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2017 Volunteer Award Winners

Philip and Ann (Mickie) Anderson  Team of 2 of the Year – Visitor Service  Myakka River State Park

Philip and Ann (Mickie) Anderson

Team of 2 of the Year – Visitor Service

Myakka River State Park

Philip and Mickie volunteered as campground hosts at Myakka River for several years. As campground hosts they consistently received amazing reviews from campers claiming that they had gone above and beyond the call of duty. Now they have taken on a leadership role as volunteer liaisons between the park and the Friends of Myakka River. Their roles include coordinating events, membership development, soliciting donations, and managing the CSO’s gallery sales and inventory. Thank you, Philip and Mickie! Their accomplishments include:

  • Representing the CSO and the park at all in-park and community events.

  • Operating the CSO’s booths at events and sharing their passion for the park.

  • Managing the annual CSO kayak raffle and selling tickets with their inspirational attitudes!

  • Helping to gain support for the CSO while freeing up valuable time for park staff.

Tom Adler, Earl Cross, Barry Blitvich, Shaun Suydam, Mike Anderson and Steve Lemonds

Team of 3+ of the Year – Visitor Service

Myakka River State Park

Tom, Earl, Barry, Shaun, Mike an Steve are maintenance volunteers working as a team led by Park Services Specialist Jeremy Johnson to keep the Myakka River State Park running. They come from diverse background with experience in many trades. The team regularly repairs buildings, maintains and repairs park facilities. They took on and completed a historic preservation project to repair damage and repurpose an original 1930’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) structure. The building received a complete makeover and now houses the park museum and visitors center. Investing to keep the CCC structure relevant to the historic period, yet informative for today’s visitors helps to create a great first impression of Myakka River State Park. Thank you all! Their accomplishments include:

  • Replacing rotten rafters, rafter tails, wood siding, window frames, broken windows and the roof on the rear addition of the building, as well as critical structural wooden framing of exterior walls, the team followed the U.S. Department of the Interior standards for historic preservation.

  • Completing the repairs, the visitor center received a full facelift with a fresh coat of paint to reflect the updated park service standards.

Become a Myakka Volunteer

Become a Myakka Volunteer!

2015 Volunteers

2015 Volunteers

If you are looking for a way to help the park this coming season, please consider volunteering at Myakka. We are in need of volunteers to help out in our very busy ranger station. This is a fun, rewarding position that includes checking in and out campers, answering park questions, answering the phone, selling park merchandise, selling annual passes and other basic office duties.

The team of staff and volunteers who work in the ranger station are a great bunch of folks who love their job. Once you start you will be hooked and on your way to making great park friends!

Benefits include a free Myakka State Park Pass for 100 hours of service and a free Florida State Park Pass for 500 hours. For more information please call Teresa Good at 941-373-7839. Looking forward to meeting you!

Myakka in July

Myakka in July

July is a wonderful time to visit Myakka River State Park. With fewer crowds this time of year, the park can be a quiet, tranquil place to see wildlife and just relax. Spotted fawns are not uncommon. The rumbling of bellowing gators can be heard. Flowers are blooming. Butterflies are abundant and dragonflies are feasting on mosquitos. Cloud formations can be quite spectacular in summertime, especially at sunset or before a storm. 

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Since July is the beginning of the rainy season, there is usually a lot of standing water on the sides of the roads and on the trails. If the hiking trails are too wet to walk, a trek down Powerline Road can be quite rewarding. You may have to dodge a few puddles, but deep ditches on both sides of the road are filled with water perfect for gators, birds, snakes and aquatic plants. You may see young gators being guarded by a protective mother or an anhinga coming up for air after searching for a meal. Powerline Road, early in the morning or evening, is a great place to see deer, turtles, raccoons and owls. 

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Canoeing and kayaking are great this time of year and a wonderful way to see wildlife on the river. Bring your own vessel, or rent one from the concession. There is no better way to see birds, turtles, fish and alligators than to get on the river for a leisurely paddle. Don’t forget your camera!

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Another fun thing to do in the summer at Myakka is to take the airboat ride. A very large, covered airboat seating up to 70 people takes passengers for a gentle, breezy cruise around the Upper Myakka Lake. The captain captivates his audience with knowledge of wildlife and park history. Swallow-tail Kites may be seen soaring overhead, or perhaps you will see a gator swimming in the cool water. Wading birds and jumping fish make for a pleasant journey.

If hot, humid weather isn’t your thing, there are still ways to enjoy the park. Myakka offers a seven-mile scenic drive, an air conditioned visitor center and a concession that offers a variety of food and ice-cream. If you dine inside, there are great views of the boat basin and lake from the second floor. A beautiful gift shop awaits you with jewelry, home décor, clothing, kid’s stuff and many Myakka souvenirs.

If you are a photographer, some of the flowers to be on the watch for this time of year are Swamp Hibiscus, Black-eyed Susan, Trumpet-creeper, Spider Lily, Beauty Berry, Tar-flower and Buttonbush. In the butterfly garden in front of the ranger station, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds can be seen in the morning hours, feeding on the nectar from the Fire Bush.

You may want to book a couple nights in one of our air-conditioned cabins. Built by the CCC in the 1930’s, you can get an idea of what it was like living here eighty years ago! Our cabins offer a complete kitchen, hot showers, two double beds and a beautiful back porch. An oasis from the rest of the world, you won’t be disappointed. We also offer over 40 full hook up sites for RV’s and Campers. Please call Reserve America for reservations at 800-326-3521.

Please come visit Myakka River State Park this summer and see what The Real Florida is all about. The park is open from 8am to sunset every day of the year. The back gate is open from 8am to 5pm on weekends and holidays. The concession is open every day of the year except for Christmas and Easter. For more information call the ranger station at 941-361-6511.