Florida Trail Association
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The Florida Trail

November 2020 E-blaze

November 2020
Giving Tuesday is tomorrow
December 1st
When you donate to the Florida Trail Association (FTA), you help us train and support our incredible volunteers who dedicate their time to preserving the Trail today so you can enjoy it long into the future.
Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday. Please make a generous gift to support the FTA’s volunteers and programs and ensure that future generations can enjoy the Florida Trail’s unique beauty.
Footprint Magazine
Summer/Fall 2020 Edition
Our latest edition of the Footprint Magazine is now available! This edition includes exciting trail updates and an array of valuable cultural, historical and ecological narratives.
Check out this edition and past Footprints here.
Siemens Energy Video Contest
Vote to support the Florida Trail and the Florida Trail Association (FTA)! Siemens Energy has launched a video contest and is offering donations of up to $10,0000 to organizations with the most voted videos. Here’s how you can vote for the FTA:
First, go to the official contest site to view all the charity videos:
Scroll through the gallery and locate the Florida Trail Association video.
To vote, simply click the “Like” button for our video.
Voting is open from now until December 11th, 2020.
**Please note: You can vote once a day Join us in voting daily for the FTA.
Vote for the FTA and support us in our mission to build, maintain, protect and promote the Florida Trail.
Bull Creek Wildlife Management Area
Volunteer Work Party
Central/South FL Trail Program Manager, Jenna Taylor, writes:
With a full moon lighting the camp, the Indian River Chapter hosted their first work party in Bull Creek Wildlife Management Area over Halloween weekend. There were no tricks, just treats (maybe even a little candy) for the volunteers who worked incredibly hard to maintain over 25 miles of the #FloridaTrail.
Due to the successful turnout, the chapter was able to send the entire team to Forever Florida on Saturday. This section of the trail, a former ecotourism location, is now home to the Allen Broussard Conservancy and continues to host the FT and a campsite for thru-hikers. Volunteers mowed all the trails and campsite, removed a tree and cleaned the bathrooms at the campsite ’til they sparkled. With the assistance of our FWC partners, all the invasive cesarweed in the campsite was removed to prevent future takeover.
Within Bull Creek, nearly all trails were mowed, lopped and blazed. Special thanks goes to volunteer, Jim Peaks, for tackling a great deal of the mowing prior to the work party, allowing volunteers to focus on the remote and wet sections. Several sections of puncheon and boardwalk were also cleared and repaired throughout the wildlife management area.
It was a successful kick off to the Central/South work parties with more to come!
Juniper Prairie Wilderness
Volunteer Work Party
North Florida Trail Program Manager, Jeff Glenn, writes:
The most visited overnight destination on the entire Florida Trail is the Juniper Prairie Wilderness in the Ocala National Forest. Every year, while we maintain the ten miles of trail in this section, our crew counts dozens of campers all flocking to the gorgeous ponds and vistas. On a holiday weekend, we have seen over 100 backpackers! This time of year though, with general gun season in full swing and the rest of the forest busy with hunters, Juniper is a safe haven that doesn’t allow hunting. Aside from good dialogue about the wilderness being loved to death, this is a celebration of the hard work and dedication of many FTA volunteers that for the very first time maintained the whole wilderness in only 5 days. If you’ve helped maintain this area, which is done only with hand tools, then you’ll know how remarkable this is. Typically, the work is spread out between two separate work events in the fall and winter. This year, we were able to consolidate the effort thanks to a crew that worked extraordinarily hard. In general, the Black Bear Chapter of the FTA has become an incredibly efficient trail maintenance force, able to operate multiple crews daily as well as feed the hungry workers gourmet meals to start and end the day. Juniper maintenance is a special time in the trail season: it’s quiet! The lack of machines on the trail is peaceful and workers can enjoy each other’s company, hear the squawk of the scrub jay, and stay out of engine exhaust.
Over the weekend, the crew also had the opportunity to share memories and stories about our dear friend Marjorie Pugh who passed away recently. Margie was an active FTA volunteer and section leader for a part of the wilderness. Her stretch of trail will forever be known as Margie’s Mile. She will be dearly missed. It was an honor to be able to remember her out there.
Prairie Lakes Wildlife Management Area
Volunteer Work Party
Central & South FL Trail Program Manager, Jenna Taylor, writes:
The Indian River Chapter of the FTA hosted their second work weekend at Prairie Lakes within Three Lakes WMA. Camped beneath the oaks, the volunteers completed 15 miles of trail maintenance around both loops of the trail there. Many volunteers were joining the chapter for the first time had the opportunity to learn from seasoned volunteers and run equipment for the first time. Bill Alexander, the chapter chair, said that it is always exciting to have new volunteers out at these work parties and that he hopes to see them back out using and maintaining trails throughout the season.
The chapter also used this opportunity to present Joe Allen, a long time volunteer with an award for his dedication the trail. Joe has been responsible for the trail within Triple N Ranch WMA so a plaque was created using lumber from the old barns that used to be found there. Joe expressed his gratitude for the award and his excitement for the future of the chapter.
FTA Board of Directors
Nominations for the Florida Trail Association’s
2021 Board of Directors are now being accepted
Board Director, Darryl Updegrove, writes:
The call for nominations is now open for FTA’s 2021 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 President, First Vice President Governance and Administration, Secretary and three at-large board members. The term for officers is two years, and three years for at-large positions, beginning after the annual meeting on Saturday, April 3rd, 2021.
The Nominating Committee will select the slate based on nominations received. A slate of officers and at-large Board members for 2021 will be voted upon via electronic voting beginning January 2021. In addition to this, we will include a mail-in voting option in the Winter Footprint. The election results will be announced at the April 2021 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 2021 Florida Trail Association Board of Directors. For more information on our current Board of Directors as well as the general and specific responsibilities of our board members, 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
Ididahike 2021 is Cancelled
Due to COVID-19 Concerns
From the Apalachee Chapter:
A group of volunteers has been working for months to bring you the best IDIDAHIKE experience possible, showcasing the amazing outdoor opportunities and hospitality that the Apalachee Chapter’s area has to offer. We were truly excited by what we had planned for you.
However, with the uncertainty of the current global pandemic and with due regard for the health and safety of our volunteers, participants, and the host communities, we are making the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 IDIDAHIKE events.
As disappointed as we are in the circumstances, the groundwork is laid for an awesome 2022 IDIDAHIKE and we are going to use the extra time to make the event even more amazing! Thank you for your understanding. Stay safe and we look forward to seeing you in February 2022!
Florida Trail Association | 1-877-HIKE-FLA | floridatrail.org