Flagler College students praise “hidden gem”

St. Augustine is known as being America’s oldest city, with establishments such as the Castillo de San Marcos attracting thousands of visitors every year. With the 26th annual Nights of Lights officially underway, more people than ever will be able to see St. Augustine’s historical landmarks. However, one hidden gem in the plethora of landmarks is Fort Mose Historic State Park, a 13-minute drive from Flagler College.

Visitors can engage in a number of different activities at Fort Mose, including wildlife tours and geo-seeking. However, perhaps the most important part of Fort Mose is the history that it preserves. In 1738, the plots of land Fort Mose is currently settled on were chartered as a settlement for African slaves seeking sanctuary. It is estimated that around 100 people left the English colonies to settle in Fort Mose after declaring their allegiance to Spain. In 1994, Fort Mose was declared a National Historic Landmark, and it is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Flagler College Communication Department has an important relationship with Fort Mose, as students involved in Dow Advantage helped with various tasks. Nasrine Mogharnesi, a member of Dow Advantage, has worked with Fort Mose with the design of the park’s website. One of the tasks she described working on was an interactive map of the park. She also described the time she spent working with them alongside the Dow Advantage team as an important learning experience that has taught her how to build her portfolio and prepare for the working world after college.

Dow Advantage students at Flagler said they encourage St. Augustine residents to be grateful for the number of historical landmarks and parks in the city. Fort Mose, they said, helps promote a message of unity during Thanksgiving week and all year long.

Fort Mose is located on 15 Fort Mose Trail, St. Augustine, FL. Admission to the park is free, while the visitor center has a $2 fee for admission. On Saturday, Dec. 7 from 9 to 11:30 a.m., Fort Mose will be holding its First Saturday Militia Muster with the Castillo de Sans Marco Militia. For more information, call 904-823-2232 or visit the park’s website.