FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 31, 2014
THE OFFICE OF GREENWAYS AND TRAILS OPENS ACQUISITION CYCLE
~$2.5 million available for land purchases for trails~
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Environmental
Protection’s Office of Greenways and Trails will begin soliciting applications
for acquisition Monday, Feb. 3. The Greenways
and Trails acquisition program has approximately $2.5 million currently available
for new projects.
The Office of Greenways and Trails recently completed an analysis of the
Florida Priority Greenways and Trails System and identified gaps within the
system. The gaps consist of projects that need funding for design,
construction and acquisition. The Department is soliciting acquisition applications to help close
some of those gaps.
As outlined in
the Florida Administrative Code
62S-1, sponsors (person, organization,
coalition, government agency or combination thereof) may submit candidates for
land acquisition by sending in a Certificate of Eligibility. Once
deemed eligible, an application may be submitted during the open acquisition
cycle, which will end April 25.
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 to the members of
the Florida Greenways
and Trails Council at the June meeting in Tallahassee. Upon the approval by DEP Secretary Herschel T Vinyard Jr, the projects will then be submitted
to the Division of State Lands to begin the acquisition process.
To qualify as a
potential acquisition project for the Greenways and Trails acquisition program, the
project must be located within or adjacent to at least one opportunity segment
on one or more of the recreational prioritization maps contained in the
Prioritization of Recreational Trail Opportunities for the state of Florida. This priority list was
developed by the Office of Greenways and Trails in coordination with the
University of Florida, and approved by the Florida Greenways and Trails Council on May 18, 2002. Preference may be given to those acquisition projects
that are identified on the 2013 Florida Greenways and Trails System Gap Maps.