national parks

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  Over the weekend, many people in South Florida and throughout the nation took part in ceremonies marking the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

One group of South Florida military veterans observed the anniversary by providing more service. The Miami platoon of The Mission Continues nonprofit traveled to Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park.

  The group has been working with the Suncoast chapter of the National Parks Conservation Association to help out the parks. The National Park Service is marking its centennial this year.

Gracie has been training with Ally Cowan at the Wind River Bear Institute. Today they're trying to herd five sheep into a wooden corral, in a grassy valley a few hours south of Glacier National Park in Montana.

"Getting a border collie to drive, basically stay behind and push forward is a bit tougher," Cowan says. "For Gracie, we are working against that instinct a little bit, because for a wild goat, we don't want her bringing them closer to people; we want her pushing them away."

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the national park system. And of course, South Florida is home to two big ones: Everglades National Park and the sometimes-misunderstood Biscayne National Park.

Until May 1,  a new tour offered by the Park Service and Miami-Dade County is trying to better familiarize people with watery Biscayne National.

  From the moment the boat, the Pelican Skipper,”pulls away from the dock, you realize how many animals we’re surrounded by here in South Florida

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

Visiting a national park this summer?

Be prepared to pay more for the experience. Many national parks across the country, faced with tight budgets and delayed maintenance, are increasing entrance fees.

The National Park Service says 106 of the 128 parks that charge entry fees are raising those fees or planning to do so in the coming year.

The list includes many of the most popular parks such as Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon, as well as monuments and historic sites.

Creative Commons via Flickr / Erik Cleves Kristensen (

In a new report from the National Park Service, almost 3 million people walked, boated, bird-watched or were dragged by a parent to one of the four national parks and reserves in South Florida: Big Cypress, Biscayne National, Dry Tortugas and Everglades. / National Park Service

12/05/13 - Thursday's Topical Currents begins with Biscayne National Park Superintendent Brian Carlstrom.  The park will hold hearings to consider the delicate balance between public usage and protection of national resources.

Florida's National Parks Are Free Through April 26

Apr 24, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

In celebration of National Parks Week, every national park in the United States is free of charge through Friday, April 26.

These include Everglades National Park and the Dry Tortugas National Park off of Key West.

For a complete list of Florida's National Parks, go to the website by clicking here.

Dry Tortugas Dispatch: Fortification, Visitation, and Bliss

Feb 21, 2013
Nathaniel Sandler

This is the second dispatch in a two-part exploration of Dry Tortugas National Park. The first post can be found here.