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The Homestead National Parks Trolley has received the prestigious 2015 National Park Service (NPS) Director’s Partnership Award, given in recognition of the most significant accomplishments achieved by parks and outside groups working together on projects that provide lasting benefits for parks and communities. The award was presented on behalf of NPS Director Jon Jarvis by Biscayne National Park Superintendent Brian Carlstrom and Everglades National Park Superintendent Pedro Ramos at the Homestead City Council meeting on October 21. The Homestead National Parks Trolley was one of eight projects nationwide that received the NPS Director’s Partnership Award, chosen from among hundreds of partnerships that support the NPS.
“Partnerships have been a vital part of the success of the National Park Service since its beginning,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “As we approach the Centennial of the National Park Service in 2016, exemplary partnership programs like the Homestead National Parks Trolley continue to open doors for everyone to Find Your Park, foster community involvement, and engage the next generation of stewards of the nation’s natural and cultural heritage.”
“The Homestead National Parks Trolley connects thousands of visitors annually with the wonders of Biscayne National Park and the community," said Superintendent Brian Carlstrom. “The trolley is a valuable partnership that continues to open doors for people to see, enjoy and engage with their national parks.”
According to Everglades National Park Superintendent Pedro Ramos, “The Homestead National Parks Trolley is a great way to experience these amazing places." We are thankful to our partners for their efforts, and the benefits provided by connecting tourists and local communities with the beauty of the parks.”
According to City of Homestead Vice Mayor Stephen Shelley, "The City’s partnerships with our neighboring National Parks, NPCA and Homestead Main Street have been instrumental in helping to introduce thousands of new visitors to not only Everglades and Biscayne National Parks but also to Downtown Homestead. The award winning Homestead National Parks Trolley is the first of many initiatives that we are collaborating on to help locals and tourists worldwide find their parks as well as help create a perpetual economic engine for the “Gateway” City of Homestead."
The City of Homestead, Homestead Main Street, Inc., and the National Parks Conservation Association collaborated with the NPS to launch the Homestead National Parks Trolley in 2014. Together they planned routes to best showcase Homestead and the national parks, scheduled presentations enroute, and coordinated trolley schedules with park programs and activities. The trolley is a free, winter-season, weekend service that provides the only available public transportation to Biscayne and Everglades National Parks. Free transportation, parking and narrated tours are provided, as well as waived entrance fees. The trolley’s award winning and extensive bilingual marketing campaign will continue to introduce visitors and local residents to South Florida’s national parks for years to come.
The Homestead National Parks Trolley will resume regular runs every weekend during the busy visitor season, November 28, 2015 through May 1, 2016.
Photo by Glenn Gardner.
For more information about the Homestead National Parks Trolley visit cityofhomestead.com/gateway.