|Activity Leader Training
June 30, 2012
Activity Leader Training
Silver Springs, FL
This one-day training is being held in the Forest Community Center at Marion County's Sandhill Park in Silver Springs, FL. The address is 777 S. Country Rd 314A. It is a block south of SR 40 just east of Silver River State Park. It is behind the Winn-Dixie that is at the intersection of SR 40 and CR 314A.
There is a map to the location on their website, which you can find by clicking here.
Note that both GoogleMaps and Mapquest show the park in the wrong location, so use the county map to navigate.
The class will run from 9 am to 5 pm Saturday and a lunch with a variety of cold cut sandwiches and a veggie platter will be provided for you.
About Activity Leader Training:
Florida Trail Activity Leaders undergo "classroom" training followed by a local apprenticeship where they help out on activities led by established Activity Leaders then, when ready, they lead hikes under the supervision of current Activity Leaders. Once approved as an FTA Activity Leader, ongoing refresher classes and/or additional training is a requirement to maintain their Activity Leader status.
In an effort to recruit new Activity Leaders and support local Chapters in their efforts to train and lead within the hiking community, during 2011-2012 FTA staff and trained volunteers will be conducting area Activity Leader trainings.
Who should attend these area Activity Leader Trainings?
- Individuals wishing to lead hikes and trail maintenance for FTA
- Activity Leaders who have not led a hike recently and wish to be reinstated
- Current Activity Leaders who desire a refresher
- Section Leaders and Trailmasters
- Individuals within Chapters who are or may be teaching Activity Leader Training
- Chapter Activity Chairs
- Chapter and State Officers who need to know FTA emergency protocals and want to know what their Activity Leaders are responsible for doing
|The Hinson Loop Trail Now Open
One of the perks of working for the Florida Trail Association is that every day is a fun and satisfying experience. Whether it is training new volunteers to lead activities, working with veteran members to build a bridge, or simply brushing a section of trail by your lonesome; the Florida Trail offers countless opportunities to complete work that is fulfilling. One of the reasons for this is that each project is part of a larger whole; projects often involve clearing a certain part of trail which needs some extra love or building a bridge across a ravine on a section of existing trail.
It is rare, however, to have a single project which begins with groundbreaking and ends with a completed trail. Luckily, the last project of the field season allowed many volunteers the opportunity to see the entire process of trail construction, beginning to end, in just ten days! The final F-Troop of the season spanned two weekends in mid-April at Hinson Conservation and Recreation Area in Marianna. Hinson Conservation and Recreation Area boasts over a mile of Chipola River waterfront, two pristine caves, countless sinkholes, historic M&B train tracks, and many rare plants and animals. Our enviable task was to link these unique features with a series of loop trails so the public could access this beautiful natural resource.
The Hinson loop trail was the culmination of a year's hard work, completed almost entirely by volunteers. Panhandle chapter chair, Ron Peterson, spearheaded the effort by not only coordinating with the Marianna City Commission but also routing and building the trail. In January, layout began by designing the trail to meander through the many ecosystems on the property. Then, the route was fine-tuned by placing flags to designate the trail within a few feet. Local naturalists, conservationists, and scientists were consulted to make sure the trail would not impact the environment adversely. After completing all of these crucial elements, construction could commence.
Volunteers constructed the trail over the course of ten days during the final F-Troop of the season. First, they cut a preliminary swath along the route with chainsaws and brush-cutters. Then, a second team would remove downed brush and expand the trail to the sufficient stands. Lastly, a volunteer would walk the trail and paint blazes to mark route. In traditional F-Troop style, volunteers camped at the Hinson property throughout the duration of the project. Camp-hosts Shirley Hearn and Charlie Crain provided impeccable meals and friendly conversation at the campsite, adding an essential sense of community to the project. Over twenty volunteers completed about 4.5 miles of loop trail making the F-Troop a huge success.
The Hinson loop trail is now open to the public. Hopefully it will serve as an outlet to the outdoors for the residents of Marianna and all Floridians. There is a workday scheduled for Saturday, May 12th at the Hinson Conservation and Recreation Area where volunteers will put the finishing touches on the trail. Anyone is welcome to come help out. We'd love to see you there!
For more information contact Field Support Coordinator, Sean Ogle, at Sogle@floridatrail.org.
Governor Signs Sponsorship of Greenways and Trails Act
On May 5, Governor Rick Scott signed SB 268, the Sponsorship of Greenways and Trails Act. The Florida Trail Association, 1000 Friends of Florida, Florida Conservation Coalition and others organizations had asked the Governor to veto the bill which will allow sponsorship signs on state trails. While we have confidence that the DEP Division of Recreation and Parks will do its best to minimize intrusive signs, FTA will be an active participant in the development of agency rules that will guide implementation of SB 268.
The Florida Trail Association worked with Florida Legislative staff in House and Senate to limit sponsorship signs along Florida's trails. The Florida Trail Association supported committee bills in the House and the Senate which limited sponsorship signs to seven paved and highly-improved rail-trails which are managed by the Florida Park Service. Additionally, the bills placed restrictions to ensure the signs do not intrude on natural and historic settings plus restrictions on wording, location and construction.
When the Senate bill was presented on the floor for a vote, it was amended to expand the bill to include the State of Florida's other trails, but it kept the placement and other restrictions. The Florida Trail Association believed that this expansion of sponsorship signs to all of the State of Florida's trails will detract from the outdoor recreation experience that attracts Floridians and visitors to our state's natural lands and trails that the public use to access these lands. The Florida Trail Association did not support this bill as it will promote commercial sponsorship signs at trails where the public goes to enjoy wilderness settings and natural landscape without the intrusion of commercialization.
Most of the trails on Florida's public lands have been built and are maintained by volunteers from organizations like the Florida Trail Association for the benefit of the public including our residents, overseas tourists and vacationing Americans. While the volunteers have donated their sweat equity and personal resources for the public good in stewarding our public trails, the same cannot be said of our Legislature. It is profoundly disheartening that our legislative leaders have not provided our public land managers with sufficient funding to support the efforts of the volunteers. Why must we rely on corporate support and advertising to help provide access to our public lands?
Instead the Florida Trail Association believes that the Legislature and the business community should support the true sponsors of the state's trails, the volunteer organizations such as the Florida Trail Association who built and maintain them. Corporate sponsorships will have the most impact by directly supporting the volunteers who provide these trails and access to our public lands. We hope that corporate support does not replace existing public support for our trails.
For more information, contact Kent Wimmer, Director of Programs and Policy at firstname.lastname@example.org
National Trails Day
June 2nd, 2012 is National Trails DayŽ. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan's President's Commission on Americans Outdoors came out and caught the attention of hikers nationwide. A report that envisioned the thought that all Americans be able to go out their front door and in fifteen minutes meet a trail that goes through their local cities, towns and neighborhoods, bringing them back without retracing a step.
This was later coined as Trails for All Americans, and lead to the American Hiking Society's first National Trails DayŽ in 1993.
As FTA members and volunteers know, building and maintaining trails takes several hours of planning and hard labor. This day was created as a means of celebration and a chance to increase awareness about what we work so hard to preserve. Whether you spend June 2nd outside hiking a trail, or simply spreading the word about trails in your area to a close friend or neighbor, take this day to remember why we are FTA members and why what we work so hard to maintain and preserve is important.
|FTA 2012 Photo Contest |
Misty Morning on Econlockhatchee River
FTA's 2011 Best Of Show winner, Douglas Sphar
Hiking season is slowing down and we want to see where you've been! FTA's quarterly magazine, the Footprint, is having a photo contest for the summer issue. Submit your best photo from the trail, whether it's of beautiful scenery, wildlife or just you and your crew having fun in the great outdoors!
The photo must be of a high resolution (300dpi) and capable of being enlarged to 8 1/2' x 11' with clarity. The photo must also be taken in portrait (rather than landscape) style.
With your submission please include your name, what chapter you belong to, where the photo was taken, and a title for your photo.
The submitted photos will be used to promote the Florida Trail and the Florida Trail Association.
The chosen photo will be the cover of the summer issue of the Footprint!
The winner will receive a $50 gift certificate to the Florida Trail Association's store.
Submission deadline is June 1. All submissions may be sent to email@example.com.