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State Park Planning

The mission of the Florida Park Service is to provide resource-based outdoor recreation while preserving, interpreting and restoring natural and cultural resources. The objective in park planning is to achieve an equitable balance between preserving natural conditions and providing public access for outdoor recreation purposes.

The state park management plan forms the basis for all aspects of planning, development and management of a given park. A major function of the management plan is to apply system-wide philosophy and policy to each park. The content, development and maintenance of unit management plans are directed by Florida Statutes 253 and 259. View all approved unit management plans.

State park unit management plans (UMP) consist of four interrelated components:

  • Introduction
  •  Contains the statement of acquisition purpose and highlights the park’s significance
  •  Outlines park management authority and responsibilities
  •  Resource Management Component
  •  Describes existing natural and cultural resource conditions
  •  Outlines resource management goals and objectives related to the following focus areas:
  •  Preserving and protecting natural communities and cultural resources
  •  Restoring species habitat
  •  Protecting threatened and endangered plant and animal species
  •  Controlling the spread of non-native plants and animals
  •  Performing prescribed fire activities
  •  Land Use Component
  • Analyzes demographics and development trends occurring around the park
  •  Inventories existing recreational and support facilities
  •  Proposes additional park facilities based on community needs and recreation trends
  •  Calculates the recreational carrying capacity for park facilities
  •  Identifies potential parcels for future acquisition
  •  Implementation Component
  •  Highlights management accomplishments since the last UMP update
  •  Itemizes the estimated costs associated with the updated management goals and objectives

Document and Resource Links

Carrying Capacity Guidelines 
Planning Process

Updating Unit Management Plans

Every 10 years, the Office of Park Planning updates the unit management plans for each state park and state trail. Each update to the unit management plan is based on statewide resource management goals and recreational needs, current department policies and priorities, and in response to the priorities and issues of the specific state park or trail.

Following internal review, the draft plan is presented at one or more public meetings where citizens are invited to learn about the draft plan and share their comments. Learn more about the public meeting format. Citizens are encouraged to provide comments by mail, email, phone and in person. Below is the contact information that can be used to provide public comments.

Please email comments to: FLStateParkPlanning@floridadep.gov

Office of Park Planning phone number: 850-245-3051

Mail comments to:

Office of Park Planning
3800 Commonwealth Blvd., MS 525
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
 

In addition to public meetings, advisory group meetings are held with local stakeholders and other land management agencies that are asked to complete a thorough review of the draft management plan and make recommendations. The following generic list includes the state and local organizations invited to send representatives to be a part of advisory groups in their community/region:


Local Elected Officials
Local Soil and Water Conservation District
Co-Managing Entities
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Florida Forest Service
Florida Coastal Office
Division of Historical Resources

Local Tourism Development Council
Water Management District
Adjacent Private Property Owners
Conservation organizations
Recreational User Groups
Park Citizen Support Organization
Cultural Resources Organizations

After this thorough public review, the Office of Park Planning revises the draft plan as needed. The draft plan is then presented to the Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC) in Tallahassee. This meeting is also open to the public and provides another opportunity to comment on management plans. The ARC is the body tasked with reviewing and ultimately approving management plans on behalf of the Board of Trustees appointed by the Governor. Learn more about ARC. The public meeting schedule below is periodically updated to inform citizens on the dates of upcoming public meetings, advisory groups, and ARC meetings.

For More Information

If you are interested in learning more about the park planning process and tracking the progress of your favorite parks, sign up to receive emails by visiting Subscription Topics. Select Florida State Parks Upcoming Meetings. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Learn more about public meetings.

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Last Modified:
June 4, 2018 - 2:42pm

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