Friends of Bahia Honda
Who We Are

Friends of Bahia Honda State Park, Inc. is a non-profit corporation which functions as a citizen support organization.

We are a non-

Friends of Bahia Honda State Park, Inc. is a non-profit corporation which will function as a citizen support organization. The corporation’s function is to generate and employ additional resources and support for and in the best interests of Bahia Honda State Park. This will be done through, among other events and activities, such as the following: special work projects, special programs, special events, outreach programs, educational activities, guided tours and communications, special exhibits, interpretive programs, fund-raising activities and events, as well as those activities or events which are designed to meet the additional areas of park needs identified by the division of Recreation and Parks or the Park Manager of Bahia Honda State Park.
Friends of Bahia Honda

How we began
Friends of Bahia Honda State Park

We started with a friendly game of cornhole, at a local BPK establishment. Bill Lechner and I (Diane Rullan) were talking about the park with Eric Kiefer(Bahia Honda State Park Manager) and Meredith Kruse (his assistant). 

Eric spoke about wanting to get a friends group started at the park and he thought Bill and I would be a perfect fit for the task. There was a notice put in the newspaper, towards the end of 2013 asking for anyone interested in getting involved.

We had a few meetings to discuss what needed to be done and those who were in attendance and decided to move forward were Dennis and Lee Caltagirone, Bill Lechnar and myself (Diane Rullan).

In 2014 we began writing the C.S.O. Agreement, Articles of Incorporation and our Bylaws. Once everything was written and approved, we submitted our documents to the State. On February 4, 2015, The Friends of Bahia Honda State Park Inc. was born and on February 16, 2015 we held our first official meeting.

Our board of officers in 2015 was as follows:

  • President: DiAne Rullan
  • Vice President: Dennis Caltagirone
  • Treasurer: Bill Lechnar
  • Secretary: Lee Caltagirone(acting until replacement found)

First order of business on that day was to secure a secretary. Brittany Burtner, the park specialist was in attendance and had invited Bill and Vicki Weagley to attend. Vicki Weagley was asked to be our secretary, which she graciously accepted with Bill Weagley as her assistant.

In March 2015, the Big Pine Moose Lodge made a $1000 donation to the Friends of Bahia Honda State Park. This donation was given to us with the intent to apply and become a 501(c)(3). Bill Lechner completed the paperwork and in April 2015, The Friends of Bahia State Park obtained their 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.

What is

 A Citizen Support Organization (CSO) is a non-profit corporation given special status by Florida law. By statute, CSOs are authorized to raise funds, seek and receive grants, accept gifts, bequests of money and tangible or real property on behalf of their host parks. In addition to monetary support, CSOs assist the parks through increasing community awareness and involvement in the parks and its programs.

The CSO supports the park by working on park projects or raising money to help meet the needs of a park as defined by park management and the Unit Management plan. The assistance CSOs provide the park may include but is not limited to, recruiting volunteers, helping with special work projects, serving as guides and docents and conducting tours or special programs. Members in the organization can also develop and promote special events and market the park and its programs to the community.

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