Timucuan Parks Foundation
November 6, 2019
Timucuan Parks Foundation Executive Director Mark Middlebrook was recently honored by Audubon Florida with the 2019 Florida’s Special Places Award. The award was presented at the Audubon Assembly awards banquet where each year Audubon Florida recognizes leaders in the conservation community for their work to protect the state. Audubon Florida’s Special Places Award recognizes a person who has been a champion of land conservation.
“Mark was instrumental in building one of the most impressive urban park systems in the nation, preserving some of Northeast Florida’s most iconic landscapes for people and for wildlife,” said Audubon Florida Executive Director Julie Wraithmell.
Middlebrook has dedicated his career to the protection of Northeast Florida’s natural landscapes. He began working with the Preservation Project when it was established in 1999 to acquire and preserve natural and environmentally sensitive lands in the City of Jacksonville. Through the years, the organization has changed names and focus to become the Timucuan Parks Foundation whose mission is to protect, promote and enhance the city’s parks and preserves.
“I am stunned and honored to have been chosen for this award which I share with the many people who I have worked with throughout the years,” said Middlebrook. “This award is more about the accomplishments of a group who worked the past 20 years on the initiatives to preserve natural lands throughout Jacksonville. We started as the Preservation Project to acquire preservation land and now as the Timucuan Parks Foundation we work to support those parks and preserves with initiatives and programs to encourage people to visit our parks, volunteer events to help keep them maintained for visitors and an effort to make Jacksonville known nationwide for its natural spaces.”
Timucuan Parks Foundation works in partnership with the City of Jacksonville, Florida State Parks and the National Parks Service. Middlebrooks says TPF’s partnerships and efforts have made the area’s park system a national model for cooperation and innovation.
About Timucuan Parks Foundation
Timucuan Parks Foundation is a nonprofit organization that preserves, promotes and enhances Jacksonville’s vast network of preservation parks. The foundation originated in 1999 with the Preservation Project Jacksonville, Inc. to identify and assist in acquiring the most vulnerable and environmentally sensitive lands in Duval County. The acquisition of lands created the largest urban park system in the United States. Timucuan Parks Foundation works with park partners, including the National Park Service, Florida State Parks and the City of Jacksonville, to promote environmental stewardship, the health benefits of the parks and preserves, and an appreciation for Jacksonville’s special outdoor spaces. For more information, visit timucuanparks.org.