On 4 May Everglades National Park began its return to regular operations by opening the Main Park Road from the Homestead entrance all the way to
Flamingo. This access and the boat ramps at Flamingo are open 24 hours a day with the Marina stores and gas dock available from 9am to 5pm.
In the news release on reopening, Park Superintendent Pedro Ramos was quoted as saying "I am pleased that we can be part of our community’s efforts to take incremental steps towards reopening. Our action to restore access to the park's main road and Flamingo provides additional opportunities for people to spread out a little more while practicing social distancing."
Visitor centers, campgrounds, and the road leading to the popular Anhinga Trail remain closed though the external rest room at the Coe Visitors center are open. The Shark Valley area remains closed.
Many people took advantage of the first day of the Parks reopening with over 30 empty boat trailers parked in the Flamingo lot by mid-morning.
Amy Roda was out with her binoculars in the Eco Pond area. She said, “I was here the day they closed the park and took the day off today when I saw the reopening announcement. I’ve seen some great birds and a lot of people happy to be able to get out in the open and enjoy the Park again.”
The birds were out in plentiful numbers with Ospreys, Hawks and Kites all seen in the area around the Flamingo Marina.
Tyler Spaulding works at the Marina Store for Flamingo Adventures, the Parks vendor there. He was stationed outside the entrance to greet customers and to oversee sanitization of the area and restrooms.
He said, “The store is setup for social distancing and we’ll restrict the number of people inside at one time. It was great to get 8 of our people back to work and to give people the opportunity to get back on the water.”