South Florida National Parks Trust

Press Room

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October 5, 2006
Contact: Don Finefrock,
Executive Director
South Florida Trust pledges $25,000 for Big Cypress

The South Florida National Parks Trust has awarded a $25,000 grant to Big Cypress National Preserve to support education and community outreach programs in Collier County during the coming year, the chairman of the Trust announced this week.

The South Florida Trust approved the grant during its annual meeting in September, shortly after voting to welcome Big Cypress as the newest partner of the Trust. The Trust is the official fund-raising partner for Everglades, Biscayne and Dry Tortugas National Parks. The addition of Big Cypress brings all four South Florida national parks together as partners in one organization.

“We are thrilled to have Big Cypress on board as our newest partner,” said Trust Chairman Carlos Arazoza. “We look forward to working with the superintendent and her staff to expand the preserve’s education program.” 

“We’re excited about this new partnership,” said Superintendent Karen Gustin. “I encourage people to support our education and outreach programs by supporting the Trust.”

Big Cypress will use the $25,000 grant to support the park’s existing education and outreach programs for students and the public. Big Cypress currently provides education programming for 6th-grade students in Collier County.

The South Florida National Parks Trust was established in 2002 by the National Park Foundation to improve the quality of life in South Florida by supporting the region’s national parks. The Trust has provided more than $1 million in direct support to its partner parks since its inception.

Congress established Big Cypress National Preserve in 1974 to preserve Big Cypress Swamp. Today the preserve covers 729,000 acres to the north and west of Everglades National Park.