Florida public libraries and Florida State Parks team up to launch The Real Florida Reader program

Located in Florida, Ichetucknee Springs State Park – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by Joanne Dale

This summer, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida State Parks and its partners will extend outdoor access for all Floridians through the Real Florida Program. Through a collaboration between the Florida Department of State’s Division of Library and Information Services, DEP, and public libraries across the state of Florida, library-goers can check out a Real Florida reader pass at their local public library for free admission to one of more than 170 participating parks. 

“A visit to one of Florida’s state parks goes hand-in-hand with a visit to the library,” said DEP Secretary Shawn Hamilton. “We welcome all Floridians to read about our state’s diverse environment and culture and then get outside and experience these natural wonders firsthand.”

The library summer reading theme for 2022 is “Oceans of Possibilities.” Library patrons are encouraged to read books about Florida’s natural resources and wildlife and explore one of the award-winning state parks to experience these resources firsthand. Florida’s state parks greatly showcase the state’s natural and cultural resources. By participating in the program, parkgoers can learn to identify any of the fauna, flora, and or habitats seen at the park.

“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 outside this summer to explore Florida’s natural treasures.” 

Florida residents can use their public library card to obtain a Real Florida Reader day pass, which provides free access to state parks for up to eight visitors in a vehicle. The pass excludes Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, and Skyway Fishing Pier State Park. This promotion will be valid until September 12, 2022. The passes are for day use only and do not include camping or any other additional fees.

Floridians who don’t have a library card but are interested in participating can sign up at their local library to take part in the program. 

Click here to find your local public library.

Find more information on the Real Florida Reader Program here.

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