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4th Annual Wine & Wildlife Celebrates National Parks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                 Contact: Don Finefrock 305-665-4769

January 17, 2019                                                         dfinefrock@southfloridaparks.org

Media Alert – Wildlife biologist Joe Wasilewski and former National Park Service Director Fran Mainella are each available for interviews prior to the event date.

Wine & Wildlife Event Celebrates South Florida’s National Parks

NAPLES – Conservation biologist Joe Wasilewski was an Army MP in South Florida when he first developed his love for rare and exotic reptiles.

Fran Mainella, the 16th director of the National Park Service, was the first woman entrusted with preserving and protecting the nation’s crown jewels – its national parks.

Both have broken barriers during long careers protecting wildlife and parks and both will be honored on Thursday February 21 at the 4th annual Wine & Wildlife event sponsored by the South Florida National Parks Trust (SFNPT) at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Naples.

Wine & Wildlife combines good wine, great food and live wildlife in a one-of-a-kind event that celebrates South Florida’s national parks, honors the rangers who protect these extraordinary places, and raises money to support critical park programs and projects.

National parks are in the spotlight because of the government shutdown. Once the shutdown ends, the SFNPT will work with the National Park Service to address immediate needs. Events like Wine & Wildlife help to ensure that parks have the resources they need going forward.

On the night of the event, guest of honor Fran Mainella will headline a program that highlights the beauty and biodiversity of our parks while showcasing the programs that introduce local school kids to nature, protect native wildlife and preserve Florida’s natural environment.

This year’s presenting sponsor is Guest Services, a hospitality company, and the theme of the evening is Old Florida, with a menu of traditional Florida favorites and an open wine bar.

Guests will have a chance to meet Joe Wasilewski and have their photo taken with a symbol of Old Florida – an American alligator.

Wasilewski travels the world in search of reptiles but he is best known for his adventures here at home, tagging alligators and crocodiles and catching invasive pythons in the Everglades.

Event tickets, priced at $100 and $150, are available at www.wineandwildlife.eventbrite.com or by calling 305-665-4769. Proceeds benefit South Florida’s national parks and the South Florida National Parks Trust, the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service in South Florida.

About the South Florida National Parks TrustThe SFNPT is the official nonprofit partner of four national parks – Everglades, Biscayne and Dry Tortugas National Parks and Big Cypress National Preserve. Since 2002, the SFNPT has raised more than $7 million to support park programs and projects in five key areas: environmental education, resource protection, visitor services, volunteer activities and community outreach.

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