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Florida State Parks Recognize Veterans Day with Free Day-Use Entrance

CommunityInterestACBeyondTALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Florida Park Service will offer free day-use entry to all* state parks on Friday, Nov. 11, 2011, in recognition of Veterans Day.

“We are pleased to honor the nation’s veterans, their families and communities with free state park entrance this Friday,” said Florida Park Service Director Donald Forgione. “This recognition is but a small token of the appreciation due to those who have selflessly served this country and its citizens.”

Florida State Parks honor American veterans and active-duty service members throughout the year. Honorably discharged veterans, active-duty service and reserve members receive a 25 percent discount on the purchase of a Florida State Parks Annual Entrance Pass. The discount provides a savings of $15 on an individual annual pass and $30 on a family annual pass, which allows up to eight people in a group to access most of Florida’s 160 state parks. In addition, honorably discharged veterans with service-connected disabilities and surviving spouses and parents of military members who have fallen in combat, can receive a lifetime family annual entrance pass at no charge.

Florida’s state parks preserve an abundance of cultural and historic sites that commemorate the nation’s fallen service members. At the Orman House Historic State Park in Apalachicola, visitors can pay their respects to Vietnam veterans at the only sanctioned replica of the Three Servicemen statue. Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park in Olustee commemorates Florida’s largest Civil War battle in 1864 and Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park in Okeechobee was the site of the Avon Park Army Field in the 1940s. Fort Foster State Historic Site in Thonotosassa depicts a reconstructed fort from the Second Seminole War and Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound was the location of the World War II training site, Camp Murphy.

All other use fees, such as overnight accommodations, tours or special events, will be charged as usual on Friday, Nov. 11, 2011. *Skyway Fishing Pier State Park in St. Petersburg is not included in this special offer.