Visit Everglades City and the Ten Thousand Islands of Southwest Florida, the Everglades

Friends of Fakahatchee Celebrate 25 Years

Everglades City

by Patty Huff

On Saturday, March 23, the Friends of Fakahatchee held an annual membership meeting and picnic to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Executive Director Francine Stevens presented the Mel Finn Award to long-time volunteer and board member John Kaiser. Mel Finn was a Miami attorney and orchid expert who fought to have the Fakahatchee preserved.

Friends of Fakahatchee Celebrate 25 Years Cake

Past president Tom Maish and John Kaiser then recounted the history of the Friends group since its inception in 1998 to the present. So much has been accomplished by the FOF, a model volunteer group to one of our best seven surrounding parks/preserves.

Park Manager Joe Berger also gave an update of the Fakahatchee. One of the most important projects has been the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk Expansion which dates back to 2010 and now includes a beautiful Interpretive Pavilion which will eventually have interactive kiosk. The boardwalk meanders around the Fakahachee, offering views of the wide expanse of the swampy preserve with a variety of plants and wildlife and ending at beautiful Green Heron Lake known for nesting around the lake. Well worth a walk in the park!

If you are interested in volunteer opportunities with the FOF, please call (239) 695-1023. If you would like to learn more about this amazing preserve, check out the following YouTube documentary, funded by the Friends, by photographer Jay Staton; it explores the history of the Fakahatchee and showcases the accomplishments of the Friends of Fakahatchee including the new boardwalk site:

Friends of Fakahatchee Celebrate 25 Years John Kaiser
2024-04-09T11:11:04-04:00April 13, 2024|Community|

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