Competitive Florida Asset Mapping Exercise Goes Virtual

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity's Office of Community Partnerships awards Competitive Florida Partnership Grants to communities to support development of an economic development and disaster resiliency plan. Conversations with the community and stakeholders are crucial to creating successful plans. With the closure of public gatherings and meetings due to COVID-19, some of these community conversations were held virtually. The Central Florida RPC in partnership with the cities of Fort Meade and Okeechobee, and the Apalachee RPC in partnership with the City of Midway held virtual asset mapping exercises as part of the grant activities.  
Sharing in the experience and being one of the first communities to complete the virtual Asset Mapping Exercise was the Apalachee RPC in partnership with the City of Midway.  They held a virtual meeting using a website containing drone footage and photos of assets in the City of Midway.  Participants, which included city staff, residents and state and federal partners, were able to use a conference call line and were provided access to the website as they were directed to various points on the website during the call.  You can access the website for more information. 
The Central Florida RPC used Esri's Story Map to highlight the assets for the City of Okeechobee. On April 14, 2020, representatives from state and
In 2017 approximately 90.4% of persons employed in Okeechobee lived outside of the city limits.
regional agencies partnered with community leaders to review the unique assets in the Okeechobe e area. Twenty-three participants brainstormed and provided resources about potential opport unities to expand upon the assets in ways that may further economic and community development while also promoting disaster resiliency. Participants identified seven main assets during the exercise. These assets included the Okeechobee Commerce Center and Okeechobee County Airport, available railways, Lake Okeechobee, Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail , parks, small businesses, and business expansion opportunities.
On April 16, 2020, 26 attendees from state and regional agencies, community organizations, economic development experts, city staff and the Central Florida RPC gathered through a virtual meeting platform to conduct the City of Fort Meade's Asset Mapping Exercise. Using a PowerPoint presentation Fort Meade's greatest assets and challenges were discussed, including resources and opportunities to expand on the City's historic, recreational, health services and location assets.  
While the virtual format was a change (and a challenge) compared to the usual in person asset tour structure, it allowed for a greater opportunity to participate. The ideas from the asset mapping exercises helped form the goals and strategies of the economic development and disaster resiliency plans for the cities of Fort Meade, Midway and Okeechobee.
Treasure Coast RPC Assists City of Port St. Lucie with Master Plan  
October of 2019, the Treasure Coast RPC was retained by the City of Port St. Lucie to assist with the creation of a new master plan for approximately 1,200 acres abutting I-95 known as Southern Grove. The City's vision called for using the property to create a "jobs corridor" and the Treasure Coast RPC began planning efforts by hosting a public meeting in January of 2020. The City did not want the impact of COVID-19 in March to slow progress down. Not being able to meet in person, the Treasure Coast RPC hosted a "virtual studio" using GoToMeeting for three days allowing the design team to collaborate without traveling. This format was used for both set meetings as well as drop in participation for sharing work and discussing design concepts.
The software was used for a virtual "pin-up" of the concepts developed during the virtual studio and discussion between City staff, Council staff, and consultants. The effort was a success, with significant work produced under challenging circumstances and a new set of skills and operational options were added to the Council's toolbox. As part of a Congress for the New Urbanism online training event in April, Council staff shared the approaches used for the Southern Grove project with a national audience of planners and urban designers.
Sentinel Landscape in Central Florida
We hope you are staying safe and healthy.  During this time of social distancing, we are all in need of some uplifting entertainment.  So, grab your popcorn and watch Sentinel Landscapes!
SENTINEL LANDSCAPES | Documentary Short | US Dept. of Defense + US Dept. of Agriculture + US Dept. of the Interior
SENTINEL LANDSCAPES | Documentary Short |
Directed by award-winning filmmakers, this short-documentary tells the inspirational stories of the farmers, ranchers, conservationists, and military bases that are working together under the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership to create a more sustainable future.  Founded in 2013 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, and Department of the Interior, the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership works across conventional boundaries to strengthen military readiness, conserve natural resources, and bolster agricultural economies. 
There are seven Sentinel Landscape Partnerships in the United States and one in Florida. The Avon Park Air Force Range Sentinel Landscape in Central Florida represents an active partnership led by the Central Florida Regional Planning Council. The work of the Range, scientists, environmentalists and landowners are featured in the video. Take a few minutes to enjoy this beautiful scenery and what the Sentinel Landscapes are doing to protect it and the military mission in Florida. Watch the short-documentary here: or here: . To learn more about the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership, please visit:
FRCA Partners Meetings Schedule 2020  
Listed below are the upcoming Partners Meetings hosted by FRCA throughout the year.  If you would like to attend or present at one of the Partners Meetings, please contact Denise Imbler  at
December 4, 2020  9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. City Hall, Tallahassee
Contact: Denise Imbler  |  850.487.1426  |