Help Hatch the Sebastian Inlet State Park Turtle image

Help Hatch the Sebastian Inlet State Park Turtle

For the first time in 16 years, a NEW FIVE FOOT Turtle is on its way

$10,000 raised

$75,000 goal


Help us Hatch the Sebastian Inlet State Park Turtle!

For the first time in 16 years, a NEW FIVE FOOT TURTLE is on its way. The Mental Health Association has partnered with The Friends of Sebastian Inlet State Park to hatch a brand new Sea Turtle Sculpture!

Mental Health and Florida State Parks

According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, one in five adults experience mental illness each year. Factor in the COVID 19 pandemic, it is estimated that twenty five percent of the population is already directly impacted by mental illness and elevated stress. One way to combat personal stress and mental illness is spending time outdoors in parks, trails and open spaces. Whether you’re a youth, adult or senior, Florida State Parks offer the ability to engage in outdoor activities and reconnect with nature in a safe and socially distant setting while exploring … the Real FloridaSM.

Sebastian Inlet State Park and the Mental Health Association in Indian River County have partnered to bring mental health awareness, and the positive benefits of enjoying the great outdoors while improving personal wellbeing, to the forefront. Surrounded by three bodies of water: the Indian River Lagoon, Atlantic Ocean and the connecting Sebastian Inlet, the state park offers a unique opportunity to immerse one’s self in the act of blue spacing. According to the National Recreation and Parks Association, viewing “blue space” is the ability to access and view bodies of water to improve mental health and reduce psychological distresses for many people. Whether it is sitting on the beach gazing out into the ocean, taking a stroll on one or both of the jetties, watching as dolphins swim playfully through the inlet, or sitting on a park bench observing the tides flow in and out of the inlet, immersing yourself in the presence of water has many positive mental health benefits.

Sebastian Inlet State Park is likewise an ideal place to engage in the act of green spacing. Immersing yourself in nature can greatly reduce stress, improve social and emotional wellbeing, reduce anxiety and improve overall mental health. Sebastian Inlet State Park offers over seven miles of winding trails that can take you from the edge of mangrove forests to the dunes of coastal strand, or in the peaceful stillness of the majestic oak trees deeply rooted in the maritime hammock forest. If camping is your balance, you can spend the night under the stars in one of our sixty improved campsites. The park concession offers daily kayak and paddleboard rentals which give the park visitor the opportunity to interact with the sights and sounds of the Indian River Lagoon on a personal and physical level.

I invite you to visit the Sebastian Inlet State Park and take a moment and reconnect yourself with nature. Gaze out into the water, feel the earth under your feet. Take a stroll down a trail, feel the wind on your face and the sun on your back. Witness dolphins feed in the inlet, sea turtles feed on the rocks and the pelicans dive in the sea. Regroup, re-center, reconnect and re-boot your mind, body and soul and visit... the Real FloridaSM

1.Access to Parks and the Outdoors is Crucial for Metal Health in Our Communities, Open Spaces, National Recreation and Park Association.