The Friends of Lake Griffin State Park
The Friends raise money through membership, donations, providing kayak tours, and selling firewood to campers. One hundred (100%) percent of this money is used to support the park. We help the park purchase equipment that is not in the park budget saving Florida taxpayers thousands of dollars every year. Recent projects include
Explore the “Real Florida”
Walk our expanded hiking trail, bring a picnic, go fishing, rent a kayak or canoe, or sign up for a tour of the Dead River Marsh. Sign up for a
How to Set Up a Private Eco-Tour
Private Eco-Tours are informative and fun. You can be with people you know in your neighborhood, club or family. Our tour guides will work with you to help set up a Private Eco-Tour for your group. Here is information you need to help set up a private tour:
We hope to see you and your friends at the park sometime in the near future.
A Need for Golf Carts
Lake Griffin State Park staff and volunteers use golf carts to move workers, tools, and materials for repairs, maintenance, and special projects. They also use the carts to take visitors with disabilities around the park. The park needs several carts to replace old ones. If you have a new golf cart or plan to purchase one, we invite you to donate your old cart to the park.
Friends of Lake Griffin State Park (FLGSP.org) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) citizen support organization dedicated to supporting the park through volunteering, fundraising, and in-kind donations. Your golf cart donation may be tax deductible.
For those that have an injury or disability, a golf cart can be used for transportation around the park. A park ranger can show you plants and wildlife along a trail, or transport you to the playground, pavilion, or amphitheater.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
The Friends of Lake Griffin State Park needs volunteers to help our membership, events and other committees.
Lead kayak and canoe tours. We will train you.
Pontoon Boat Tours
Pilot our pontoon boat for tours. USCG license required.
Help us with basic construction and repairs, brush clearing, and other minor projects.
Go to the park and take pictures of something interesting. Write a short article about the picture and sent it to us for use on our website and Facebook.
Help us develop eye-catching brochures, flyers, and posters.
If you don’t have time to volunteer, your donations of money and goods are always appreciated.
Fishing Clinic - Teaching children about fishing equipment and how to fish
Kayaking in the Dead River Marsh
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.’”