TALLAHASSEE – In order to continue to provide high quality visitor services and affordable nature-based recreation, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Florida Park Service will implement a modest fee increase beginning Wednesday, July 1, 2009, in conjunction with the state’s fiscal calendar.
“Florida’s award-winning state parks provide inexpensive, high quality recreation in an unmatched natural setting,” said DEP Deputy Secretary of Land and Recreation Bob Ballard. “This fee increase will help keep Florida’s state parks open for residents and visitors to experience while still proving to be one of the most affordable activities in the state.”
As the first fee update in five years, additional state park user fees will supplement current revenue sources used to maintain the state’s valuable natural and cultural resources within Florida’s 160 state parks. Nearly half of the $81 million used to operate the state park system is raised from entrance and usage fees. Some of the most common fees that will change include:
· Day-use entrance fee for vehicles with up to eight people: average increase of $1.00 – $3.00.
· Camping fees: average increase of $4.00 per night.
· Cabin rental fees: average increase of $10.00 per night.
· Annual Pass: $60.00 for individuals and $120.00 for families up to eight people.
The Florida Park Service Annual Pass is good for day-use entrance into Florida’s state parks and a 33 percent discount for individual admission to Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, Skyway Fishing Pier State Park and Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.
“With state park attendance breaking records and still on the rise, we have heard overwhelming support to keep all state parks open and available to the public,” said Florida Park Service Director Mike Bullock. “Even with this fee increase, it is comforting to know a trip to a state park still remains affordable. Last year, more than 20 million visitors enjoyed Florida’s state parks for just a few dollars, contributing more than one billion dollars to Florida’s economy and creating more than 20,000 jobs.”
In addition to these increases, the Florida Park Service will lower the cost of admission at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park in Spring Hill to bring the cost of admission down to rates more consistent with Florida’s other state parks. The cost of admission for an adult will decrease from $26.57 to $13.00 and from $18.05 to $5.00 for children.
The first two-time Gold Medal winner honoring the nation’s best state park service, Florida’s state park system is one of the largest in the country with 160 parks, which are open 365 days a year. Florida’s state parks, which span more than 700,000 acres and include more than 100 miles of sandy white beach, provide an affordable outing for people of all ages. Caladesi Island State Park, just off the coast of Pinellas County, was honored with the coveted Best Beach in the Nation award in 2008.
View a complete list of Florida State Park entry fees: Click here
All additional fees will be posted on the Florida State Parks Web site at www.floridastateparks.org on July 1, 2009.