City of Homestead Councilman Stephen R. Shelley was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the Everglades Association. This nonprofit organization, which has supported South Florida national parks for over 50 years, appointed Councilman Shelley for his keen interest in South Florida’s environment, his professional experience, as well as Homestead’s proximity to both Everglades and Biscayne national parks.
“I have known Councilman Shelley for a long time,” said Jim Sutton, executive director of the Everglades Association, who submitted Councilman Shelley’s information to the membership nomination chairperson. “Back in February, I ran into him in Flamingo at the Everglades National Park and we spoke about his interest in nature photography and our parks. He expressed interest in our Association and I thought he would be a perfect fit for our many projects that help our South Florida National Parks in many ways.”
The Everglades Association operates under Congressional authorities as the official private, non-profit partner supporting educational, interpretive, and historical and scientific research responsibilities of Big Cypress National Preserve and Biscayne, Dry Tortugas, and Everglades national parks. Since its inception the Everglades Association has provided more that 3.3 million dollars in AID to the Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park and the Big Cypress National Preserve. The organization provides aid from proceeds generated through the sales of interpretive and educational products at nine retail outlets located inside the National Parks they serve, as well as on-line website sales.
Councilman Shelley is an avid outdoorsman who spends as much of his free time as possible fishing or engaging in photography somewhere inside the Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve or Biscayne National Park. “Through my fishing and photography activities I have come to appreciate the natural beauty and serenity that is prevalent throughout these parks,” said Councilman Shelley. “My appointment to the Board of Directors for the Everglades Association will give me the opportunity to help promote and educate the public about the unique flora and fauna and other natural wonders that exist within each park. I also hope to work with the Everglades Association and Park Service to help facilitate preservation of the parks natural resources for future generations’ enjoyment.”