national parks centennial

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.

Restoration Is A Commitment To Our Sons And Daughters

Aug 26, 2016

Over the last 100 years, millions of Americans and international visitors have stepped foot in America’s national parks.  National parks bring out the best of our nation and conserving these beautiful resources for future generations is our pride and responsibility.  This summer, I watched with joy as the faces of my four children under the age of 10 lit up as we created memories on our journey through the Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

Tropical Audubon Society

Everglades National Park is home to an endangered bird whose nesting habitat seemingly stands in the way of Everglades Restoration. Named after Cape Sable, the southernmost point in mainland United States, the Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow is so particular about its nesting habitat that it has been nicknamed the “Goldilocks Bird.” Only when perfect conditions are met — just enough flooding, just enough fires — will the male sparrow sing and nesting begin.

Our National Parks Have The Key To Our History (And Our Future)

Aug 24, 2016

As a Miamian, I’m proud of the fact that we are the only major city in the country sandwiched between two national parks – Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park. There are precious few landscapes in America as impressive as the Everglades, and none as definitively iconic to its home state. That’s why the first place I tell visitors to see – or anyone who lives here for that matter – is the Everglades. 

Michal Kranz/WLRN


As freshwater leaves the Everglades and flows south and east, it enters Biscayne National Park. Today, this pristine water enters Biscayne Bay through a series of manmade canals and helps feed the park’s unique aquatic ecosystems.

The park itself is unlike any other in the country - 95 percent of it is in the Atlantic Ocean. While much of its water is salty, freshwater is critical for the bay’s abundant corals and seagrasses.


Florida's Natural Filter: Everglades National Park

Aug 24, 2016
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Inside of The Everglades National Park  - deep into the Gumbo Limbo Trail - the namesake trees are jokingly referred to as "tourist trees" because the Gumbo Limbo is red and has peeling bark, like a sunburn. 

It's a hot August day - 91 degrees - and the humidity is palpable. More than one million people visit the Everglades every year, but silence is still a distinctive feature of this 1.5 million acres of protected wetlands. 

What else stands out along the hiking destination? The water here.

A Trip Back In Time: Big Cypress National Preserve

Aug 24, 2016
Amanda Rabines

Inside of a cypress swamp, in the Big Cypress National Preserve, the elevation slowly drops and visitors making their way inside the wetland may easily find themselves in knee-deep water --water that is so clear you can see your legs, or any other creatures swimming by, but muddy enough at the bottom, you lose sight of your feet.

“Some people have an image in their head, they hear ‘swamps’ and they think dark scary place,” says Lisa Andrews, ranger at Big Cypress National Preserve. “When they come here, they see for themselves how beautiful it is.” 


Today, we celebrate the historic centennial of the National Park Service, one of our country’s crowning achievements and a model of conservation and preservation that is used all over the world.


In Florida, we are a fortunate enough to have 11 national park sites. Each is unique to our area and each is deserving of national park protection. And this centennial year we’ve had some incredible victories on behalf of some of our parks right here in South Florida.