The State of Florida is considering closing a number of its state parks and historic sites due to budget constraints.
Included among these are:
- San Marcos de Apalache Historical State Park in St. Marks - The site of Spanish fortifications dating back to the 17th century, San Marcos was occupied by British troops during the American Revolution and was among the Spanish posts captured by Andrew Jackson during his 1818 invasion of Florida. It was here that the Ambrister, Arbuthnot and Prophet Francis executions took place, sparking an international incident. The park was also the site of Fort Ward, an unconquered Confederate fort that played a critical role in the Battle of Natural Bridge, Florida.
- Constitution Convention Museum State Park in Port St. Joe - This museum preserves the site where Florida's first constitution was drafted and also protects artifacts related to the famed "lost city" of St. Joseph.
- John Gorrie Museum State Park in Apalachicola - This museum preserves artifacts in information on the life of Dr. John Gorrie, the 19th century Apalachicola physician acclaimed as the inventor of the ice machine and, as a by product, of air conditioning.
While I certainly understand the need of Florida's government to live within its budgets, surely there must be better ways of coming up with needed dollars than closing (permanently or temporarily) the state's noteworthy historic sites. Not only does this violate a trust established between the state's government and its people, it jeapordizes the history of this beautiful and great state.
Please join me in writing to Gov. Charlie Crist at Charlie.Crist@MyFlorida.com to voice your opposition to the closure of these and other Florida State Parks and historic sites and to encourage the governor to look in other areas were much greater cost savings can surely be realized.