The Friends of the St. Joseph Peninsula State Park received an award last week from the Florida Park Service as well as the Friends of Florida State Parks for a pavilion improvement project.

The Friends of the St. Joseph Peninsula State Park received an award last week from the Florida Park Service as well as the Friends of Florida State Parks for a pavilion improvement project.

The project wrapped the park’s Bay View Pavilion in high-quality mesh screening, providing for a more enjoyable experience for guests.

Before receiving the award, the park’s manager, Mark Knapke, noted the growth in the Friends organization stating that the group had come a long way in six years.

“I’m very proud of this group and they’re very deserving of this award,” Knapke said.

Also on hand were Gil Ziffer, a representative of the Friends of Florida State Parks, and Warren Poplin, a bureau chief with the Florida Park Service.

While noting that the Friends of Florida State Parks choose the winners, Poplin welcomed the process,

“It’s all a competition. It’s kind of fun, kind of cool,” Poplin said.

Poplin was able to see the pavilion before the project was completed was blown away by the results,

“I can tell you looking at it now, as a completed project, is amazing. That is something you all can be proud of,” Poplin told the group.

Poplin also noted that the high quality residential mesh screening used in the project really sets the pavilion apart from other park service buildings.

“A lot of times when we look at our pavilions, we the Park Services are like ‘we are going to make this industrial as we can.’ And when we try to make it industrial it’s not real pretty,” said Poplin. “I can tell you by looking at that pavilion with it being the black color screen, and it’s all encompassing over the entire area, it doesn’t block your view, it’s an exceptional project.”

The work was done by Langford Construction Company for no profit, and Steve Langford was on hand to receive a business membership to the Friends.

The total cost of the project was $8,600; which came from funds garnered by donations and retail sales.