Volunteer Work Party

October 22-28, 2020

Rodman Dam, North Ocala National Forest Trail Maintenance

Black Bear Chapter

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Join the Black Bear Chapter of the FTA for a volunteer trail maintenance project on the Florida Trail in the Ocala National Forest. This will be the Black Bear Chapter’s first Volunteer Work Party of the season!

We will do routine trail maintenance on the FT starting at Rodman Dam and working south. The Florida Trail Association will provide tools, PPE, and food for the project and volunteers are responsible for bringing their own camping gear, day pack to carry lunch, water bottles, and other personal items.

Camping is provided at the Fore Lake Campground in the Ocala National Forest and work will be done from Rodman Dam heading south on the FT. The Fore Lake Campground features a large group area with full restroom facilities. The campground also includes ample parking and a gated area with picnic benches and a covered pavilion. RVs are allowed here but there are no RV hookups at the Fore Lake Center.

The Florida Trail through this section is characterized by tall longleaf pine forests, palmetto undergrowth and sprawling sandhill communities. Florida black bear sightings are most common along this segment, as are Florida scrub jays which thrive in this type of environment.

Please note: In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the FTA team and our partners have dedicated extensive time and care into creating new and safe operating procedures for our FTA events and volunteer work parties. With these COVID-19 Operating Procedures in place, our focus is to minimize all participants’ possible exposure to the virus as much as possible. The comfort and safety of our FTA community members is of utmost priority to us.

Per the FTA Covid-19 protocols we will break into crews of no more than 5 members each day, working on different sections of the trail. Camping will also be broken up into teams of no more than 5 members with one centralized kitchen cooking for the group. Meals will be served and taken back to each camp. Masks will be utilized when appropriate and sanitation guidelines will be strictly adhered to.

The workdays will be from the morning of the 23rd to the 27th. The 28th is an extra day if there is any remaining work to be taken care of and it will not be a full work day on the trail.

Hiking boots (description below) and long pants are required. Long-sleeve t-shirts are recommended.

This event is a free volunteer opportunity. No previous trail maintenance experience is necessary. Join our crew and have fun!

In order to ensure that we are within our group size capacity due to COVID-19, registration for this work party is on a per-day basis. REGISTER through these links below to join one or more of the workdays for this maintenance event!:

Name: Fore Lake Campground

Address: 14434 NE Hwy 314, Silver Springs, FL 34488

Type: Front-country car camping and RV camping (Class B or C, no hook-ups available)

CLICK TO OBTAIN GOOGLE DIRECTIONS 

Bathroom: Yes
Shower: Yes
Potable Water: Yes
Power: Yes
RV Camping: Yes
RV Hookups: No

Camp Notes: Gated Area w/ Picnic Benches and a Covered Pavilion

Type of work: Trail Maintenance

Section of the FNST: Florida National Scenic Trail, Eastern Corridor, Ocala National Forest
Maintenance Unit: Rodman Dam

Total Hiking Miles Per Day: 5 Miles
Activity Level: Moderate
Start Time: @ 8:00 AM
End Time: approx. 3:00 PM

Minimum Age: 14 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 per day
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.

Breakfast: Yes – @ 7:00 AM
Lunch: Yes – lunch packed @ breakfast (sandwiches and snacks)
Dinner: Yes – approx. 6:00 PM

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
Registration Contact: Van Tran, VanT@floridatrail.org

Questions About the Project
FTA Staff: North Florida Trail Program Manager
Project Contact: Jeff Glenn, jeffg@floridatrail.org

In order to ensure that we are within our group size capacity due to COVID-19, registration for this work party is on a per-day basis. REGISTER through these links below to join one or more of the workdays for this maintenance event!:

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.

BACKPACK:
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)
Safety Whistle
Headlamp and/or small backpacking flashlight
Protective face mask
Personal container of hand sanitizer (hand sanitizer & cleaning supplies will also be provided by the FTA)

SLEEP/CAMP:
Tent (Rain Fly) and Footprint (if desired for tent)
Pillow
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad or Inflatable Mattress
Foldable Camp Chair
Ear Plugs
Camp mug  or thermos for coffee (clean eating utensils will be provided by the FTA)

CLOTHES:
Wicking T-shirts (synthetic or wool)
Wicking Underwear
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

SHOES:
One pair of Hiking Boots*
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.

WATER:*
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.

SUN & BUG PROTECTION:
Sunscreen, lip balm, sun glasses, sun-shielding hat
Effective Bug Spray (DEET or Picaridin-based recommended)
Head net (optional)

TOILETRIES:
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.)

At this Volunteer Work Party the Florida Trail Association will provide the following gear and services.

CREW:
Experienced Crew Leaders

STERILIZED PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT(PPE):
Hard Hat
Safety Glasses
Ear Protection
Gloves
Extra Face Masks

TRAIL TOOLS:
Mechanized Equipment (Mowers, Brush Cutters, Chainsaws, etc.)
Hand Tools (Loppers, Hand Saws, etc.)

FOOD:
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Kitchen Essentials (Pots, Pans, Knives, Plates, Utensils, etc.)
Sanitary Stations (Bins, Soap, Hand Sanitizer, Water, etc.)

RESTROOM FACILITIES:
This event is hosted at a front-country campground with full restroom facilities

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Thank you for volunteering with the Florida Trail Association. Your service allows millions to experience the unique wildlands in Florida!