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Florida State Parks facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

The Florida State Parks encompass the majority of the lands that fall under the authority of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The 175 such locations include nature reserves, recreation areas, and historic sites. New park lands are added as landowners make gifts of property to the state or localities choose to turn over control of their historic sites to the state. The state park system is divided into five administrative districts.

The parks and other entities are served by a statewide system of park rangers. The state park system also hosts an AmeriCorps chapter, called AmeriCorps Florida State Parks.

Several of the state parks were formerly private tourist attractions which were purchased by the state of Florida to preserve their natural environment. These parks include the Silver Springs State Park, Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, Rainbow Springs State Park, Crystal River Archaeological State Park, and Weeki Wachee Springs.

Fees and public support

Florida State Parks are supported by tax dollars (document stamps), user fees, and to a much smaller extent, charitable contributions. Some state parks have an associated local 501(c)(3) corporation, often styled "Friends of {park name} State Park, Inc."

Most parks charge an entrance fee. Residents can purchase an annual entrance pass that is valid at any of the parks. Camping is available in campsites in some of the parks.

All reservations for park facilities are handled through the private corporation, ReserveAmerica. Florida State Parks provides an updated online guide to all parks.

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