About the Friends of Fakahatchee

About the Friends of Fakahatchee

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.


This 17 minute documentary funded by the Friends of Fakahatchee was created by photographer Jay Staton. It explores the history of the Fakahatchee and showcases the accomplishments of the Friends of Fakahatchee including the new boardwalk site. (View video on YouTube – https://youtu.be/Rz32inxYb6Q ).

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 park’s operations by working in concert with the objectives consistent with the park Unit Management Plan (UMP).

The Friends of Fakahatchee (FOF) work hand in hand with park staff to provide resource-based recreation while educating, preserving and restoring natural resources. One of FOF’s important missions is to educate the public about the fragility of the Fakahatchee biodiversity doing so thru our seasonal adventures and programs. When you embark on a FOF adventure and attend our programs you join us in becoming the voice of the Fakahatchee by spreading the word of what you learned from our dedicated volunteers who donate their time out of the generosity of their hearts.

We invite you to the Fakahatchee’s  Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk. When you visit  you will understand why the FOF supported the State’s Boardwalk Expansion Project to provide safe parking a nd restrooms. The new site includes an Interpretive Pavilion and a Boardwalk that leads to Green Heron Lake. The trail at this point will eventually connect to the original Boardwalk that was closed after hurricane IAN, a complete reconstruction was approved and is expected by 2026 or sooner.

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. We highly recommend the swamp walks to discover there is nothing swampy about them. Peace, tranquility, and visual beauty will surround you. You will walk away with a sense of well being you never expected.

We trust we’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.



Virginia Palmer Skok
President, Friends of Fakahatchee Inc.

FOF Board Code of Ethics

2024 CSO Goals

  • Develop a presentation for speaking engagements with surrounding communities
  • Develop a strategic plan

What's a CSO?

Section 258.015, Florida Statutes states that the purpose of a Citizen Support Organization (CSO) is to “operate for the direct or indirect benefit of the state park system or individual units of the state park system.” In other words, the purpose of a CSO is to support the missions of the Department of Environmental Protection (Department) and the Division of Recreation and Parks (Division).

By statute, CSOs are authorized to raise funds, seek and receive grants, and accept gifts, bequests of money and tangible or real property on behalf of their host parks. In addition to monetary support, CSOs assist the parks through increasing community awareness and involvement in the parks and their programs.

For detailed information about how a CSO operates, see the CSO Handbook.