News Release

National Park Service benefits from half million-dollar donation by the Florida National Parks Association

A pink building with turquoise roof is surrounded by blue construction fencing. National Park Service arrowhead and "Guy Bradley Visitor Center" are on the side of the building.
Guy Bradley Visitor Center at Flamingo is nearing completion of remodeling.

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News Release Date: October 27, 2022

Contact: Everglades and Dry Tortugas: Allyson Gantt, 786-610-8023

Contact: Biscayne: Liz Strom, 786-335-3673

Contact: Big Cypress: Scott Pardue, 239-695-2000

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – In the last year, the four National Park Service (NPS) sites in South Florida received a combined $527,225 in aid from their nonprofit education partner, the Florida National Parks Association (FNPA). This substantial donation was made to enhance the visitor experience at Biscayne, Dry Tortugas and Everglades national parks, and Big Cypress National Preserve.

Donations from cooperating associations, like FNPA, are an important source of supplemental funding for national parks, often enabling parks to accomplish projects and activities that otherwise might not have been possible. 

“We are grateful for the philanthropic support of our partners. Their investment helps us enhance the park experience for visitors and achieve a margin of excellence we could not on our own,” said Superintendent Pedro Ramos, who has oversight for the four NPS sites in South Florida.

Aid to the national parks from FNPA is used to support Junior Ranger programs, volunteer appreciation activities, outreach events, staff training and visitor orientation. Additionally, this year’s aid supported:
  • Supplies for education and visitor programs led by volunteers at Big Cypress National Preserve;

  • Seasonal park rangers who provided education and visitor programs, and to replace safety and resource protection signs at Biscayne National Park;

  • Operation of the visitor center and campground at Dry Tortugas National Park; and

  • Renovation of the Guy Bradley Visitor Center in Flamingo at Everglades National Park with a $150,000 donation.

“The board of directors is thrilled to award these donations and we look forward to continuing to grow our partnership and support of the National Park Service,” said FNPA Chairman of the Board John Lynn. “In our 71-year history as a cooperating association, this is the most substantial gift to the NPS we have made to date.”

Since its inception in 1951, FNPA has donated $4,877,814 to the NPS.

Cooperating associations are official nonprofit education partners of the NPS. Working side-by-side with NPS staff, nearly 70 associations manage park stores in national parks across the United States. Through NPS-approved educational products, programs and events, they help people understand and connect with the meanings and themes of national parks.

Florida National Parks Association operates eight in-park stores throughout Biscayne, Dry Tortugas and Everglades national parks and Big Cypress National Preserve. These locations sell interpretive and educational materials to park visitors including books, maps, postcards and other educational items.

“The Florida National Parks Association is dedicated to helping the NPS provide enriching visitor experiences in South Florida’s national parks,” said FNPA Chief Executive Officer Jim Sutton. “Proceeds from FNPA operations, like park bookstores and FNPA-led interpretive programs, put visitor-spent dollars back into the park to continue to improve the visitor experience.”

Through educational institutes, FNPA also provides expanded educational offerings that teach visitors about the ecosystems and history of the parks. Their array of programing includes wilderness walks in Big Cypress, paddling in Everglades, and snorkeling eco-adventures in Biscayne.

Two girls with Junior Ranger badges and their parents are smiling and facing a man in uniform with the National Park Service arrowhead patch on his left arm.
Junior Rangers complete a series of activities to earn their own Junior Ranger badge. The joint program of Big Cypress, Biscayne and Everglades also offers children a collectible patch.

NPS Photo

Last updated: October 27, 2022

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