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Contact: Kevin Bowles Mohr, 305-242-7752
Contact: General Park Information, 305-242-7700
Contact: Mary Plumb, Public Affairs Officer (Acting), 305-242-7714
HOMESTEAD, Florida: Everglades National Park's nationally award winning volunteer program is hosting a volunteer event in recognition of Armed Forces Day, on Saturday, May 18. The volunteer event is taking place at the park's historic Nike Missile Site, one of America's best preserved sites from the Cold War Era and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Although Everglades National Park was established to protect wildlife, in response to the gravity of the situation, park managers issued a permit to the U.S. Army to build the base within the park. Official military use was terminated in 1979. It is now listed on the U.S. Department of the Interior's National Register of Historic Places. Volunteers are invited to join park staff to help preserve and restore for future generations this site that holds such an important place in the history of our nation and the world.
Volunteer Project: Volunteers will remove brush and weeds from the fence line, launch site, and berms surrounding the missile barns. Volunteers may also redefine the edges of the concrete launch pads and roads that have slowly been encroached upon by grasses and dirt accumulation. Attending volunteers will enjoy a tour of the Nike Missile Site.
Volunteers will meet in the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center parking lot at 9:00 a.m. Be prepared for hot and humid weather. Participants are required to wear long-sleeved shirts, sneakers, and long pants to protect against exposure to sun, stinging insects, poisonwood, and ivy. Please bring a lunch, water, a hat, and sunglasses.
Participating volunteers will receive a free entry pass, enabling each volunteer to visit the Everglades again and share this unique national park with their family and friends.
· Anyone under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian fill out the approval section of the Volunteer Agreement before volunteering.
Directions: Address of Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center: 40001 SR 9336, Homestead, Florida 33034. Volunteers coming from the Miami area and northern destinations should take the Florida Turnpike (Route 821) south until it ends merging with U.S.1 at Florida City. Turn right at the first traffic light onto Palm Drive (State Road 9336/SW 344th St.) and follow the signs to the park. The Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center will be on the right.
Volunteer Program: Everglades National Park's volunteer program has been recognized nationally as a recipient of the Hartzog Park Program Volunteer Service Award. In the last five years, Everglades National Park's volunteer program has seen a 150 percent increase in volunteers and nearly a growth of 50 percent in contributed hours, due to its strategic planning and focused collaboration. Through collaboration with Biscayne National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve, more than 300 student volunteers contributed more than 5,000 hours in two months.
In 1970, when Director Hartzog started the National Park Service volunteer program, there were about 300 participants. Last year, more than 257,000 volunteers of all ages, from all over the country, and the world, donated 6.7 million hours of their time to help preserve and protect the national parks they love.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 401 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.