About Us

Photo by Mark Andrew Thomas

Saving Special Places • Building Better Communities

Saving Special Places & Building Better Communities Since 1986

For more than half a century, Florida has relied on growth and sprawling development to fuel its economy. Sadly, we continue to experience the tragic consequences of this approach, which has been likened by some to a “Ponzi scheme.” Since 1986, 1000 Friends has been leading the way to a more sustainable future for Florida. We educate, advocate, negotiate and, when necessary, litigate to protect our quality of life.

Citizen involvement is at the heart of all we do. We develop booklets and conduct webinars and workshops on Florida’s planning process. Through projects like Florida 2070, we share visions of what our state could look like if current patterns of development continue. We also advocate on behalf of citizens in the halls of the Legislature and the courts, and work to promote sound public policy on growth and development issues.

Annual Report 30th Anniversary

30th Anniversary Special Report

Our Mission

The state’s leading not-for-profit smart growth advocacy organization, 1000 Friends of Florida is building better communities and saving special places in one of the fastest growing states in the nation. We promote vibrant, sustainable, walkable, livable, equitable communities which provide residents with affordable housing choices and transportation alternatives. We work to protect natural lands that cleanse and store fresh water needed for residents, agriculture and the environment, provide refuge for wildlife, and support abundant recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. Above all, we strive to give citizens a meaningful role in shaping the futures of their communities and state. Founded in 1986, 1000 Friends of Florida is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization.

Our Vision

Picture a Florida with vibrant cities and towns, thriving and livable neighborhoods, and an outstanding quality of life.

Visualize Florida communities that recognize and respect the humanity of all of their diverse stakeholders.

Imagine communities where kids can ride their bikes to school or the park, and parents can walk to the store or take a bus to work if they wish.

Envision our state with abundant natural lands, a verdant network of wildlife corridors and greenways, productive farms, and pristine springs and rivers.

Think about a Florida with a vital economy, well-paying jobs, and affordable housing choices.

This is the future toward which 1000 Friends of Florida is working.  And you can help!

Our Accomplishments

Since 1986, 1000 Friends of Florida’s experienced staff has partnered with citizens, community and state leaders, conservation and business groups and others to promote a more sustainable future for one of the fastest growing states in the nation. Major highlights include:

Saving special places

•  In partnership with the University of Florida Center for Landscape Conservation Planning, launching Florida’s Rising Seas:  Sea Level 2040 & 2070, a GIS-based analysis that shows that Florida could lose almost a million acres of land to sea level rise by 2040, and close to 1.7 million acres by 2070, forcing the relocation of almost 1 million residents.

•  Producing Trouble in Paradise to showcase major conservation issues facing Florida and workable strategies to
address them.

• Conducting the Florida 2070/Water 2070 Project, which reveals that if we keep developing the way we do now, by 2070 more than a third of Florida’s lands will be developed and development-related water demand will more than double.

• Supporting Preservation 2000, Florida Forever, Florida Rural & Family Lands and other land conservation programs, saving millions of acres of sensitive lands, and continuing to advocate for ongoing funding.

• Launching Florida Greenways, transferring the initiative to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, to create and expand an “emerald necklace” of protected, connected natural lands across the state.

• Advocating for Everglades Restoration, providing input on proposals that could impact restoration efforts.

• Leading on Springs Protection Planning, producing an award-winning manual, conducting workshops, and promoting legislation.

• Supporting the creation of wildlife corridors and green infrastructure through a planning manual and workshops and leading a major summit on rural land conservation.

Building better communities

•  Conducting a series of 2070 Workshops focusing on growth and development issues to Brevard, Martin, Palm Beach, St. Johns, Walton, Seminole and Volusia counties and exploring opportunities to work with other counties to promote more sustainable futures.

•  Partnering to promote sustainable community design, revitalize waterfront communities, facilitate disaster planning for historic resources, and more.

• Establishing the Palm Beach/Martin County Green Initiative and Florida Panhandle Initiative to promote sound community planning and effective advocacy.

• Playing a leading role in relocating the Scripps Biomedical Research Institute campus from rural Palm Beach County to an infill site near existing roads and schools.

• Playing an instrumental role in passage and continuation of Florida’s Sadowski Affordable Housing Act, a dedicated revenue source for housing for the most vulnerable populations.

Advocating on behalf of Floridians

• Championing more than five dozen major administrative, appellate and Florida Supreme Court growth management legal cases with statewide significance.

• Lobbying the Florida Legislature each year in support of sound planning.

• Shaping key state legislation and public policy.

Educating on smarter growth

• Attracting more than 37,000 attendees to the Dr. John M. DeGrove Webinar Series, focusing on Florida-specific planning strategies to promote conservation and sustainable development.

• Conducting educational workshops in communities across the state.

• Producing more than forty handbooks and manuals.

• Reaching out via our website, Foresight newsletter, email alerts, Facebook and Twitter, the media and more.