Founded in 1978 as the Friends of Morningside, the group originally supported Gainesville’s earliest nature park and living history farm, Morningside Nature Center. The growth of the organization has corresponded with the growth of the city’s nature parks so that we are now called the Friends of Nature Parks. We support the growing number of nature parks now owned and operated by the City of Gainesville.

Just as the number of nature parks has steadily increased over the years, so too have the number of members and the support FoNP has provided to the parks. FoNP works closely with the city’s Parks Recreation and Cultural Affairs department (PRCA) on projects in the parks as well as sponsoring educational opportunities for staff members. Community outreach is achieved through scholarships for local schools and individuals, volunteer awards, and additional funding for interpretive programs. Our largest project, a partnership with PRCA staff and the Florida Native Plant Society, is hosting the spring and fall Native Plant Sales, which are open to the public. These are all part of our efforts to support the nature parks which contribute to the quality of life in Gainesville, and we’d love to count you as one of our members.

Friends of Nature Parks is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation registered with both the Federal Government and the State of Florida.  You can like us on Facebook or email us at We look forward to hearing from you.

In wildness is the preservation of the world.
— Henry David Thoreau