Friends of Fakahatchee: Dedicated to financial and volunteer support to preserve the unique ecology and cultural heritage of Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park and educate the public about its importance.
Welcome to the Friends of Fakahatchee website where you will discover how important this non-profit organization is to the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park.
We are a Citizen Support Organization (CSO) and exist to support the state park by working in concert with the objectives consistent with the state park Unit Management Plan (UMP).
The Friends of Fakahatchee (FOF) work hand in hand with park staff to provide resource-based recreation while interpreting, preserving and restoring natural resources. One of FOF’s important missions is to educate the public about the fragility of the Fakahatchee biodiversity and we do so by creating wonderful adventures and programs. When you embark on a FOF adventure and attend our programs you are contributing to the Park’s financial support and you join us in becoming the voice of the Fakahatchee by spreading the word of what you have learned from our dedicated volunteers who donate their time out of the generosity of their hearts.
I invite you to the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk, and when you visit you will understand why the FOF is supporting the State’s project that will provide restrooms and plenty of safe parking. The plan also includes an extension to the Boardwalk that will add hours of enjoyment in the Fakahatchee, and of course no park should be without a beautiful interpretive pavilion and this one will be reminiscent in architecture of an old cracker cabin. The Friends of Fakahatchee welcome your generous donations, specifically for the Boardwalk Expansion project.
After your visit to the Boardwalk you’ll want to explore Janes Scenic Drive. Jump on one of our adventures to find out what Janes Scenic is all about. I highly recommend the swamp walks as you will discover, like I did, there is nothing swampy about it. Peace, tranquility, and visual beauty will surround you, and you will walk out with a sense of well being you never expected.
I trust I’ve inspired you to become a member of this wonderful organization, and when time permits to volunteer. Our mission is not just a poetic statement on a piece of paper. Our mission is energy kept in motion by members and volunteers like you.
President, Friends of Fakahatchee Inc.
2019 CSO Goals
- Support the Lost Orchid restoration project.
- Carry through with the installation of the Wayfinding signs.
- Encourage the Park to obtain a Ramsar designation.
- Carry through assisting Park staff with the construction of the Pole Barn
- Assist Park staff to provide activities for visitors on Janes Scenic Drive with a walking loop trail at gate 2.
- Increase membership by 10%.
- Encourage DEP to provide a list of private land owners with the goal of giving individuals opportunities to buy parcels of land
and donate back to the State Park.
As a Citizens Support Organization, the Friends work closely with the Park staff to:
- provide interpretive materials used by Park staff
- obtain scientific equipment to support research in the Strand
- organize and promote events to build awareness of the Strand
- distribute information to the general public
- solicit support (financial and moral) for preservation of the Strand
- record and report suspicious activity and fund the installation and maintenance of a network of hidden cameras to guard against illegal plant removal
FOF volunteers do everything from clearing trails, leading swamp walks, tram rides and coastal cruises to hosting events, serving on the board of directors and much more.
CSOs support the parks by working on park projects or raising money to help meet the needs of a park as defined by park management and the Unit Management Plan. The assistance CSOs provide the park may include but not be limited to recruiting volunteers, helping with special work projects, serving as guides and docents, and conducting tours or special programs. Members in the organization can also develop and promote special events and market the park and its programs to the community.