An important part of Dragonfly Expeditions’ mission and approach to sustainable tourism is the support of local not-for-profit organizations that are instrumental to the preservation of Florida’s ecological, historical and cultural resources. Most people are not aware that for many of our tours, a percentage of revenue benefits a particular charity thematically related to the tour. From the very beginning of the company, a built-in donation for each sold tour was an integral part of our business practice. It still holds true that there is no such thing as “free;” even if Dragonfly Expeditions as a commercial entity in many cases doesn’t have to pay an entrance fee to visit and see natural areas or historic buildings freely accessible to the public, that doesn’t mean that dedicated people and organizations haven’t committed time and money to preserve those things. Without their effort, there would be nothing for us to show. This post featuring the Loxahatchee River Historical Society begins a series that will highlight the various not-for-profit organizations we support (you can see all our not-for-profit partners listed in the side column of our monthly newsletter).
The Loxahatchee River Historical Society (LRHS) is the steward of historical and natural treasures surrounding the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum in Palm Beach County. A visit to the grounds and the top of the lighthouse (with its fantastic views) is an important element of our popular tour “Three Little Towns by the Sea.” In addition to supporting the lighthouse museum by paying the entrance fee, we allocate a donation in support of the LRHS which has been listed as one of the “Extraordinary Charities of Palm Beach County.”
In 2012 the LRHS was selected as the Bureau of Land Management’s “Public Lands Partnership Excellence Award” winner. The biannual Excellence Award recognizes the LRHS as an interpretive association that has a formal assistance agreement with the BLM and has demonstrated exceptional support for the BLM’s interpretive, educational and/or public outreach programs. The LRHS was instrumental in the effort to build community support for their site becoming a part of the BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) in 2008, at which time it was designated the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area (JILONA) by Congress. This was also acknowledged by the Conservation Lands Foundation, as the 120 acres at the junction of Florida’s Indian and Loxahatchee Rivers contain 25 special status species and cultural evidence of 5,000 years of human occupation.
As part of the official 500th anniversary celebration of the discovery of Florida (Viva Florida), the LRHS is also being recognized for its outstanding role in the interpretation of Florida’s past: the museum tells the story of the history of the Jupiter Inlet and the influence of Spain and the Caribbean through exhibits about the shipwreck of the San Miguel de Arcangel (wrecked while returning to Spain from Havana Harbor), Juan Ponce de León, Hernando D’Escalante Fontenada and the 1696 capture of the shipwrecked Jonathan Dickinson party from Port Royal, Jamaica.
An organization like LRHS delivers exemplary work through its dedicated volunteers and the leadership of Executive Director Jamie Stuve. The Docent Organization of the LRHS has 110 members who volunteer more than 13,000 hours annually. Volunteers provide visitor services to more than 70,000 guests each year and offer 3,500 guided tours yearly.
We would like to encourage you to visit the property and support the continuing efforts of the Loxahatchee River Historical Society. For more information visit their website.