~Florida State Parks Director retires with a legacy of accomplishments ~
TALLAHASSEE – Today, Senator Paula Dockery along with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Michael W. Sole and members of the Florida Senate recognized Director of Florida State Parks Mike Bullock in honor of his upcoming retirement and 38 years of outstanding service to the Florida Park Service.
“Mr. Bullock’s dedication and commitment to the state park system – its resources, staff and millions of visitors – is more than commendable,” said Senator Dockery. “His true concern for maintaining high quality visitor services and protecting Florida’s natural and cultural resources, while creating a positive and secure working environment for staff, has been instrumental in making Florida the best state park system in the nation.”
Bullock will officially retire on June 30, 2010. Since 2003, the year Bullock became director, DEP’s Florida State Parks have contributed nearly $5 billion to local economies throughout the state, served nearly 128 million visitors and earned more than $273 million in revenue.
“I am honored to recognize a friend and colleague today for his dedication to Florida’s natural, cultural and recreational resources,” said DEP Secretary Sole. “Mike’s leadership and wisdom within the state park system has led to our 160 parks being as great as they are today. Mike will be truly missed and I wish him all the best in his retirement.”
During his tenure, Bullock helped the Florida Park Service achieve great recognition, including the distinction of being the first and only two-time national Gold Medal winner for having the nation’s best park system, awarded by the National Recreation and Park Association. Under his leadership, Florida State Parks has grown to 160 parks. The most recently acquired park, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, continues the commitment to preserve Florida’s natural treasures.
“Ensuring that Florida’s natural and cultural treasures are preserved for future generations has been my life’s work,” said Mike Bullock. “I am humbled to have had the privilege to serve the great state of Florida and its precious natural resources alongside Florida’s dedicated park professionals. I am honored by the recognition of the Florida Senate, Senator Dockery and Secretary Sole.”
Mr. Bullock was raised in Gainesville, Florida. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corp, including two tours of duty in Vietnam, he graduated from the University of Florida in Landscape Architecture. He received further training from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design, Indiana University and Florida State University.
Created in 1935 by the Florida Legislature, Florida State Parks has grown from eight to 160 parks over the last 75 years. Today, the Florida Park Service manages more than 700,000 acres of Florida’s natural environment, including 100 miles of beaches, eight National Historic Landmarks and 39 sites on the National Register of Historic Places.
For more information on Florida’s state parks, visit www.floridastateparks.org.
CONTACT: Kristin Lock, (850) 245-2112 or (850) 778-7294 (cell)
Marguerite Jordan, (850) 245-3029 or (850) 251-7282 (cell)