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Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
Park seeks public comment on the Flamingo Commercial Services Plan
In 2005, hurricanes severely damaged the Flamingo area of Everglades National Park. These storms caused overwhelming impacts to already aged facilities, and many of the visitor uses and services in Flamingo had to be shut down or reduced. The National Park Service (NPS) has been asked by many individuals and organizations to expedite the process for determining Flamingo’s future. As a result, we have embarked on a planning process, through the development of a Commercial Services Plan (CSP)/Environmental Assessment, to identify alternatives and make decisions about the future of commercial services in Flamingo as soon as possible.
Everglades National Park is excited about this unique opportunity to rethink and perhaps redesign how Flamingo functions as a gateway to Florida Bay and the Wilderness Waterway. The project will integrate many cutting edge sustainable planning principles in terms of site and facility design and energy conservation; identify ways to minimize impacts to natural and cultural resources; and seek to have Flamingo function in a more pedestrian-friendly way. Some of the commercial service options that could be considered include flexible and adaptable lodging facilities at Flamingo to meet the needs for many types of park visitors. Some structures could be permanent, while others might be taken down and stored during hurricane season. Information on a range of lodging options that might be appropriate at Flamingo will be available at the public workshops.
The NPS will be holding public workshops that provide an opportunity for interested persons to have direct involvement in the planning process. There will be discussions regarding the appropriate range of services that should be provided at Flamingo, including (but not limited to) overnight lodging; marina, boating and paddling services; food, beverage and retail services; and other types of visitor services such as guided tours.
"I have heard firsthand from many of you what a special place Flamingo is and how much you care about this place. Our challenge is to establish Flamingo, once again, as the ‘gateway’ to Florida Bay and the Wilderness Waterway. We look forward to working with you in this planning effort and trust that with your involvement, Flamingo will become a destination more memorable than ever" stated Superintendent Dan Kimball.
There will be 4 public workshops held, each from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. These workshops provide two time slots for separate, repeated sessions, with formal presentations at 6:00 and 7:30 p.m. Before and after the presentations, there will be opportunities to learn more about the planning project through informational displays, and staff available to answer questions and document your ideas on the commercial services that should be considered at Flamingo. With this format, anyone attending should be able to fully participate in 1½ to 2 hours.
Dates & Locations
International Game Fish Association
Hall of Fame
300 Gulfstream Way
Dania Beach, FL 33004
Key Largo Sheraton
97000 South Overseas Highway
Key Largo, FL 33037
Palmetto Golf Course
9300 SW 152nd Street
Miami, FL 33157
Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center
Everglades National Park
40001 SR 9336
Homestead, FL 33034
* Please note: this meeting was added after the newsletter was mailed out earlier this week. This information is included in the newsletter on NPS Planning website listed below.
The public comment period closes November 17, 2006. If you cannot attend one of the workshops there are several other ways to participate:
- Newsletters and comment forms will be available at each Everglades National Park Visitor Center during the public comment period.
- Visit the NPS Planning website: http://parkplanning.nps.gov, to learn more about the project, download the project newsletter and comment form, and submit comments via the internet. Simply select "Everglades National Park" from the drop down box and then follow the link for the Flamingo Commercial Services Plan/EA.
- Comments can also be submitted by mail to:
Everglades National Park
Attn: Fred Herling, Flamingo CSP
40001 State Road 9336
Homestead, FL 33034
All public comments will be considered in developing the draft plan, which is expected to be available for public review in June 2007. In addition, Superintendent Kimball stressed that "the results of this plan will be incorporated into the park’s long-term, park-wide planning effort that many of you are participating in", the Park’s General Management Plan, that is still several years from completion.
For more information or questions, contact Fred Herling, Project Manager at 305-242-7704.