We #LoveFlorida Public Lands

#LoveFlorida Public Lands Campaign

The Florida Public Lands campaign celebrates beloved parks and preserves throughout the state and engages Floridians in sharing why they #LoveFlorida. With a goal of re-authorizing and fully funding critical land and water conservation programs like Florida Forever and the Land and Water Conservation Fund, we highlight iconic Florida parks and preserves that have been protected through these programs.

The Public Lands campaign includes outdoor education events with other non-profits and organizations, presentations to businesses and community groups, a social media outreach campaign (#LoveFlorida), and timely citizens’ calls to action.

The program features sites throughout Florida, with an emphasis on the central Florida region. Locations include springs, rivers, beaches, wetlands, forests and other upland areas that support wildlife and a variety of recreational opportunities like fishing, hiking and paddling.

Share Why You #LoveFlorida

Get outside in your favorite park or preserve. Snap a picture and tag #LoveFlorida

Check out our love letters to Florida on our website.

Email contact@fcvoters a “love letter” to your favorite Florida place. Send a short paragraph and a photo of you in your favorite park or preserve. We may feature you in a future newsletter or social media story.

Parks and Preserves Benefit All Floridians

Parks and open spaces make our communities better. From small urban parks to expansive preserves, natural areas provide many benefits to Floridians and visitors. By protecting special places, we can ensure:

Opportunities for recreation with our families;

Protection of our drinking water supplies and flood minimization;

Habitat for wildlife like the Florida black bear, manatees and birds; and

A wild and wonderful legacy for future generations.

Full and Reliable Funding Needed for Conservation Programs

Land and Water Conservation Fund

The federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), was a bipartisan commitment created by Congress in 1964 to safeguard natural areas, water resources and our cultural heritage; and to provide recreation opportunities to all Americans. It uses revenues from oil and gas drilling – not taxpayer money.

National parks like Rocky Mountain and the Grand Canyon, as well as national wildlife refuges, national forests, rivers and lakes, community parks, and trails in each of the 50 states were set aside thanks to the LWCF. Funding of $900 million annually for this program expired in September 2018 and has not be re-authorized by Congress. More than $1 Billion in funding has gone to protect areas in Florida like:

Kissimmee Lakefront Park

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

Cape Canaveral National Seashore

Big Cypress National Preserve & Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge

Click HERE to find LWCF projects in your area.

Florida Forever, Preservation 2000 and the Land Acquisition Trust Fund

Florida Forever (FF) is Florida’s premier conservation and recreation lands program and the largest public land acquisition program of its kind in the U.S. Beginning as Preservation 2000 program in 1991, these programs provided $300 million annually and have protected more than 2.5 million acres of lands and waters, including:

Gilchrist Blue Springs Park (Florida’s 175th State Park)

Crystal River Preserve State Park

Ocala, Osceola and Apalachicola National Forests

Following the 2008 recession, funding for conservation was slashed. Citizens demanded a change and, in 2014, passed the Florida Water and Land Legacy Act (Amendment 1) by 75%. The Land Acquisition Trust Fund (LATF) uses revenue from documentary stamps - not taxes – for new conservation and recreation. Despite widespread public support, the Legislature has failed to fully fund the LATF.

Click HERE to find Florida Communities Trust projects in your area – a program through the LATF.