Florida


Florida

An apercu from a program organized Wednesday by Amelia Island Trails, where I was happy to represent ECGA. (Look for a report from the Fernandina Beach News Leader shortly.)

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L-R: Phil Scanlan (Chairman, Amelia Island Trail), Mike Pikula (President, Nassau Community Trails), Austin Chapman (Planner, FDOT), Marshall McCrary (Planning Director, Fernandina Beach), Danny Leeper (Nassau County Commissioner), Kevin McCarthy (Owner/Operator, Amelia Island Cruises), Herb Hiller (ECGA Southeast Region Trail Consultant).  Photo: Doran Donovan

*Almost all cyclists own one or two cars. When you see a cyclist pedaling by, you’re watching a car driver smarter than most.

*The 20th was probably the only century in recorded history when people quit engaging with trails.

* * * * *

Three meetings coming up which I’m happy to chair to help make sure that the Florida legislature in its budget throes doesn’t again try to zero out funding for Florida’s Office of Greenways and Trails (as it attempted but failed to do last year, ironically just after American Trails had named Florida #1 trails state in America).

First, next Wednesday at Visit Florida HQ in Tallahassee, brings together leading trails advocates to establish a Florida trails website (comparable to Visit Florida’s golf website).

Second, next day by phone, the Florida Greenways and Trails Foundation talks about prioritizing long-distance loop trails for their value in promoting economic development.

Third, November 6th, hosted by East Central Florida Regional Planning Council and the East Coast Greenway Alliance titled Trails and the Green. Program further focuses trails and economic development. ED directors and others from nine counties invited. Info? www.ecfrpc.org.

* * * * *

As I write this, 10 cyclists variously from Seattle, rural Nevada, the upper Midwest and Florida celebrate their eve of completing the 260-mile St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop. They’re first in a series led by Bike Florida, the Sunshine State’s premier touring company, to tour the route organized by the Greenway Alliance starting in 2007. The route through five counties includes spine coastal route plus inland sections along Florida’s longest river. Greenway Alliance charters the November tour for Close-the-Gap donors, 18 so far registered. For Bike Florida touring details, www.bikeflorida.org.

Herb Hiller

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