FRIENDS OF LAKE GRIFFIN STATE PARK
Private Eco Tours
Our eco-tours on the water are informative and a lot of fun, and they’re a great way to share your love of the outdoors with family members, friends, members of your club or neighborhood. If our public eco-tours don’t fit your schedule, contact us to arrange a private tour for 6 – 12 paddlers. No experience is needed, and we supply all equipment. Private tours depend on availability of guides. To set up a Private Eco-Tour click here.
Congratulations to Our Newest Tour Guides
This year Flo Hurlburt, Jeanne Haynes, Stephanie Hayano and Theodore “T” Neumann have completed certification as Florida State Parks Certified Paddle Tour Guides, and are now leading kayak eco-tours at Lake Griffin State Park as volunteers with the non-profit Friends of Lake Griffin State Park. Certification includes testing of kayaking skills, safety and assisted water rescue techniques, First Aid and CPR/AED training, and completion of the U.S. Coast Guard safe boaters online course.
All four of the new guides are residents of The Villages and are also active members of the Villages Canoe and Kayak Club, participating in paddle trips throughout Florida.
Flo, Jeanne, Stephanie, and "T", bring our staff of eco-tour guides to a total of 11.
Flo Hurlburt retired from the U.S. Air Force as a Master Sergeant, after serving 27 years. Her ultimate assignment was Superintendent of the Surgical Suite and Central Sterile Supply at the military hospital at Offutt Air Force Base, headquarters of the U.S. Strategic Command, in Nebraska. She’s currently a member of Tri-County Women Veterans, and serves on the Veterans Memorial Park Honor Guard and the Tri-County Women Veterans Color Guard. Flo moved to The Villages from her previous home in Omaha, Nebraska. Flo has kayaked for over 10 years in Florida.
Jeanne Haynes was an avid paddler and hiker in north Georgia where she lived before retiring to The Villages. Her love of Florida’s State Parks began when she became a volunteer pontoon boat captain and eco tour guide at Homosassa Springs State Park. Jeanne also volunteers with The Villages Honor Flight as a Guardian. Before moving to The Villages, she was public affairs director for a major electric utility in Georgia.
Before moving to The Villages, Stephanie Hayano served as a senior executive of an international cosmetics and beauty products corporation. She paddled frequently in the Hudson, Delaware, and Housatonic Rivers, and Long Island Sound. She was previously certified by the American Canoe Association as a Level 1 Instructor, and completed the American Red Cross certification in First Aid/AED/CPR.
"T" Neumann was a clinical supervisor for substance abuse counselors at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital for 40 years, overlapping with his appointment as director of an outpatient treatment center for 45 years. He enjoys helping people, and has been paddling, sailing and boating since he was a child. "T" has built three wooden boats -- an 11’ dory, a 17’ runabout and a 16’ sailing canoe.
Our new guides are passionate about their new roles. T Neumann says, “I feel the guides in the state parks perform a unique service to patrons interested in discovering the ‘real Florida.’”
The Citizens Support Organization for the Friends of Lake Griffin State Park help support Lake Griffin State Park in Florida. We volunteer and raise money for park projects, programs and equipment. We want our visitors to enjoy the park as much as we do.
CSO Board Members
Karl Langlois, Chair
Larry Wuest, Vice-Chair
Marc Munaretto, Secretary
Mary Jo Wuest, Treasurer
Richard Ecott, Director
Flo Hurlburt, Director
Linda Morrison, Director
Ray Sutherland, Director
We provide recreational equipment such as exercise equipment, kayaks and canoes. Tours on the water is our most popular program. We hope you will join us for a great paddle and an educational experience on the water!
We invite you to become a friend of the park and help us support the wonderful resources of Lake Griffin State Park. Help us maintain and improve the conservation of Florida's resources and provide a natural environment of learning and pleasure for families, school children, groups, and naturalists for years to come.