Support the Friends of Fakahatchee

Support 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.

Support the Friends of Fakahatchee

Your financial support is critical to protect the natural resources of the Fakahatchee Preserve and improve visitors experience. With your support we have been able to buy equipment and supplies to repair the boardwalk, fund prescribed burns, install five wayfinding kiosks, completely renovate the visitor center at the main entrance of the park, build a pole barn to shelter park vehicles, engage architects for the Boardwalk expansion project, fund the purchase of a vehicle and tram to provide educational tours about the Fakahatchee Preserve and it’s importance in the Western Everglades ecosystem. We are successful because of your support and generosity!

We invite you to join the Friends of Fakahatchee as a valuable member. We welcome your donations and are grateful for your generosity and support.
Why wait? Donate on-line now! Or mail your check, payable to FOF, to Friends of Fakahatchee, P.O. Box 35, Everglades City FL 34139.

Donate to the General Fund


Planned Giving

Friends of Fakahatchee (FOF) welcomes the opportunity to work with donors and their advisors for planned giving objectives, FOF is grateful for gifts of publicly trades securities; Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD’s) from Individual Retirement Accounts; testamentary bequests from the estate plans of our supporters.

Friends of the Fakahatchee maintains a brokerage account for the primary purpose of receiving gifts of publicly traded securities including mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETF’s). Until such time as Friends of Fakahatchee has and maintains a managed portfolio of securities as a permanent endowment, gifts of securities will be sold upon receipt with the proceeds reinvested in cash equivalent funds.

To learn more about support for the Fakahatchee through planned giving, please call the Friends at 239-695-1023.

From the President: Annual Fund Drive

Dear Friend,

As a Friend of Fakahatchee, you are part of the community that is preserving one of the most biologically rich places in North America.

Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park lies centrally within the Florida Panther National Refuge, the Big Cypress Area of Critical State Concern, the Greater Everglades Ecosystem, and the mangrove estuaries of the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Your protection of the park safeguards its hydrologically critical wetlands, rivers, lakes, mangroves, swamps, and marshes; and provides critical habitat to 71 imperiled plant species and 44 imperiled wildlife and bird species, including giant air plants, the rare ghost and cigar orchids, panthers, manatees, mangrove fox squirrels, everglades minks, wood storks and roseate spoonbills. Thank you sincerely for your partnership and activism.

This year, in the work of restoring, preserving, and supporting the wildlands and waterways of the Park, the need is great. $100,000 is needed for our support initiatives. Please take a moment to review the Friends of Fakahatchee funding needs for 2022 and please consider making a large gift this year. Together we are making impressive gains for the preservation of Florida’s natural ecosystems.

If you have any questions about Friends of Fakahatchee or its projects, please contact me at 239-992-5963 or Francine Stevens, FOF Executive Director at 239-695-1023.


Tom Maish
Friends of Fakahatchee

P.S. I encourage you to explore your options with an attorney, financial advisor, or estate planner for the types of gifts that may have tax benefits for you all while supporting FOF’s mission: stock and bond gifts, IRA distribution gifts, donor advised fund gifts, insurance gifts, charitable remainder trust gifts, and legacy gifts.


Donate to the Annual Fund

This poster sums up the 2022 priority funding needs for the Friends of Fakahatchee. Help support our efforts to preserve these natural treasures. Download the poster.

2022 Funding Needs

Renovation of Janes Scenic Drive Visitor’s Center

Renovation of Janes Memorial Scenic Drive Visitor’s Center: This Visitor’s Center is the first stop for many Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park visitors along the historic Janes Memorial Scenic Drive – an old logging tram road that cuts through the heart of the Fakahatchee strand for approximately 11 miles. The truly wild Florida experience on Janes Memorial Scenic Drive affords its visitors with the chance to encounter some of the imperiled plants and animals that call the park home, as well as enjoy the many recreational activities the park offers. The Visitor’s Center provides a critical starting point where guests can meet, learn about the park’s wildlife and beauty, and plan for the various adventures possible in the Fakahatchee. Today it remains closed until the Friends can finance the necessary renovation work required to re-open. This work is outside of the State’s budget.

The visitor center is an important first stop for many who visit the Fakahatchee. First time visitors learn more here about the natural history of the strand and the activities that are best suited for their interests and abilities.

Board Walk Expansion Project

The Friends have been instrumental in working with Florida legislators to secure funds and resources to expand The Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk all the way out to Lake Heron, which will include additional miles of trails and boardwalk, observation points and a new Visitor’s Interpretive Educational Pavilion. The Friends are working with local artists to create and fund the educational video, Fakahatchee: Window on the Everglades, which will play in the new Visitor Pavilion. The video will educate visitors about Fakahatchee’s importance in the Everglades ecosystem.

The boardwalk expansion project will provide high-quality access to the landscapes of the Fakahatchee, along with safer parking and an interpretative pavilion.


The Friends sponsor various projects working with local and state biologists to restore, understand, and protect the vast array of threatened and thriving unique plant and animal life in the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. The Friends also work directly with Park staff in assessing and maintaining the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk and trails of the Fakahatchee, and fund critical park equipment in collaboration with park staff.

Volunteers maintain the boardwalks for all comers. From the trails and boardwalks visitors have unique opportunities to encounter rare plants and animals in their natural habitat.


The Friends partner with park staff and conduct various educational initiatives throughout the Fakahatchee, including swamp walks and tram tours – our newest Moonlit Tram Tour brings Fakahatchee visitors the unqiue experience of the park at night!

The Ghostrider tram escorts visitors into the strand while expert guides provide the context for their encounters.