Florida Trail Association
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The Florida Trail

August 2019 E-blaze

August 2019
New Beginnings
A message from the FTA’s new Trail Program Director
Trail Program Director, Kelly Wiener writes:
After serving the past month as the Interim Trail Program Director following Alex Stigliano’s departure, I am pleased to announce to our membership that I have accepted the board’s offer to step into the role permanently.
After working three years as the FTA’s Central/South Trail Program Manager, I’ve gained an in-depth understanding of how our staff and volunteers work on the ground to maintain and protect the Florida Trail. I am now looking forward to serving the trail and the organization on a statewide level, as well as within the National Trails community.
During his five year tenure at the FTA, Alex shepherded our trail program’s growth with more team members, more funding and more partnerships. I’m looking forward to building upon that success and fulfilling the vision we have created for the program in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service.
We will begin the process of hiring a new Central/South Trail Program Manager in the coming weeks. If you or someone you know is interested in joining our team, keep an eye on our social media and the FTA website for the upcoming job announcement. Until then, I will be serving in both roles.
We are looking forward to another busy and productive trail season ahead. Thank you to everyone in the FTA community for your support!
O2O Wildlife Corridor
Connecting Two of Florida’s National Forests
North Florida Trail Program Manager, Jeff Glenn, writes:
For the past several years, the FTA and the U.S. Forest Service have been active participants in a partnership spearheaded by the North Florida Land Trust of North Florida land management agencies, conservation organizations, and land trusts in an effort to protect a major wildlife corridor in the state. The O2O, or the Ocala to Osceola, is a landscape-scale conservation project that aims to protect and link the Ocala and Osceola National Forests. The Florida Trail travels through the heart of this project area and is a major recreational resource in this landscape. The O2O project is critically important to the protection and success of our work and we are proud to support this effort.
For more information about the O2O corridor, click here.
Closing Gaps
Suwannee River. Captured by: Michael Strivelli
North Florida Trail Program Manager, Jeff Glenn, writes:
The FTA recently closed another gap in in the North Florida region– this time in Hamilton County. The Big Oak portion of Suwannee River State Park is one of the most scenic sections in the north part of the state and unfortunately, it was closed for 6 years due to private property issues along the Withlacoochee River. However, FTA’s recent purchase of a trail easement now re-opens the entire State Park route to through traffic. This purchase, funded by the FTA, with assistance from the Suwannee Bicycle Association, and a private donor, closes 2.5 miles of road walk and adds back 5 miles of riverfront trail.
A celebratory hike is scheduled for October 4th and all are welcome to come and enjoy a 5-mile hike in this magnificent part of the trail. More details below:
Celebrating the Suwannee
New Through Trail in Suwannee River State Park
FTA Board of Directors
Nominations for the Florida Trail Association’s 2020 Board of Directors are now being accepted
Board Director, Darryl Updegrove, writes:
The call for nominations is now open for FTA’s 2020 Board of Directors, and we are seeking candidates for at-large Board Member positions and three Officers.
FTA has a 15-member Board. Nominations may be submitted for Vice-President Membership, Vice-President Trails, Treasurer and four at-large board members. Terms for officers is two years, and at-large positions is three years, beginning after the annual meeting on April 4, 2020.
The Nominating Committee will select the slate based on nominations received. A slate of officers and at-large Board members for 2020 will be voted upon via electronic voting beginning sometime early 2020. In addition to this, we will include a mail-in voting options in the Winter Footprint. The elections will be announced at the April 2019 Annual Meeting. Serving on FTA’s Board of Directors is a rare chance to help the organization face challenges, provide creative solutions, contribute to a fast-growing trail program, and
affect long-term positive change. Board service also offers you the opportunity to grow personally and professionally, to develop valuable skills in non-profit governance, gain unique experience and make lasting connections with a team of other passionate and motivated professionals.
Please consider serving on the Board and submitting a nomination for the 2020 Florida Trail Association Board of Directors. For more information on our current Board of Directors, and Board Member Responsibilities, visit: https://www.floridatrail.org/about-us/ourboard/.
Please send your nominations to Darryl Updegrove at: dupdegrove@gmail.com.
Nominations should include the following information:
1. Name of Nominee, address and contact information (including email address);
2. Brief statement or cover letter outlining why the nominee would like to be a board member;
3. Resume or short background on the candidate in question (work history, non-profit experience, involvement with the FTA, interests etc.); and
4. Reference (optional).
Thank You,
Darryl Updegrove
FTA Nominating Committee Chair
Footprint Magazine
Our latest edition of the Footprint is now available!
Save the Date
Upcoming FTA Special Events
Seminole State Forest Ribbon Cutting
Saturday, November 2nd in Eustis, FL
Join us in celebrating the opening of a new section of the Florida Trail in Seminole State Forest!
On November 2nd, 2019 the Florida Trail Association will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony and inaugural hike of a new constructed trail section. We are thrilled to share that this 5.3 mile reroute will remove 3.5 miles of road walk from the Florida Trail.
The event will be held at the Cassia Trailhead, located off of Brantley Branch Road, 0.1 miles east of State Road 44 in Eustis.
Event Schedule
10:00 AM Event begins. Enjoy coffee, refreshments, pastries and fruit. We will also feature tabling displays from a few of our partner organizations.
10:15 – 10:45 AM Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
11:00 AM Hike kick off. Biologist Ralph Risch will join the hike, stopping along the way to point out distinct species and ecosystems for those interested.
Please let us know your plans by following this registration link and filling out the form so we can adequately prepare for shuttling and breakfast quantities.
Any questions? Reach out to FTA staff member, Kelly Wiener, at kellyw@floridatrail.org or 518-369-9057.
The Panhandle Chapter Presents:
Join the Panhandle Chapter’s Meetup page & follow them on Facebook for continued updates.
FTA Southern Regional Conference
December 13 – 15, 2019
Jupiter, FL
Follow the Loxahatchee Chapter’s Meetup for event updates.
12th Annual Ididahike
March 6 – 7, 2020
Inverness, FL