Who are the Friends of Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park?
We are a group of members dedicated to protecting, preserving and enhancing one of the last undeveloped barrier islands in Collier County, Florida. Our non-profit Citizen Support Organization (CSO) was chartered in 1987 and has provided continuous support to the Park since then. We assist the Park staff with resource management which could include removal of exotic plants, restoration of habitats, boardwalk repairs, beach and picnic area cleanup. Funds raised by the Friends are used for specific projects in the park and to purchase equipment for staff and park use. We manage an aluminum recycling program to promote environmental responsibility and as a means to provide financial support. Some of the Friends also serve as Beach Stewards who walk the beach answering questions and greeting visitors to the park.
Our Membership Meetings are held the second Monday of every month October through April at 10 AM. Check at the gate for the location of the meeting.
The Friends host the Wildlife & Wildlands Art Show every January. The show is held outdoors in beautiful picnic area 3 with the Gulf of Mexico in view. This event showcases the natural and cultural resources of Florida through artistic expression. The show features the work of 15 to 20 artists. A wide variety of art mediums are represented in the show. Visitors are invited to meet the artists as they stroll through the beautiful show site.
Each year since 2007 one of our Art Show Artists is chosen to be the Parks Resident Artist for the year. This artist is featured at our January Art Show and we offer the artist a One-Person Art Show. The artist is also invited to work in the park throughout the year. Information about the Resident Artists visits will be included in the quarterly Park newsletters.
In February, the Friends host the Children's Art Show. Students from the Collier County public and non-public schools, grades K-5, display their artwork with the theme of The Real Florida. The works are judged by a panel of three artists. Winners receive cash awards for their school and ribbons for each place.
The Friends assist the staff with the parks annual Nature Fest held in late October. The Nature Fest offers interesting and educational programs, crafts, and displays for children who are invited to attend in their Halloween costumes. Local environmental organizations bring exhibits that demonstrate the importance of wildlife and conservation.
Friends of Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park also participate in state and district events such as Volunteer Appreciation Day. We provide volunteers for International Coastal Cleanup Day, Bay Days, and National Public Lands Cleanup Day. We take at least one field trip every year to other parks, and create opportunities for learning about our own park. We celebrate our achievements and recognize individuals at picnics and dinners in the park. Scheduled workdays are days following major holidays when the Friends arrive to assist the staff in cleanup of the beach, picnic areas, parking lots, and the boat launch area.