Bay, the park’s backcountry and the Wilderness Waterway".
The Final Plan provides for an enhanced mix of commercial services for land- and water-based accommodations, education and recreation activities. The Plan emphasizes eco-friendly development concepts and sustainable design features that take into account Flamingo’s location in a high hazard flood zone. The Plan’s financial analysis provides guidance on the numbers and sizes of these facilities, while emphasizing flexibility so that the park and future partners and concessioners can be provide needed facilities and services in a manner that offers a strong, viable business opportunity.
Among the features, the Plan calls for a single, elevated lodge/restaurant; elevated cottages; houseboats; eco-tents; additional services in the marina area; two backcountry chickees in Florida Bay. The Plan also includes the RV campground having electrical hookups; a new boat transfer service at the Buttonwood Canal plug; a wider array of guided tours, programs and services; a modest environmentally-friendly pool; and continued access to Eco Pond. During peak season a Flamingo circulator shuttle would transport visitors to key destinations and a "Yellow Bike" system would provide overnight guests with an alternative to private vehicle use. The new design will allow the Flamingo area to function more efficiently, while enhancing pedestrian and bicycle access throughout the area with new trails. With a reduced building footprint, approximately 50 acres would be restored to natural conditions.
To view the FONSI go to: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/documentsList.cfm?parkid=374&projectID=17034 and click on "Flamingo CSP/EA Finding of No Significant Impact." For more information about the plan contact Fred Herling, Project Manager at 305-242-7704 or e-mail us.