Here is why we should love our state park, which saw 31 million visitors in 2014 — more than Disney World:
▪ Peace, quiet and serenity.
▪ Compatible recreation: camping, swimming, canoeing, picnicking, hiking, etc.
▪ Safe places for family recreation outdoors.
▪ Beaches and dunes with no condos and motels.
▪ Majestic old trees that won’t be cut for lumber.
▪ Wildlife easily seen and photographed because it’s not hunted.
▪ Wildflowers and native grasses that aren’t eaten by livestock.
▪ Natural scenery unblemished by cell towers, billboards and fences.
▪ Well-maintained restrooms and shelters.
▪ Courteous and helpful park rangers.
▪ Remnants of original Florida, once the land of Native Americans.
▪ Historical heritage — forts, battlefields, mission sites — is preserved.
Our state parks are the real Florida. Leave them as they are.
Jim A. Stevenson,