Biscayne National Park Ranger Christiana Admiral is saying goodbye to her seven year career in Homestead to continue her path at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, in Utah. Ms. Admiral, an instrumental part in bringing the Homestead National Parks Trolley to fruition, will be greatly missed. Vice Mayor Stephen R. Shelley honored her outstanding career and achievements during her time in both Everglades and Biscayne National Parks by presenting Ms. Admiral with a plaque, decorated with a picture of one of Florida’s native species of birds, Roseate Spoonbills in flight—taken by the Vice Mayor himself.
“I have the privilege and the honor of recognizing somebody that’s dedicated her life to the National Park Service, and in turn has helped connect it to the City of Homestead.” Said Vice Mayor Shelley, “She is one of the driving forces for the National Parks Trolley and Gateway project, her amazing dedication and vision will be greatly missed.”
Ms. Admiral loved to encourage Homestead residents to visit and explore their National Parks, and through community outreach, she became aware that there wasn’t a convenient and free public transportation system to take them. While attending a Florida National Parks Association meeting with Vice Mayor Shelley, they discussed the need for public transportation to the parks and the possibility of having the city’s trolleys service the parks. The rest is history: thanks to the efforts of Vice Mayor Shelley, in partnership with the National Parks Conservation Association and the National Parks, the City of Homestead planned, promoted, and launched the Trolley. Ms. Admiral also secured funding for youth interns to serve as tour guides on board.
Also among her many accomplishments is the tour of the National Register Nike Hercules Missile site in Everglades National Park. An outstanding collaboration between Park Rangers and Nike veterans, those soldiers who served in the Cold War, with support from the South Florida National Parks Trust, they secured funds and arranged for a Nike Hercules Missile to be transferred from the Army to Everglades National Park, and for students from the George T. Baker Aviation School to restore the missile.
Ms. Admiral was also one of the main collaborators for the proposed Lancelot Jones Water Trolley, and is hoping to one day be able to return to enjoy the water tour. She believes that expanding the trolley service to provide free or low cost transportation to the Biscayne National Park’s islands will enhance quality of life for local residents and draw tourism to the Gateway City of Homestead.
Upon receiving the commemorative plaque during the Council Meeting Special Presentation, Ms. Admiral expressed her sincere love and admiration for the City of Homestead’s constant efforts to bring the people closer to their National Parks. “It’s been my pleasure and privilege to work with the City of Homestead, for embracing the Gateway concept and providing access to the parks. And thank you, Vice Mayor Shelley, your dedication and hard work to get things done have been inspirational.”
The free Trolley to both Everglades and Biscayne National Parks will run every weekend from Historic Downtown Homestead (104 N. Krome Ave) until April 26. The service will re-open in November.
For more information about the National Parks Trolley service and hours of operation, visit: