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Published on: Love Letters to Florida

Dear Florida: Camping Brings My Loved Ones Together

published on: February 24, 2020

By Aliki Moncrief, Executive Director
Tallahassee, FL

Dear Florida, 

I love your vivid sunsets, winding rivers, and natural beauty. Every chance I get, I try to get outdoors and experience Florida’s beauty with my friends and family (my “framily”). Whether it is weekends at the beach or paddling winding rivers, camping brings my loved ones together under the sun and stars. 

Living in the Panhandle means that we’re close to more amazing camping spots than I can count on two hands! So far this year, we’ve camped at Ochlockonee River State Park near Tallahassee and Grayton Beach State Park near Destin. Both times, we were able to camp near the water and explore everything from salt marshes to coastal dune lakes teeming with life.

At Grayton, my favorite moment was when a chaotic, beautiful symphony rose from the marsh and I found myself surrounded by red-winged blackbirds. Moments like these symbolize why we work so hard to protect Florida. We don’t just save Florida for our enjoyment, but to allow natural systems and the wildlife that depend on them to thrive. I am thankful for places like our state parks – those conserved with the future, and future generations, in mind. Thanks to the visionaries before us, Florida Forever was intended to save valuable, priceless lands like these, both for recreation and the valuable services like water storage and storm buffers that nature provides for us.

I love Florida, and I want to see it protected for my daughters and all Floridians to enjoy. From our rolling dunes to our sprawling scrub, we save what we love. And when we all join together to advocate for our land and water, we can convince our lawmakers to prioritize environmental protection. Thank you to all who have worked to protect Florida, now and in the future.