The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service is proud to join with the Florida Department of State in commemorating 500 years of Florida history throughout 2013. Viva Florida 500 commemorates Florida’s rich heritage and diverse cultural history through 2013, a significant milestone unlike any other in the history of the United States. Visitors are invited to remember Florida’s rich history with first-hand experiences of the eras and events in state parks that helped make the state into what it is today: a community of many diverse cultures.
“Many of Florida’s state parks hold a piece of our state’s unique history and park staff work daily to tell the story of past cultures and events that shaped Florida,” said Donald Forgione, DEP’s Florida Park Service Director. “Through preservation and interpretation, Florida State Parks will continue to share the special history of Florida with this and future generations.”
Every week in 2013, the Florida Park Service will highlight a significant event or milestone that happened in a state park or associated with a state park on a new web page called, “Viva Florida 500 – History Notes.” At this web page, visitors can learn about Florida’s heritage through state parks and then experience it in real life by visiting that particular state park. From battle reenactments to geo-caching to homesteads of literary greats and inventors, Florida’s state parks offer a one-of-a-kind look into history.
“We are very proud to be partnering with the Florida Park Service to showcase Florida’s state parks and their influence on our state’s culture,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “Viva Florida 500 is a year-long commemorative event that offers opportunities to promote Florida’s history, such the history of our state parks, in an educational and entertaining way that Floridians and visitors will enjoy.”
During 2013, the Florida Park Service will host many events that will join in the commemoration of Viva Florida 500. Visitors are encouraged to check out the events page on FloridaStateParks.org for all the events in state parks.
Learn more at the Florida State Parks Viva Florida 500 webpage.