Friday, February 12, 2010

Take A Hike Florida!

Florida Forever Presents: Take A Hike, Florida!

Events Set Across Florida on February 20

On February 20, the Florida Forever Coalition and Floridians across the state will take a hike!

In support of the Florida Forever program, the Coalition will partner with local supporters to take part in a day of hiking designed to celebrate Florida’s natural treasures and raise awareness of the Florida Forever program. The hikes will take place across the state and will be open to the public. “Take A Hike, Florida!” has planned hikes in Seminole, Pinellas, Alachua and Nassau counties, to name only a few.

In Leon County, supporters of Florida Forever will join with FSU’s Environmental Service Program, the Wildwood Preservation Society and Thomasville University students to clean up the Fred George Basin. The Basin was purchased in part by an FCT grant, part of the Florida Forever program. The public is welcome and encouraged to bring a picnic lunch, work gloves and a willingness to get dirty! Participants should meet at the gates of the Fred George Basin Greenway, located ½ mile east of Capital Circle. For directions please contact Misty Penton at 850-559-9661.

The Coalition is celebrating 20 years of successful public land conservation under Florida Forever and its predecessor, Preservation 2000. The combined programs have protected more than 2.4 million acres of land. The land has many uses, from recreation to water quality preservation to protecting our military. Florida Forever has touched nearly every county in Florida and greatly improved our state’s quality of life.

Last week, Gov. Charlie Crist included funding for Florida Forever in his 2010-11 proposed state budget. The Florida Forever Coalition is urging the Legislature to follow the Governor’s example and provide funding for the program, despite the current economic climate. The recent economic downturn has provided unprecedented opportunities for the state to purchase critical environmental lands for bargain prices. This makes funding essential to the integrity of the program’s ability to negotiate future deals.

Successful Florida Forever projects include Pinhook Swamp, Annutteliga Hammock, Kissimmee River/Chain of Lakes, Pumpkin Hill, Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, Green Swamp, Fisheating Creek Ecosystem, the Archie Carr Sea Turtle Refuge, Yellow River Ravines, Seven Runs Creek, and Pier Park, to name a few.

Details on the Fred George Basin cleanup, including information on carpooling from FSU, is available here

Fledgling egrets nesting in Fred George Basin, May 2009.

Wildwood Preservation Society is a non-profit 501(c)(4) project of the Advocacy Consortium for the Common Good.
Click here to learn more.

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