July 6, 2016 – Everglades National Park and the South Florida National Parks Trust (SFNPT) have won a $250,000 historic preservation grant to restore the park’s iconic Flamingo Visitor Center after a six-week national voting campaign, the SFNPT announced today.
The Partners in Preservation grant awarded by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation will help to spur park efforts to revitalize the entire Flamingo district inside Everglades National Park.
The Flamingo Visitor Center was voted one of the top projects nationwide by the public during a “Vote Your Park” campaign organized by the National Trust, American Express and National Geographic to showcase preservation projects in national parks.
More than one million votes were cast online during the campaign. Everglades received 64,155 votes, the 7th highest total among the 20 participating national parks.
“We are grateful to everyone who supported Everglades National Park through this exciting campaign. The results are especially rewarding as this support corresponds with the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act,” said Superintendent Pedro Ramos of Everglades National Park.
The park will use the $250,000 grant to repair the exterior of the visitor center, restore the surrounding landscape and improve the visitor experience in Flamingo while working toward the goal of opening a new visitor center inside the building.
With its distinctive breezeway and bright pink exterior, the Flamingo Visitor Center has served as a gateway to the Everglades and Florida Bay since the 1960s. The waterfront building was damaged in 2005 by back-to-back hurricanes and is now in need of repair.
Everglades National Park was one of 20 national parks competing for $2 million in grant funding from the National Trust and American Express. Grants were awarded today to the nine parks that received the most public votes during the Vote Your Park campaign. The grants celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016.
“We are thrilled with the response and support for Partners in Preservation: National Parks and are proud to be awarding $2 million in grants to extraordinary sites that tell the story of our national park system and reflect the rich cultural resources within it,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation.
“Partners in Preservation: National Parks has shone new light on the importance of rehabilitating historic resources in national parks and provided much needed funding to make them more accessible to visitors for years to come,” said Stephanie K. Meeks, President and CEO, National Trust for Historic Preservation. “And through their participation in the campaign, more than 140,000 Americans have reaffirmed that these places matter – to our history, our nation, and our communities.”
“The Partners in Preservation program is an excellent example of the many ways private organizations have always been essential to the success and longevity of the National Park System,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “These grants will enable our parks to restore and preserve priceless historical features that make a visit to a national park so unique.”
Located at the center of the greatest wilderness east of the Rockies, Flamingo is the gateway to the 99-mile Wilderness Waterway and many shorter boating and paddling adventures in Everglades National Park. Flamingo is also a birder’s paradise, home to the Roseate Spoonbill and a host of other birds, including the American Flamingo. The waters around Flamingo provide refuge for the threatened American Crocodile, and manatees are frequently spotted in the Flamingo marina. Flamingo is also one of the world’s premiere fishing destinations. Anglers pursue mangrove snapper, redfish, snook, tarpon, and other game fish on Florida Bay and in the backcountry.
About Partners in Preservation
Partners in Preservation is a program in which American Express, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, awards preservation grants to historic places across the country. Through this partnership, American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation seek to increase the public’s awareness of the importance of historic preservation in the United States and to preserve America’s historic and cultural places. The program also hopes to inspire long-term support from local citizens for the historic places at the heart of their communities. To date, Partners in Preservation has awarded $16 million in support of historic places across the United States.
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.
About the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places. www.savingplaces.org.