Timucuan Parks Foundation and the National Park Service had some special visitors at Fort Caroline National Memorial. Junior Civitan teens from the North Florida School of Special Education visited the national park site last week for a day of service.
Junior Civitans from the North Florida School of Special Education
More than a dozen of the Junior Civitans worked alongside TPF volunteers as they cleared vegetation and cleaned up along the fence line at the preserve. Following the maintenance work, the teens were treated to a hands-on demonstration and education program about the lives of the native Timucuan Indians led by National Park Rangers.
“Our parks and preserves are a great resource for everyone and it was wonderful to be able to bring these special education students to Ft. Caroline to showcase the environment and our area’s past,” said Felicia Boyd, TPF program and outreach director. “Getting out into natural spaces can provide some real benefits for everyone and sharing that with these kids and seeing their interest in the land and the history was a real treat.”
Rangers taught the group about Timucua life in the year 1561, one year before the first contact with European settlers. They explained how the natives made tools, constructed their homes, grew crops, gathered food, and traded goods. They also passed around deer pelts and other artifacts for the youth to inspect and described how the animals hunted by the Timucua were used to help them survive. The teens were also shown how fire was used to construct dugout canoes and the significance of the piles of shells at the Fort Caroline National Memorial exhibit.
This outreach was made possible in part by an NPS Challenge grant, a funding award from the National Park Service and Outdoor Foundation, designed to challenge and engage new audiences and connect them with local parks and preserves.
About Timucuan Parks Foundation
The Timucuan Parks Foundation is a federally-recognized 501(c) (3) that preserves, promotes and protects Jacksonville’s vast network of preservation parks. The foundation dates back to 1999 when the Preservation Project Jacksonville, Inc. was established to identify and assist in acquiring the most vulnerable and environmentally sensitive lands in Duval County. The acquisition of lands created the largest urban park system in the United States, including more than 130 square miles of park space and preserves, more than 1,100 miles of river and tributary shoreline and Atlantic Ocean beachfront, and more than 100 miles of upland trails. The Timucuan Parks Foundation works with their park partners, including the National Park Service, Florida State Parks and the City of Jacksonville, to promote environmental stewardship, the health benefits of the parks and preserves, and an appreciation for Jacksonville’s special outdoor spaces. For more information, visit timucuanparks.org.