The Friends of MacArthur Beach State Park is a non-profit corporation with a mission of generating supplemental resources to preserve, restore, and interpret the natural and cultural assets of the Park for present and future generations.
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park was established to protect a diverse and undisturbed subtropical coastal habitat from development. The Park is named for John D. MacArthur, whose generosity allowed the State of Florida to secure the land. Developed in part with funds donated by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Park opened to the public in 1989.
In addition to protecting our natural heritage, John D. MacArthur Beach State Park is a model public-private partnership. Owned by the State of Florida, the staff and daily needs of the Park are funded by the State. Since it’s founding in 1990, the Friends organization has enriched and enhanced the Park by soliciting donations, seeking volunteers, raising funds, holding special events and by operating a gift shop. All funds raised by the Friends support the Park, making a visit more educational, memorable and fun.
Since its inception, the Friends has raised over $589,790.00 for Park programs and equipment needs; in partnership with the State of Florida, the Friends have raised over $3,663,000.00 in capital funds for buildings, picnic pavilions, playgrounds and other visitor amenities. A focus on the mission enabled the Friends to conduct a Capital Campaign from 2007 to 2009, raising $1,216,000.00 which was matched by $840,000.00 State of Florida funds. These monies were used to build the Pew Family Natural Science Education Center, a new Beach Outfitters Gift Shop and to completely renovate the Nature Center and provide new interpretive displays.
While the Park’s founders envisioned creating “an island in time” where a living vision of natural, pre-Columbian Florida would eternally flourish, they also bequeathed an educational mission, where children and adults could experience Florida’s natural beauty through first-hand environmental experiences. The founders anticipated not only the physical effects of encroaching development, but were also concerned that without an accessible example of Florida’s natural environment, future residents would have little memory of the region’s origins; and would never appreciate the gravity of their loss.
The Friends organization makes education a priority, providing hand-on natural science programs to all Palm Beach County students free of charge. The Natural Science Education Programs provides experiential instruction and activities to educate, excite and involve the students in science.
Friends of MacArthur Beach State Park
10900 Jack Nicklaus Drive
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
561-776-7449 Ext. 111