Friends of Highlands Hammock State Park

History of the Park

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Highlands Hammock State Park, first opening in 1931, is one of the earliest examples of grass-roots public support for environmental preservation. Local citizens, with the financial assistance of the Margaret Shippen Roebling family, acquired the property and constructed trails and basic facilities in 1930. In 1934, a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp began working on a botanical garden project on the land adjacent to what is now Highlands Hammock State Park.

Two Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) companies, one established in 1934 and the other in 1936, continued Roebling’s efforts to finish the park’s numerous trails, pavilions and other structures and to create the Florida Botanical Gardens and Arboretum. Highlands Hammock State Park was officially opened as the State of Florida’s first state park in August 1935.  Eventually, the arboretum project was merged with the park and in November 1941, as World War II loomed, the CCC ceased operations.  During the period from 1934 - 1941, the CCC “boys” planted thousands of plants, constructed roadways, dams, bridges, and buildings. Although the tropical gardens never became a reality, the park’s natural beauty endures today.

With more rare and endemic plant and animal species than any other Florida State Park, Highlands Hammock is a place where wilderness and history are preserved---where visitors may walk the trails where the Florida panther and black bear quietly pass beneath the towering oaks of a magnificent hammock. Alligators, deer and a variety of bird species also call the park home.

Highlands Hammock State Park was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 16, 2018.





The Friends of Highlands Hammock State Park is a non-profit corporation which functions as a citizen support organization (CSO) regulated by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Friends of Highlands Hammock

Hammock Inn Camp Store

5932 Hammock Rd.

Sebring,  FL  33872

(863)402-0061

Email:  FOHHSTORE@OUTLOOK.COM

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The Friends of Highlands Hammock State Park, a non-profit corporation 501(c)(3), is a Citizen Support Organization (CSO) regulated by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Most 501(c)(3) non-profit donations are considered to be tax deductible contributions by the Internal Revenue Service.

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