ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — As a way to help the environment, 121 water bottle refilling stations were installed at 85 Florida State Parks, the Florida State Parks Foundation announced Tuesday.
In collaboration with Duke Energy Florida, Florida State Parks Foundation said in a news release the latest addition will decrease single-use water bottles that are thrown away at landfills and reduce the litter of plastic along trails, campsite beaches and in Florida's waterways.
Another mission of the water bottle refilling stations is to encourage people at parks to consider the impact they have on natural resources.
Every refilling station reportedly keeps track of the number of water bottles saved to help walkers or nature lovers measure their waste reduction impact.
"We are grateful to Duke Energy Florida and for this collaboration that supports environmentally conscious practices at our treasured state parks and cultivates these values among visitors,” Tammy Gustafson, president of the Florida State Parks Foundation, said in a statement. “This is truly a collective approach between state parks and visitors to create a greener future that preserves and protects Florida’s precious natural resources.”
State parks from Destin to the Florida Keys have refilling stations that can be found at campgrounds, visitor centers, restrooms, trailheads and other locations at the parks, the news release mentioned.
Duke Energy Florida granted $175,000 for the latest installation and the remainder of the nearly $200,000 project was funded by Florida State Foundation's “Explore Our State Parks” specialty license.
"We are committed to environmentally sustainable practices and are proud to contribute to this project that diverts and reduces waste, helping preserve state parks for continued enjoyment," Sharon Arroyo, Duke Energy Florida vice president of government and community relations, said in a statement. “Our investment in efforts that support sustainability in action help to create cleaner and more resilient communities across Florida.”
Last year, state parks and trails had more than 31 million visitors and focused on preserving Florida's natural, historical and cultural resources, Florida State Parks Foundations said.
The next goal of the state parks' is to protect Florida's resources for generations to come.
“We appreciate the efforts of the Florida State Parks Foundation and Duke Energy Florida to help make state parks greener,” Chuck Hatcher, director of Florida State Parks, said in a statement. “Our visitors will be encouraged to use these bottle filling stations to reduce waste and help us protect our natural resources from single-use plastics.”