~ Office of Greenway and Trails expanding Florida’s network of trails ~
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Greenways and Trails is soliciting acquisition applications to expand Florida’s trail system. The Greenways and Trails Acquisition Program has approximately $2 million available for new projects for fiscal year 2015-16.
In 2013, the Office of Greenways and Trails completed an analysis of the Florida Priority Greenways and Trails System, identifying gaps within the trail system. These projects need funding for design, construction and acquisition.The department hopes to close some of these gaps through this acquisition cycle.
Individuals, organizations, coalitions, government agencies or combinations thereofmay submit parcels for land acquisition by sending in a Certificate of Eligibility. To qualify, a project must be located within or adjacent to areas on the recreational prioritization maps. Once deemed eligible, an application may be submitted during the open acquisition cycle, which will end Aug. 31, 2015.
The projects must meet certain guidelines and have a willing seller and an entity willing to manage the trail. Office staff will review the applications and may solicit input from other agencies or non-profit groups. Eligible projects will be presented at the Florida Greenways and Trails Council meeting on Dec. 9, 2015, in Tallahassee. Upon the council’s approval, a list of recommended projects will be submitted to the DEP Secretary for approval. If approved, the projects will be submitted to the department’s Division of State Lands to begin the acquisition process.