Locals Gain Free Day Use Park Admission


Do you have a library card? Use it this summer to check out a day pass to your favorite local Florida State Park. The Florida Department of State, Division of Library and Information Services, in conjunction with public libraries across Florida, has partnered with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida State Parks, to offer State Park Day Passes to library patrons through The Real Florida Reader Day Pass initiative.

The Real Florida Reader program allows Florida Public Library cardholders to check out a Florida State Park Day Pass which provides park admission for up to eight people in a vehicle.

Participants are encouraged to check out books about Florida’s wildlife, horticultural and natural resources then explore a Florida State Park in their area to identify resources they learned about, according to the Department of State.

The program runs through Sept. 13. “We are proud to partner with Florida State Parks to offer park passes in Florida’s public libraries,” said Secretary of State Cord Byrd. “Florida has a rich historical and cultural heritage. The Real Florida Reader initiative provides the perfect opportunity for Floridians to get out this summer to explore Florida’s natural treasures.”
In Niceville, use your pass to enter Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park, 4281 State Road 20.

Find your local library and a state park by visiting the Real Florida Reader at www.floridastateparks.org/RealFloridaReader or Info.Florida.gov/RealFloridaReader.
Participants are also encouraged to share their stories on social media using Real Florida Reader.

Each library location will receive an allotted number of passes. They do not include entry to federal parks, national forests or national wildlife refuges. They are for day use access only and don’t include camping or any other fees.

For more information, visit FloridaStateParks.org/RealFloridaReader.

Walton County Provides Complimentary Day-Use Admission to State Parks
Summer visitors to Walton County will once again be able to enjoy complimentary day-use admission to Grayton Beach State Park and Topsail Hill Preserve State Park from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

The Walton County Tourism Department is paying the cost of entry for day-use visitors in order to increase available parking for beachgoers during the peak visitation season, as well as raise awareness of the variety of eco-tourism activities South Walton offers. This year marks the eighth year of admission coverage for Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and the sixth for Grayton Beach State Park.

“This is an opportunity to help encourage our residents and visitors to explore the natural beauty of our state parks,” says Matt Algarin, director of communications for the Walton County Tourism Department. “With miles of hiking and biking trails, access to our pristine sugar-white sand beaches, and activities for everyone to enjoy, our state parks are true hidden gems within the community.”

Complimentary day-use admission is available to visitors during normal operating hours, generally 8 a.m. to sunset, and this year’s program will begin on Memorial Day weekend and run through Labor Day, Sept. 5.

For more information on Topsail Hill Preserve State Park visit www.visitsouthwalton.com/listing/topsail-hill-preserve-state-park. For more information on Grayton Beach State Park visit www.visitsouthwalton.com/listing/grayton-beach-state-park.