November 15-21, 2019
Juniper Prairie Wilderness Trail Maintenance
Black Bear Chapter
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Join the Black Bear Chapter of the FTA in a week of trail maintenance in the Juniper Wilderness on the Ocala National Forest. The Wilderness is a unique part of the Florida Trail and it is maintained with hand tools only, bringing a legacy of skill and hard work to each day. We will also work on the western corridor of the Ocala NF using mechanized equipment.
The Juniper Prairie Wilderness in the Ocala National Forest is a complex mosaic of ancient scrub forests, pine islands and broad, open prairies where wildlife thrives. Nearby, Hidden Pond is a favorite local getaway and a jewel of the Ocala National Forest. This Volunteer Work Party within the Juniper Wilderness is unique to the Florida Trail, as it is only maintained with hand tools. This type of work reminds us of our forefathers who broke trail through this section of forest in the early 1960’s.
This wilderness was also the inspiration for Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’s breakthrough novel the Yearling (1938), which describes Florida’s wilderness and the common themes which revolved around the settling of America. This book was later adapted into the 1946 movie of the same title, starring Gregory Peck, Jane Wyman, Claude Jarman, Jr., Chill Wills and Forrest Tucker.
As a designated and federally protected wilderness, the Juniper Prairie Wilderness has been virtually untouched by humans where visitors take only memories and leave only footprints. Here backpackers and day-hikers alike can still experience the pristine wilderness as described Rawlings’s book.
Camping is provided at the Forest Service OHV Campground on FR 11 in a front country style campground. There are no RV hookups at the OHV Center.
Hiking boots (description below) and long pants are required. Long-sleeve t-shirts are recommended.
This event is a free volunteer opportunity. Join our crew and have fun!
Name: OHV Center
Address: US Forest Service OHV Campground on FR 11 in the Ocala Forest
City: Fort McCoy State: FL Zip code: 32134
County: Marion County
Map: OHV Map
Type: Front-country car camping and RV camping (Class B or C, no hook-ups available)
GPS: Latitude – 29°23’58.17″N // Longitude – 81°48’23.81″W
1. From the intersection of Rt. 19 and Rt. 316 at Salt Springs: Go west on Rt. 316 for 6.2 miles to FR 11.
2. Then go north on FR 11 for 2 ½ miles to OHV camp on the right.
Potable Water: Yes
RV Camping: Yes
RV Hookups: No
Camp Notes: Gated Area w/ Picnic Benches and Covered Pavilion
Type of work: Trail Maintenance
Section of the FNST: Florida National Scenic Trail, Eastern Corridor, Ocala National Forest
Maintenance Unit: Juniper Wilderness from Pat’s Island South
Total Hiking Miles Per Day: 6 Miles
Activity Level: Moderate
Friday (15): Arrive after 4:00 PM (No Work)
Saturday (16) – Thursday (21): @ 8:00 AM
Saturday (16) – Wednesday (20): approx. 3:00 PM
Thursday (21): approx. 12:00 PM
Minimum Age: 1 4 years old (*Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a Legal Guardian. These individuals must also complete a Youth Waiver Form)
Max Group Size: 20 volunteers
Physical Difficulty: Moderate activities. Volunteers will be assigned tasks based on their individual comfort level and technical proficiency.
Restrictions: Only US Forest Service certified sawyers will be allowed to operate chainsaws on the Florida Trail.
When registering, volunteers may be asked about known medical conditions or allergy concerns. This information is treated as confidential information, and is only shared with Crew Leaders and the Florida Trail Association Staff. Please disclose all known medical and allergy information. This information enables crew leaders and staff to respond appropriately to medical emergencies. Medical or allergy conditions will not disqualify you from participating in a Volunteer Work Party.
Friday (15): No breakfast
Saturday (16) – Thursday (21): Yes – @ 7:00 AM
Friday (15): No lunch
Saturday (16) – Thursday (21): Yes – lunch packed @ breakfast (sandwiches and snacks)
Friday (15) – Wednesday (20): Yes – approx. 6:00 PM
Thursday (21): No Dinner
When registering, volunteers may indicate dietary needs and/or preferences, as well as known food allergies. If we are unable to honor your request, we’ll contact you so that you can provide your own meals. In most cases we are able to accommodate special meal requests.
Questions About Registration
FTA Staff: Community Outreach Manager
Registration Contact: Van Tran, (352) 538-7639, VanT@floridatrail.org
Questions About the Project
FTA Staff: North Florida Trail Program Manager
Project Contact: Jeff Glenn, (352) 514-1455, firstname.lastname@example.org
To register for this Volunteer Work Party please click the link below.
Registrations are first-come, first served by date time stamp. You will receive an email confirmation within 72 hours. The FTA reserves a 10-person wait-list, and will notify individuals on the wait list within two (2) weeks of the project date. Volunteers may be contacted the week of the event to fill open volunteer registrations.
This list is not a comprehensive pack list. Please use this list to help plan for your event.
One large backpack for all your personal items
One day pack, large enough to carry water, food, rain gear and other personal items
Pack cover (rain gear)
Tent (Rain Fly) and Footprint (if desired for tent)
Sleeping Pad or Inflatable Mattress
Foldable Camp Chair
Bring a Cup, a Bowl and Eating Utensils
Wicking T-shirts (synthetic or wool)
Quick-Drying Pants and Shorts
Sturdy Work Pants
Long-Sleeve Shirts (for sun, bugs, thorny plants)
Socks (synthetic or wool)
Bandana or BuffWarm
Insulating Layers (Night) – Puffy Jacket, Vest, Pants and Hat
Rain Jacket or Poncho
One pair of Hiking Boots (required)*
One pair of Camp Shoes (closed-toed)
*Note: Hiking boots can be either trail runners or traditional hiking boots (ankle-support preferred). No tennis shoes or sandals.
Headlamp and/or small backpacking flashlight
Small lighter in waterproof container or plastic bag (optional)
Two 32-ounce water bottles
OR One 2-Liter hydration bladder bag (preferred)
*Note: Each person should be drinking at least 3-liters of water a day. This is your personal responsibility.
Sunscreen, lip balm, sun glasses, base-ball hat or other sun-shielding hat
DEET-based Bug Spray (recommended)
Bathroom Essentials (camp soap, toothbrush, etc.), Toilet Paper, Wash Cloth and Pack Towel
Any Prescription Medications or Over-the-Counter Medications (seasonal allergies, pain relievers (Ibuprofen for inflammation/pain), etc.)
BEYOND THE BASICS:
Energy Food (Bars, Gels, Chews, Trail Mix)
Energy Beverage or Drink Mixes
Notebook and Pen
Book (for camp!)
Camera and Memory Cards
A Smile and Sense of Adventure!
At this Volunteer Work Party the Florida Trail Association will provide the following gear and services.
Experienced Crew Leaders
Appearances by FTA Regional Representatives
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT(PPE):
Mechanized Equipment (Mowers, Brush Cutters, Chainsaws, etc.)
Hand Tools (Loppers, Hand Saws, Etc.)
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Kitchen Essentials (Pots, Pans, Knives, Etc.)
Sanitary Stations (Bins, Soap, Water, Etc.)
POTABLE WATER SOURCES:
Power will be available at this Volunteer Work Party
This event is hosted at a front-country campground with full restroom facilities
Thank you for volunteering with the Florida Trail Association. Your service allows millions to experience the unique wildlands in Florida!