PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS
The sole purpose of the programs and projects undertaken by the Friends of Weeki Wachee is to produce funding that will allow our organization to follow its important mission:
“To promote the use, protection and enhancement of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.”
It is important to know that 100% of all monies received for any events, memberships, grants, ongoing programs, merchandise sales, donations, etc., remain in the Friends budget to supplement the Park’s annual state budget. It is for this reason that the Friends of Weeki Wachee was established in 2009. The Friends are proud to be able to provide this support not only to the Park’s hardworking staff, but for our current guests to enjoy now as well as future generations to come! After all,the park has been here since 1947!
The Friends of Weeki Wachee sponsor two holiday events annually. In October we have the Wild n’ Wicked Halloween event that goes on for two weekends and includes scary and not-so-scary mazes, light shows, themed Mermaid shows, lots of good food, and other surprises! For December, there are usually three weekends of holiday light shows, a special holiday Mermaid show, extensive decorations to enjoy throughout the park, holiday boat ride, Santas Workshop, and MUCH more. We often have sold-out crowds for these exciting events! Members of the Friends of Weeki Wachee get advance notice of dates and times.
Our membership program is important to the Friends of Weeki Wachee. It allows us to keep in contact with those who love the Park and allows us an avenue to reach them for advance notification of events, new projects, and important meetings. Remember, any membership funds we receive stay with the Park, AND gets you through the gate without standing in line! Additional benefits for the LIFETIME member is a free 12 Punch membership card requested annually, and a personalized 4X8 Brick to be placed around the front fountain.
BRICK FRIENDS FOREVER (BFF) PROGRAM
The Brick Friends Forever program is a great opportunity to show everlasting tribute to a loved one, a special occasion, or even for your love of the Park. Bricks are placed around the adagio fountain at the front of the Park. Although we try to expedite these orders as quickly as possible, it can take up to six weeks before final placement on the walkway due to the process of getting them engraved.
Tail Mail Program
In an effort to promote education, the mermaids are answering letters from all students under the age of 17. This will encourage literacy and is a great way for your child to practice their best penmanship. Have your child hand write a letter to their favorite mermaid (or Prince), asking about the environment they swim in or anything else mermaid related.
Mermaid Cove Gift Shop
The Friends Mermaid Cove Gift Shop is a wonderful ongoing fundraiser for us. It is located just inside the front gate. We have children’s mermaid costumes, t-shirts, mugs, hats, bags, and many varied keepsakes of your trip to the wonderful Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. The Mermaid Cove is always open during our special fundraising events.
The Friends of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park sponsors the annual Sirens of the Deep Mermaid Camp, the Jr. Mermaid Camp, Jr. Lifeguard Camp, AND the Jr. Ranger Camp. The Sirens Camps are geared toward adults over 30. Sirens camps are extremely popular, and bring folks from all over the United States, and even from other countries!!! The Jr. Camps are geared toward some excited kids ages 7 - 14.
National Public Lands Day
National Public Lands Day is not a fundraiser for us but is a very important effort we undertake every year to meet our mission to protect and enhance the park by removing invasive species, replanting native vegetation, cleaning up the Weeki Wachee River, and laying water conserving mulch where needed. This is a program sponsored by the Florida State Parks, and state parks all over Florida participate. Program dates will be announced soon.
ANNUAL FIRST DAY HIKES
As part of our organization’s mission, the Friends provide supplies for hikers exploring the behind-the-scene trails on the Weeki Wachee property. “First Day Hikes” are sponsored by the Florida State Parks on January 1 of each year. Hikes are organized by state parks across the country, and vary from short walks to longer treks. These guided walks offer a variety of ways for people to get outdoors and start off the new year right!
GUEST SCOOTER RENTALS
A fundraiser program we have had for years is scooter rental for our handicapped guests, allowing them to have a worry-free and fun-filled day! Sponsored and well-maintained by the Friends of Weeki Wachee, the Friends wants all our guests visiting the Park to have a fun-filled and exciting day. All rental fees received remain with the Friends of Weeki Wachee for the benefit of our lovely and historical park.
ANNUAL HOLIDAY EVENTS
Our annual events got curtailed over the last few years due to in-park construction going on, and the pandemic. We think we are back on track now, beginning with the fun-filled three-weekend holiday events we happily presented in December 2021. We catered to sold out crowds! Members get ADVANCE notice before the public does of these events and others!! We are hoping the Beach Bashes and our own Wild n’ Wicked nights will be back with us next year.