A Century of Impact
Mention the city of Homestead, Florida, and many will think of the devastation it suffered when Hurricane Andrew made landfall in 1992. But today, this city of nearly 70,000 residents — less than half of them native English speakers — is forging a more hopeful identity as the gateway to Everglades and Biscayne National Parks.
Homestead is perfectly situated between the two parks, just 10 miles from both Everglades and Biscayne — but a lack of public transportation has always left many visitors and residents with no way to reach and enjoy them.
Now, thanks to NPCA’s efforts and its partnership with the City of Homestead, all that has changed. A new trolley route connects the city’s historic downtown to both parks, offering visitors free shuttle service every weekend during the peak season. It’s the first project of its kind in South Florida, and has already served more than 40,000 riders to date.
You’d be amazed at what you get to see. If it wasn’t for the trolley, we wouldn’t know about the Everglades or Biscayne at all.
It’s a groundbreaking solution that harkens back to a founding principle that still guides us today: For people to become protectors of our national parks, they must first have the opportunity to know and love them.
As NPCA evolved, that increasingly meant working to provide better access to and meaningful — even transformative — experiences in the parks.
That's Why We've...
Collaborated on Youthworks in the Parks to connect urban youth with the iconic parks of southeast Utah
Established an annual volunteer day event at Big Thicket National Preserve to help restore its longleaf pine population
Supported the creation of the Student Conservation Association, which has engaged young people in hands-on service to the land for more than 60 years
Promoted greater public access to recreation and stewardship through the Freedom to Float campaign
Offered the best in educational small-group tours of the national parks for nearly a quarter-century