Carrabelle CARES

Carrabelle CARES is a Carrabelle based nonprofit 501(c)(3) Organization formed in July 2006 to encourage the development and improvement of economic, social, cultural, artistic and recreational opportunities for the citizens of the City of Carrabelle, Franklin County, Florida.

The care in Carrabelle CARES stands for Cultural, Arts, Recreation, Economic Service. Each year we have been able to expand our resources to assist with more projects and programs.  Goals are accomplished by providing leadership and working to develop resources in support of these important aspects of community life through coordination, facilitation, grant writing and advocacy.  We are registered with the Florida Department of State‘s Division of Corporations as a non-profit, we are designated as a 501(c)(3) organization and we also are registered with the Florida Division of Revenue as a tax exempt organization.  We write grants for funds to serve Carrabelle from State and Federal government agencies, foundations and private for profit companies. We participate in county and regional activities that will bring future resources to the Carrabelle area. We specialize in coordination and cobbling together a patchwork of funding sources to get complicated projects accomplished.  We care about the people of Carrabelle - children, workers and elders. We care about the history of Carrabelle. We care about recreation, safety and resources for Carrabelle. We care about our environment in the surrounding area, the coast, Tate’s Hell Swamp, wetlands and uplands. We care about the economy of the Carrabelle area. We care about our City.  We have a dedicated team of hard working board members and an awesome volunteer corps.

Carrabelle CARES Participates in these Community Projects, Programs, and Events

Coastal and Watershed Cleanups

Carrabelle CARES partners with the Apalachicola Riverkeeper on annual coastal clean-ups.  

In the spring, we organize a watershed clean up to remove trash and garbage from Tate’s Hell Swamp in conjunction with the Division of Forestry and along the rivers that drain in to St. George’s Sound.  In some years, as a part of the International Coastal Clean-up held the weekend after Labor Day, CARES worked with the Apalachicola Riverkeeper, the Franklin County Solid Waste and the City of Carrabelle to clean up the beaches and coastline along 30A, on both sides of the Carrabelle River, Postum and Jordan Bayous, and from Old McKissack Beach to the County Wayside Park and on to the Crooked River Lighthouse. Over thirty volunteers including kids from the Franklin County Public Library went out on foot, canoes, kayaks and powerboats bringing in over a ton of rubbish and household garbage to two locations.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Volunteers needed for the 2022 Clean-up! The number of volunteers who come help clean up Carrabelle have been declining in recent years so we really need your help. We have four area locations to choose from - Carrabelle Beach, Old Carrabelle / McKissack Beach, Carrabelle River/ Harbor area and Lanark Beach.

What: The annual Franklin County Coastal Cleanup.
When: Saturday, September 17, 2022 from 8:30 -11:30 am
Where: Greater Carrabelle area coordination sites are listed below. Just show up ready to help.
City of Carrabelle - Marine St Pavilion on Marine Street and McKissack Beach. Tamara Allen & Lori Gilbertson, Site Coordinators
Carrabelle Beach - Wayside Park Public Beach (across from RV park). Kim Miller, Site Coordinator
Lanark Beach -  Public access point on Arizona Street south of Hwy 98. Kathy Swaggerty, Site Coordinator.

Volunteers will be provided with T-shirts, trash bags, gloves, water, snacks, and data cards. You will need to bring your own sunscreen, bug spray, and protective clothing (hats, sturdy shoes, etc.). Your help is needed.

Sponsored by the Apalachicola Riverkeeper, the Ocean Conservancy, and the Franklin County Departments of Parks & Recreation and Solid Waste & Recycling.

Carrabelle Waterfront Partnership

The Florida Department of Community Affairs (DCA) selected the City of Carrabelle as a Florida Waterfronts Partnership Program Community for the 2007 to 2009 cycle.  The purpose of this two-year process of technical assistance and training for Carrabelle is to assist the local citizens create a shared plan for the revitalization of our traditional working waterfront areas. This took place by organizing a Carrabelle Waterfronts Partnership, a Steering Committee, holding community wide meetings, developing a community vision and an action plan. Then the Waterfront Partnership implemented projects, programs and activities from the plan.

DCA provided a small amount of funding, $25,000 each year, for designated communities to carry out these activities. It was matched by the community of Carrabelle through contributions of funds, goods, services or volunteer hours from local residents, businesses and other groups interested in the redevelopment of the waterfront area. No city tax dollars were paid for these activities The City partnered with Carrabelle CARES to write the grant and serve as the program manager. It is important to note this designation continues after the initial two years. The designation alone will assist Carrabelle in receiving funding from many other grant and government sources. The program addressed four areas of our community: revitalizing the working waterfronts, preventing damage from disasters, increasing public access to the waterfront in Carrabelle, protecting environmental and cultural resources. To date these efforts have brought over $300,000 to Carrabelle at no cost to the City. When the state funding ended, Carrabelle CARES agreed to continue supporting the implementation of the vision plan through September 2015 at no cost to the City.


The Carrabelle Waterfront Partnership Steering Committee meets monthly on the second Wednesday of each month at 3:00 pm at the Carrabelle Branch of the Franklin County Public Library. The meetings are open to the public and all are welcome. We are always seeking new volunteers for the Steering Committee. The group serves as volunteer staff for the City of Carrabelle and reports to the City Commission on the first Thursday of every month at their meeting which begins at 6:00 pm at the Municipal Complex.

For more information or to volunteer to help with this effort, please contact:
Tamara Allen, Program Manager
Carrabelle Waterfront Partnership
PO Box 666, 701 Marine Street
Carrabelle, FL 32322
Phone: 850.697.2141 | Fax 850-697-2142

Riverfront Festival

The Annual Carrabelle Riverfront Festival in Carrabelle, Florida is a full day of free, family-friendly activities, live music, entertainment, over 50 unique and colorful arts & craft vendors and delicious food.  Usually taking place in April, there will be plenty of activities for the kids, young & old.  Admission to this family friendly and pet friendly event is FREE and open to the public.  The Carrabelle Chamber of Commerce invites you to experience a family fun filled day along the beautiful and historic Carrabelle Harbor and River!

The festival, hosted by the Carrabelle Chamber of Commerce and the community of Carrabelle, is funded in part by the Franklin County Tourist Development Council and the Carrabelle Community Redevelopment Agency.  For up-to-date information, including a schedule of activities as it becomes available, visit or on Facebook at or call the Carrabelle Chamber of Commerce at (850) 697-2585. Come to Carrabelle and enjoy the festival, explore the local businesses, museums and galleries, and experience the beautiful waterfront.

Friends of Carrabelle Parks

Friends of Patton Park

Carrabelle CARES partnered with the City of Carrabelle to maintain and improve the John David Patton Wildlife Park located on Highway 67 just north of town. Volunteers weed the butterfly garden and work with the City to conduct prescribed burns to maintain the pine uplands and habitat for the gopher tortoises.

Park amenities include nature trails, educational signage, picnic facilities and restrooms. This park offers birders and nature enthusiasts a perfect place to relax and watch for the native gopher tortoises and other wildlife that inhabit the area.

The park was named in honor of John David Patton, Carrabelle Police Department. On Saturday, July 9, 1977, Police Officer Patton was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call as he stepped out of his patrol car when he arrived at the scene. He was survived by his wife and two children.