Miami-Dade Partners With Photographer To Boost National Park Tourism
The National Park Service turns 100 years old next year.
To celebrate, Miami-Dade County partnered with award-winning photographer Clyde Butcher to showcase some of South Florida’s national parks in photographs throughout Miami International Airport.
In the South terminal, a gallery of black-and-white photographs highlights different landscapes from the Everglades, Biscayne National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve.
“Florida is a pretty place. I mean, it’s unique,” says Butcher while remembering his many visits through the parks. “I’ve been walking around Big Cypress since 1984. Never met another person [while being there]. How many parks can you say that?”
Encouraging park visits from the airport
Close to 40 million people fly into Miami International Airport every year, so it seemed like the perfect place to attract potential park visitors.
“We decided to use the airport because that’s where the majority of the visitors from across the country and around the world come into Miami,” says Bob DeGross, spokesperson for the Big Cypress National Preserve.
He says the installed exhibit is meant to encourage tourism to the parks.
“It’s a great opportunity if they’re new to the South Florida region, to really get the word out to them that there are these three national park areas that are within a short distance [from the airport].”
Homestead Councilman Stephen Shelley started working on the concept since last spring. It then developed into a partnership with County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, the Greater Miami Visitor and Convention Bureau, MIA and the National Park Service.
Shelley hopes this initiative helps diversify tourism in South Florida. “I think the importance is getting people to know that our parks exist... to realize there’s some place else to go besides North Miami, besides South Beach.”