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The Rotary Centennial Nature Center

is open daily 9 am to 5 pm

The Friends of the Island Parks meet monthly from September to May.  During the Summer we plan one social event.


Members are notified about meeting and special event details via email.

Each month, we feature a guest speaker or nature/park related presentation, artist opening or varied social activities at the General Meeting. Brief reports are given from the Park Manager, President, Treasurer and varied committees. Fun & informative! Refreshments are served!

For additional information contact:

The Friends of the Island Parks, Inc.
Bob Fortner

Retail Operations at the Rotary Centennial Nature Center
The Nature Center Retail Store provides opportunities for visitors to purchase souvenirs from their visit to Honeymoon and Caladesi Island State Parks.  The retail items are nature-based and oriented to our section of the Gulf Coast.  Children’s  books, puzzles and other items provide information about our beaches, our land animals, and Gulf Island world.  Visitors will find information about the environment and its natural occupants as they browse our retail operation.  A scavenger hunt for children helps them learn new information about the Park, and they are rewarded with shells from our beaches. 

Local artists are also highlighted who represent the nature systems of the area.  The artists share their proceeds with the Nature Center, and provide artistic appreciation for the wealth of resources that abound in our Parks.

The Friends of the Island Parks Citizen Support Organization "CSO" was formed in 2002 by a small group of people who were dedicated to preserving, protecting and promoting Caladesi Island and Honeymoon Island State Parks.  The Friends serve as a non-profit corporation to generate both financial and volunteer resources that support the mission and best interest of our Parks.  


The following is a listing of the major accomplishments that the Friends have achieved since the formation of the organization.
Caladesi Discovery Center on Caladesi Island State Park is nearing completion and will open in the near future. This three-story wooden structure with an elevator will offer an unapparelled view of Caladesi Island, the Gulf of Mexico and St. Joseph Sound.


Rotary Centennial Nature Center – with the help of many community organizations, corporations and individual donations along with the help from the state of Florida and spearheaded by the Dunedin Rotary, we completed and opened the facility in 2007. We have purchased audio visual equipment for use in presentations at the center.

We have committed to funding a park ranger position for the Rotary Centennial Nature Center on an ongoing basis. To date over $225,000.00 has been donated.

An ADA compliant “Limitless” playground was built on Honeymoon Island in 2012 for children of all abilities including easier access for their caregivers.

A Native Plant Garden was established adjacent to the Rotary Centennial Nature Center, complete with a solar powered irrigation system and garden benches for visitors.

We have supported the LIFE (Learning In Florida’s Environment) Program over the past five years for middle school children in the Dunedin community.

Since our inception we have continuously sought to assist the parks in their missions by supplementing their resources with additional equipment and supplies including several ATVs, a dump trailer, firefighting equipment, radios, audio visual, and maintenance equipment.  We have purchased beach wheel chairs to make accessibility to our beaches easier for individuals with disabilities.

Friends of the Island Parks

Board of Directors 2023



President: Bob Fortner:

Treasurer: Joe Nixon:
Secretary: Jean Barnes:



Burton Aldrich

Mary Cheever

Brian Crockatt 

Ray Dabkowski

Sally Hess

Barbara Lynn Ross

George Skalkeas

Shane Bittaker (ex-officio) 

Diane Hood (ex-officio)
Gabriella Mullins (ex-officio)
Linda Taylor (ex-officio)

Board of Directors Meetings
Board meetings are open to both members and the general public. 

Board of Directors Nominations: Are you interested in serving on the Friends' Board of Directors? Would you like to nominate someone? If so, please contact the Friends Vice President.



Friends of the Island Parks is “Citizen Support Organization” created pursuant to Section 258.015 of the Florida Statutes and incorporated under Florida law.  See more about the corporation by searching our name or “N02000000970” at . For our complete agreement with the state of Florida, download (insert pdf #1).

We are a tax exempt, charitable organization recognized under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. See more about our federal status by searching our name or EIN “27-0001681” at  using their “Exempt Organizations Select Check” tool.

As a 501 (c) (3) organization we are exempt from Florida sales taxes for purchases we make for our own use (DR-14, Cert. No. 8012575785C-9) and exempt for inventory we purchase for sale at our Rotary Centennial Nature Center retail operation (DR-13, Cert. No. 62-8012341893-3).


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