Florida Trail Association
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September 2018 E-blaze

September 2018
Join us next weekend!
FTA Presents: The National Trails Festival
Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails System
The FTA invites all nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts to come celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act, October 5-7 in Deland, FL. The Florida Trail is one of eleven other designated national scenic trails that were spawned by this 1968 Act of Congress. Everyone’s invited to drop in and check out these amazing public resources!
  • Learn about America’s important trails and opportunities to enjoy, traverse and volunteer on them
  • Check out various presentations, workshops, demos and displays; and meet a variety of outdoor leaders
  • Hear from compelling guests, including keynote speakers: outdoor diversity advocate and author, Audrey Peterman & well-known speed-hiker and author, Jennifer Pharr Davis
  • Saturday, October 6, 10 am-12 pm: All are invited to sit in on the Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST) Coalition Meeting. The FNST Coalition is composed of land management, academic, non-profit and other government agency partners that have a stake in the future of the Florida Trail. Sit in on this meeting to learn how the Coalition brings a diversity of perspectives, interests and expertise to the Florida Trail to ensure that the trail is a truly public asset that is accessible for all to enjoy
  • Live music by The Front Porch Back Steppers
  • Exciting gear raffle including items from Osprey®, Gossamer Gear® & Granite Gear®
  • Saturday night, enjoy a delicious BBQ Dinner Catered by Brian’s BBQ of Deland!  Be sure to purchase Saturday dinner tickets in advance HERE
  • Bonus: We’ll also be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act!
Put this FREE EVENT on your calendar and help us spread the word! It’s time to celebrate this important legislation and the trails and communities that are its legacy!
The Pursuit of Endurance
Check out a glimpse of Jennifer Pharr Davis’s “Pursuit of Endurance.” We look forward to having her as one of our guest speakers at the National Trails Festival!
Audrey and Frank Peterman have been pioneers in the green and conservation movement since 1995.They are among the leading experts on America’s publicly-owned lands system. They are tenacious advocates for breaking
the color barrier and integration of our natural treasures as a way for all Americans, including children, youth, adults and seniors regardless of ethnic heritage to better appreciate our collective history and achieve a truly democratic society.
Sandra Friend and John Keatley will be launching and signing their new, full-color Third Edition book, “50 Hikes in Central Florida”
Volunteer Opportunities
2018-19 Staff-Supported Work Parties
Our work parties for this maintenance season are now posted on the FTA website. Check them out and register to volunteer on the trail!
Community Outreach Manager, Van Tran, writes:
This year, UF Graduate & Biological Illustrator, Emma Roulette (emmaroulette.tumblr.com), designed the front of our project cards for advertising the Fall 2018 – Spring 2019 Staff-Supported Volunteer Work Parties (see info & image above). Together, Emma and I compiled comprehensive species lists for five iconic ecosystems of the Florida Trail.
A major thanks to Emma and her talented work and enthusiasm in creating these gorgeous landscape depictions of the Florida Trail. Can you see our trusty Junior Explorers mascot, Speedy the Gopher Tortoise, hiking in each of them?
Panhandle Coastal Systems: St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge & Gulf Islands National Seashore
© Copyright Florida Trail Association. All rights reserved.
Freshwater Systems: i.e. Suwannee River
© Copyright Florida Trail Association. All rights reserved.
Pine Scrub: Ocala National Forest
© Copyright Florida Trail Association. All rights reserved.
Central Florida Hydric Hammocks: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve & Micco Bluff
© Copyright Florida Trail Association. All rights reserved.
Big Cypress National Preserve
© Copyright Florida Trail Association. All rights reserved.
We’re excited to share these project cards with our current and future FTA volunteers.We’ll have these as well as B&W coloring sheets of these landscapes available as giveaways at the National Trails Festival and future FTA tabling events!
National Public Lands Day
Closing the Central Florida Gap
Central/South Florida Trail Manager, Kelly Wiener, writes:
On Saturday, September 22nd, the Florida Trail Association celebrated National Public Lands Day by hosting two Volunteer Work Parties that added new sections of the Florida Trail on Orange County public lands. Volunteers from the FTA, University of Central Florida, Jet Blue and others joined us for a day of corridor clearing and blazing in Pine Lily Preserve and Crosby Island Marsh Preserve. Thank you to Bill Alexander, Rachael Augspurg and Bill Turman of the Indian River and Central Florida chapters for your continued support in getting new faces on the Florida Trail, and closing the Central Florida Gap– our longest section of roadwalk!
Support along the Suwannee
North Florida Trail Manager, Jeff Glenn, writes:
The Suwannee River is a recreation paradise, with trails galore for all modes of transport. Of course, the Suwannee is host to over fifty miles of the Florida Trail, arguably one of the most scenic sections in the state. There is a plethora of bike trails as well. The Suwannee Bicycle Association has been active in the promotion, creation, and maintenance of many miles of mountain bike trails in the vicinity of the Suwannee River since 1989. They also host a large number of bike rides in the area throughout the year. In 2014 when the Florida Trail and the Bridge-to-Bridge Trail in downtown White Springs merged, our two organizations began working together to maintain a multiple use hike/bike trail, and it remains a fantastic trail and partnership.
Recently the SBA made a very generous donation to the FTA to help acquire a permanent trail easement along the Withlacoochee River in Hamilton County. There will be more information about this incredible project coming soon, but we want to thank the SBA for their support and commitment to public access to recreation! This future trail segment will do more for regional trail connectivity than any project in the North Florida region in recent memory.
FTA Board of Directors
Nominations for the Florida Trail Association’s 2019 Board of Directors are now being accepted
Board Director, Megan Eidel, writes:
The call for nominations is now open for FTA’s 2019 Board of Directors, and we are seeking candidates for at-large Board Member positions.
FTA has a 15-member Board.  Nominations may be submitted for President, Vice-President Membership, Vice-President Trails, and three at-large board members. Terms for officers is two years, and at-large positions is three years, beginning after the annual meeting on April 6, 2019.
The Nominating Committee will select the slate based on nominations received. A slate of officers and at-large Board members for 2019 will be voted upon via electronic voting beginning sometime early 2019.  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 2019 Florida Trail Association Board of Directors.  For more information on our current Board of Directors, and Board Member Responsibilities, click here: https://www.floridatrail.org/about-us/ourboard/.
Please send your nominations to Megan Eidel at meganedonoghue@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,
Megan Eidel
FTA Nominating Committee Chair
**** NOMINATIONS CLOSE Monday, December 1st, 2018 ****
Florida Trail Association | 1-877-HIKE-FLA | floridatrail.org