January 18, 2022
Three Ways to Explore the Florida Outdoors The New Year
Whether you call them goals, lifestyle changes, or even resolutions, chances are you’ve got some major plans for yourself in 2022.
And we’re here to help you with those plans!
If you want to reconnect with nature, be more eco-friendly, take up a new hobby, prioritize your mental wellness, or any combination of things that lead you to living your best, most healthy and adventurous life, we’ve included three ways to help you fulfill those goals below.
Best of all, they take place right here in Florida’s national parks!
We are excited to announce a brand new kayaking program at Everglades National Park!
Making it’s grand debut just last month, visitors can now delight in the wonders of Florida Bay with this ranger-guided paddling adventure.
“Shoreline Flamingo” goes beyond the pavement and boardwalks of Everglades National Park and uses sit-on-top kayaks to explore Flamingo’s fish, feathers, and fame while journeying along shallow coastal waters and mangrove covered keys.
The Alliance provided the funding for the kayaks themselves, as well as other associated equipment and training necessary for the program, and now our supporters – that’s you! – have the opportunity to personally experience their dollars at work.
This program takes place every day through March at 1:30 pm and is free to all visitors, but reservations are required. Check out the Everglades National Park calendar for more details!
All four of South Florida’s national park units – Everglades, Dry Tortugas, Biscayne, and Big Cypress – offer amazing camping opportunities. Here are few things to know before you go…
The Eco Tents at Flamingo in Everglades National Park provide the perfect glamping experience for those new to the camping scene – or for those that just want an easy getaway without having to pack all of your gear! Fun fact: The Alliance funded the prototype design for these tents wayyyy back in 2012, and those prototypes led to what you see today! Click here to book a stay at an Eco Tent through our partner, Flamingo Adventures.
Campgrounds within Biscayne National Park are only accessible by watercraft. On January 1st, fees to camp on Boca Chita and Elliott Key increased to $25, which allows the park to enhance visitor services and better safeguard these spaces – and we can all agree that the more protection these resources receive, the better!
The most popular way for campers to access Dry Tortugas National Park is via the Yankee Freedom ferry, but be forewarned that the ferry fills up weeks ahead of time, so make your reservations well in advance! And here’s an insider tip for you: if you book a camping trip in July, you may see some nurse sharks making their annual return to their mating grounds just off the shores of Garden Key. (We’ve been funding the study of this vulnerable species for the past few years!)
Big Cypress National Preserve’s campgrounds are arguably the easiest to access, with most of the campgrounds located just off of U.S. 41. Checkout the campground at Monument Lake, which received some major updates recently, including a shower installation. While you’re in the area, do some wildlife spotting on the new canal bridge right outside of the Nathaniel P. Reed Visitor Center that we cut the ribbon on just last summer!
The preparation for the upcoming sea turtle nesting season is already underway!
The Alliance is proud to once again support Biscayne National Park’s Beach Clean-up program so that when nesting sea turtles begin to come ashore in the late Spring, they have a clean, safe space for themselves and their hatchlings.
On any weekday through April 30th, groups of 4-8 people can sign-up to be whisked away by the Biscayne National Park rangers to one of the park’s remote islands to remove all manmade debris that poses a threat to the sea turtle mamas of 2022.
Last year, this program removed 21,000 pounds of trash from the shorelines and waterways of Biscayne National Park – and with your help, we can beat that number this year!
More information on how to sign-up can be found on VolunteerMatch.org.
Looking for some more outdoor inspo? Check out these photos from our most recent Swamp Celebration!