JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District has reopened all of the campgrounds and day-use parks along the Okeechobee Waterway, after the government shutdown forced them to close down temporarily on Oct. 9.
"We know that this is a time of year when many vacationing families are using or planning to use Corps recreation facilities, and we are happy to reopen them for public use," said Lt. Col. Thomas Greco, deputy district commander for south Florida.
"We did the best we could to keep the Corps-managed campgrounds and recreation areas open to the public for as long as possible. It was unfortunate that we had to close the parks due to a lapse in federal appropriations and we are glad to be back in operation," said Adam Tarplee, the acting assistant chief of the South Florida Operations Office in Clewiston. “The Corps regrets the inconvenience and impact the closure had on the many customers who have been looking forward to visiting the district's parks, and our hard-working park attendants and volunteers too.”
All of the campgrounds along the Okeechobee Waterway have reopened, including St. Lucie South Campground in Stuart (772-287-1382), Ortona South Campground near Moore Haven (863-675-8400) and W.P. Franklin Campground North in Alva (239-694-8770).
All of the recreation parks are also open, including the Clewiston Visitor Center, W.P. Franklin South Recreation Area in Alva, St. Lucie Visitor Center and St. Lucie South Recreation Area in Stuart and Ortona North Recreation Area in Moore Haven.
The Recreation.gov website, where campers can make reservations at Corps campgrounds nationwide, is also back up and operational. Reservations can also be made by calling 1-877-444-6777.
For more information, call the South Florida Operations Office in Clewiston at 863-983-8101.
Release no. 13-086