Happy Birthday Honeymoon Island!

 

On December 7, 1981, Honeymoon Island State Recreation Area was created by the State of Florida.

Over the past 40 years, Honeymoon Island State Park has grown into the most visited state park in the Florida.  Each year around 1.5 million visitors enjoy the barrier island, it's beautiful beaches, woodlands, natural trails, wildlife, bike and walking path, playground, and picnic area.  Connected to the Dunedin mainland by the Dunedin Causeway, Honeymoon Island State Park is a popular destination for out-of-state and local visitors who are seeking a non-commercial, Gulf of Mexico beach.  Honeymoon Island is a year round home to more than 300 species of wading birds, raptors and songbirds. 

The Rotary Centennial Nature Center within the park is a learning and information center with interesting displays about how Honeymoon Island got its name, shell displays and lots of information about the role of barrier islands. The Nature Center wrap around porch offers an unparcelled view of the island, St. Joseph Sound and the coastline from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. The Friends of the Island Parks was created to support Honeymoon and Caladesi Islands State Parks.  The Friends provide funds to support the ongoing activates at the Rotary Centennial Nature Center, the Kid's Playground, the Caladesi Discovery Center, education programs and employees and volunteer appreciation. 

Caladesi Island State Park is connected to Honeymoon Island State Park via the Caladesi Connection passenger ferries which operate daily, year round (weather permitting).  

The Caladesi Discover Center, now in final construction, will provide a three-story viewing and education platform with unobstructed views of the Gulf of Mexico, St. Joseph Sound and, of course, Caladesi Island. 

2020 and 2021 have been challenging years for the world including the Friends of the Island Parks.

Please help the Friends continue serving Honeymoon and Caladesi Island!  It’s easy.  Please click on one of the links below to help.

Friends of the Island Parks Membership

Annual memberships start at $35 and include monthly video or in-person meetings with naturalist speakers. Other benefits include: 12 admissions for up to eight people per visit to Honeymoon Island State Park, discounts on retail purchases in the Rotary Centennial Nature Center, and discounts on food at the Cafe Honeymoon.  Other membership levels include ferry rides to Caladesi Island State Park, private tours and our Lifetime Membership includes recognition on a permanent plaque at  the Rotary Centennial Nature Center.

Donate to the Friends of the Island Parks

Both the Honeymoon and Caladesi Island parks benefit from donations of special equipment and additional funding for improving the parks. We provide funding for  a designated full time ranger to staff the Nature Center,  lead the 60+ Nature Center volunteers and supervise the retail operations. The Friends also purchased information photo display signs for the Osprey Trail, trail maps, boardwalk and building improvements, a special Gator vehicle suitable for beach and trails, a copier for the park staff, and the Native Plant Garden.  We welcome donations of any size. 

 

Shop Online at the Honeymoon Island Nature Store 

There is a wide variety of nature related gifts including: jewelry, mugs, children's books, jigsaw puzzles, magnets, toys, crafts, tee shirts and Florida State Park masks.

Help fund the interpretative displays for the Caladesi Discovery Center

Construction of the Discovery Center is fully funded but we still need funds for interpretative displays to enhance visitors' experience and understanding of Caladesi Island.  If you have an interest in this specific project or any other specific items, please contact board member Bob Fortner at unityphrev@gmail.com.

Thank you for your past and future support.  We are a volunteer organization and are completely dependent upon your support.  As I said at the beginning of this letter, this has been a year of celebration and challenges.  We hope you will join us when we celebrate the opening of the Caladesi Discovery Center and help us meet today’s challenges.

We will return to monthly meetings at the Rotary Centennial Nature Center hopefully in the near future.  Until that time, thank you for your continued support and we wish you happiness and health.

Sincerely,

Bill Francisco

President

Friends of the Island Parks