For the third year in a row Florida State Parks has been awarded the National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in the management of state park systems. This is an unprecedented milestone in that Florida is the first state to receive the title three times. In fact, no other state has received it more than once.
"I am thrilled that the Florida Park Service continues to celebrate Florida. Winning this award for the third time continues to show that the Sunshine State is working hard to ensure Florida Families and tourists are able to enjoy our natural treasures, and I want to thank all of our employees and volunteers who helped make this possible," Governor Scott said in a recent press release from his office.
The National Recreation and Park Association in partnership with the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration presents the award to recognize those communities that demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, resource management and administrating a complex system of state parks.
"The fact that the Florida Park Service has won this prestigious national award three times, while no other state has ever won twice shows the dedication of our employees and volunteers to manage the resources that provide vast opportunities for Floridians and visitors to enjoy our natural resources," said Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. in the press release. "More than 25 million people visit these award-winning state parks each year, and we are proud to continue to show how special Florida is to all those who visit."
Central Florida has several State Parks that draw numerous visitors due to their unique characteristics such as Blue Spring State Park in Orange City where during the summer visitors can enjoy cooling off in the 72 degree spring water and in the winter can view the Florida manatee in their natural habitat.
Trails for hiking, biking or horseback riding, canoe/kayak trails, camping, picnicking, swimming, fishing, historical or environmental museums and displays, and botanical gardens are just some of the recreational opportunities found at Central Florida's state parks.
For more information about Florida's state parks visit their website.