Organizations offer $50K in hurricane relief for Florida Park Service workers
Image via Wes Wolfe.

little talbot state park damage
Park Service employees and volunteers can apply for up to $1,000.

The people who keep Florida’s state parks the envy of the nation, and who responded across the state to help others in the wake of Hurricane Ian’s destruction, had homes and families that went through the disaster the same as everyone else. 

Florida Park Service employees and volunteers who were affected by Ian can apply for up to $1,000 in relief funds through a partnership of the Florida State Parks Foundation and the Florida Park Service Ranger Association, who are administering $50,000 for those Park Service workers.

“Our top-notch Florida Park Service employees and volunteers are devoted to protecting our precious natural resources while helping visitors enjoy treasured state park experiences,” said Tammy Gustafson, Florida State Parks Foundation President. “With so many of our committed state park staff personally impacted by Hurricane Ian, we are honored to serve and assist those who serve our state parks.”

The excellence of the state park system is indeed one of Florida’s legitimate reasons to feel proud of itself. In 2019, Florida State Parks became the first park system in the nation to win four Gold Medal awards from the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, having won them previously in 1999, 2005 and 2013. The Academy awards the state parks Gold Medal only once every two years. 

“We are grateful that the Florida State Parks Foundation and Florida Park Service Ranger Association have offered to help our many impacted staff so quickly after Hurricane Ian,” said Chuck Hatcher, Director of Florida State Parks. “Park rangers are a special group of people who devote their lives to their parks and their communities, and we will rally around them as much as possible during this challenging time.”

Park Service employees and volunteers who wish to apply for assistance can do so online through the James A. Cook Humanitarian Relief Fund application form

People who would like to help with the effort can donate through the Florida State Parks Foundation website, with a note designating the donation for Hurricane Ian recovery.

Wes Wolfe

Wes Wolfe is a reporter who's worked for newspapers across the South, winning press association awards for his work in Georgia and the Carolinas. He lives in Jacksonville and previously covered state politics, environmental issues and courts for the News-Leader in Fernandina Beach. You can reach Wes at [email protected] and @WesWolfeFP. Facebook:


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