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A1A OCEAN ISLANDS TRAIL CORRIDOR ADVOCACY GROUP MEETING NOTICE
WHEN: June 9, 2014
WHERE: The Historic Broward House, 9953 Heckscher Drive, Jacksonville
(1/4 mile north of the St. Johns River Ferry)
TIME: 3:00 PM
We hope you have been enjoying spring in beautiful Northeast Florida. Efforts continue to designate A1A in Nassau and Duval Counties as a Florida Scenic Highway. Please join us in a meeting of the A1A Oceans Islands Trail Corridor Advocacy Group on June 9th at 3pm at 9953 Heckscher Drive. Thank you to our friends at the Timucuan Trails Parks Foundation for making the Historic Broward House available for our meeting.
Since we last met, the Letter of Intent has been submitted and we have been encouraged to proceed with scenic highway designation. We now have an informational flyer. We have been meeting with business and civic groups to discuss A1A Ocean Islands Trail and how it can be an economic driver for the region. Relevant documents, including the June 9 meeting agenda, will be posted on the group webpage at http://www.nefrc.org/pdfs/publicNotices/A1A%20App/A1A_Scenic_Highway_Webpage_Copy%20Final.pdf. We have created an on-line survey (http://surveys.verticalresponse.com/a/show/317020/408106bdc4/0) to gather public impressions of the corridor and help us determine how we will measure success. Please take it and share it.
We hope to get your input on June 9 on at least the following issues:
- What organizational structure will work best for the Corrridor Advocacy Group as we enter the next phase?
- How will we get the necessary tasks accomplished?
- How can we get the survey out to everyone who cares about A1A?
- Who else do we need to engage?
- Nominating Committee and Committee assignments
- History Focus: Buccaneer Trail
We appreciate your interest in the future of Northeast Florida and A1A Ocean Islands Trail. We hope to see you on June 9, and we encourage all persons to attend. If you have any concerns regarding access to the meeting venue or materials, contact Margo Moehring at (904) 279-0880, by e-mail at email@example.com, or by mail at Northeast Florida Regional Council, 6850 Belfort Oaks Place, Jacksonville, Florida, 32216.
By Michael McNarney, Correspondent April 16, 2014
BUSHNELL — With the snip of a ribbon, Sumter County recently joined the Florida Keys and a handful of other regions with designated scenic highways. The Scenic Sumter Heritage Byway stretches more than 60 miles, starting at the border of Citrus and Sumter counties on State Route 44 and ending near the Van Fleet Trail at State Route 50 near Mabel.
Along the route, the byway passes through Bushnell and Lake Panasoffkee as well as the tiny communities of Rutland and Sumterville.
“It’s an opportunity to highlight our natural beauty and our historic heritage too,” said Dan McCormic, chairman of the group that has worked over the last four years to make the byway a reality.
McCormic, byway supporters and state officials gathered recently at the Dade Battlefield Historic State Park in Bushnell to mark the designation. McCormic said 62 signs have been erected to mark the route, which was approved last year by the Florida Department of Transportation.
It’s Florida’s 24th scenic byway and the second in the Lake-Sumter area. The Green Mountain Scenic Byway begins at county roads 561 and 455 near Astatula in Lake and winds south through rolling hills and the communities of Ferndale and Montverde to Tildenville and Oakland in west Orange.
McCormic said he expects the Sumter byway not only to bring more tourists to Sumter but to appeal to guests of current residents — the biggest group of visitors to the area. He said residents of The Villages retirement development also are increasingly interested in the byway and local history.
The byway could eventually tie in with the partly-built Coast to Coast Connector, a cross-Florida bicycle and walking trail that would stretch 275 miles from St. Petersburg in the west to the Canaveral National Seashore in the east when completed. A final route through Sumter County hasn’t been determined, and state lawmakers have not yet voted to fund the remainder of the project, estimated to cost $42 million.
Now that the state has approved the byway route and it has been marked, the next task for byway boosters is “looking for ways to flesh out the program” along the lines of the nearby Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway, McCormic said. Roughly centered in the Ocala National Forest, Black Bear has a web site, a press kit and even an app for smart phone users. For now, the Sumter byway has a Facebook page, and McCormic said he expects to reach out in other ways as the byway becomes more popular. He said backers plan to create a website after the byway receives official nonprofit status.
Fishing at Lake Panasoffkee is one of the county’s biggest tourist draws, McCormic said, but he hopes the byway will draw more attention to the Dade Battlefield and other historic sites along the route. The battlefield, he said, already draws re-enactors and others interested in the Seminole wars.
Copyright © 2014, Orlando Sentinel Article available below:
How do you measure the success of a scenic highway? One construction barrel at a time.
Mile for mile, the Florida Keys Scenic Highway continues to be a leader in Florida’s scenic highway program. Last year, we constructed almost 25 miles of new trail, resurfaced a significant portion of the Overseas Highway, added bike lanes to the highway shoulders, added seven pedestrian crossings to improve safety, and brought a spectacular eight-acre waterfront parcel on Florida Bay into the public domain.
We’re not done yet.
“This year, we are adding bike lanes along the entire County Road 905 route through the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, rehabilitating two of Henry Flagler’s old railroad bridges, designing two scenic overlooks, installing more than 10 miles of landscaping, starting the rehabilitation design for the iconic old Seven Mile Bridge, adding six more miles of trail and constructing a pedestrian overpass across Adams Cut.
The overwhelming success of the Florida Keys Scenic Highway Program is due to the continued commitment by a host of public and private partners.
Being an Area of Critical State Concern, our region faces more challenges than any other area of Florida. On a daily basis, we work to balance development rights, environmental protection, a booming tourism-based economy, hurricane evacuation needs and quality-of-life issues for our residents.
Our scenic highway corridor is surrounded by a national marine sanctuary, and we have five state parks; wildlife refuges; six local governments; a state road department; a state-designated trail; water, power, wastewater and telephone utilities; National Register of Historic Places structures, more endangered plants and animals than any other place in Florida, commercial businesses, and layers of bureaucracy and permitting issues for every good scenic highway idea that we want to bring to fruition.
It didn’t take long to realize that these issues would be insurmountable for a single entity to overcome. Our corridor management entity (a term coined by the state Department of Transportation) was forced to morph into a strong partnership between various government agencies, our 501(c)3 group and the private sector businesses that line the highway.
The public is encouraged to help strengthen the scenic highway message by participating in scenic highway events and offering big ideas to improve the corridor. We all take our role as stewards of Florida’s only federally designated All American Road very seriously.
For more information about the Florida Keys Scenic Highway, please contact me at 304-0412 or via e-mail a firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to join the Florida Keys Scenic Corridor Alliance, our 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, contact President Gina Boilini, at email@example.com.”
Monroe County transportation planning manager
The Daytona Beach News-Journal
“THE HAMMOCK — Flagler County officials are well aware of what they’ve got along State Road A1A and on Monday made a celebration of tearing down the first of 10 billboards along the scenic byway.”
“The A1A Coastal and Scenic Byway is such a treasure along our coastline,” County Commission Chairman George Hanns said. “We need to do everything we can to restore the natural scenery of the area.”
Read the full article here
BUSHNELL, Fla. — A scenic byway promoting ecotourism and history will be featured Jan. 25, as a ribbon cutting is held to celebrate the Scenic Sumter Heritage Byway’s designation as an official Florida Scenic Highway.
The ceremony begins 9 a.m. that Saturday at the Dade Battlefield Historic State Park in Bushnell.
Click here to read the full article!
The Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail was the state’s most used bike and pedestrian path in the 2012-13 fiscal year, with 1.9 million visitors generating more than $91 million in direct economic impact.
A report by the state Department of Environmental Protection also found that John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo, and Bahia Honda State Park near Big Pine Key were also in the top 10 when it came to the most visited state parks.
Pennekamp ranked fifth, with 769,751 visitors; Bahia Honda ranked eighth, with 582,093 visitors, the study found.
Park Manager Pat Wells attributed Pennkamp’s popularity to visitors wanting to dive and snorkel some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the United States, he said.
“A lot of our tours go into the National Marine Sanctuary,” he said.
The millions of dollars in improvements to the Overseas Heritage Trail over the past several years is turning the Florida Keys into an international bike tour destination.
Key Largo Bike and Adventure Tours owner Mark Terrill has felt the increase in business as trail improvements are continuing to be made, he said. The company rents bikes and other equipment, and offers numerous multi-day trips along the Heritage Trail.
Terrill is working with a group of female athletes from the Athena Organization in San Diego, who will be doing a bike, run and kayak trip starting in Key Largo and ending in Key West, he said.
About 120 members of a group called Pedal Across Wisconsin will be biking the Heritage Trail in December, and similar groups from New Jersey and Georgia will be biking the trail in January, he said.
“These people definitely have money,” Terrill said. “They stay at nice hotels. They are not trying to do the Keys cheaply but just want to bike the Keys.”
Once a month, Key Largo Bike and Adventure Tours offers a “Century Ride,” in which riders trek 100 miles a day through the Keys, Terrill said.
The Heritage Trail parallels the Overseas Highway, a designated National Scenic Highway and All-American Road. The recreational pathway incorporates 23 of the historic Flagler Railroad bridges. The longest, continuous section of paved trail is between Mile Marker 106 in Key Largo and Mile Marker 72 in Islamorada.
The trail now encompasses more than 72 miles, which will extend to 106 miles when complete.
Much of the remaining trail is being designed or is under construction by DEP’s Office of Greenways Trails. It’s funded by the Florida Department of Transportation through a federal grant program for alternative transportation.
DEP has spent more than $13 million on the trail so far.
Overall, the Florida Park Service reported a direct economic impact of nearly $1.2 billion on local economies throughout the state in the last fiscal year, hosting a record 25.5 million visitors.
Direct economic impact is defined as the amount of new dollars spent in the local economy by nonlocal park visitors, and funds for park operations spent in the local economy. More than $77 million was contributed to general revenues in the form of state sales taxes, according to state Department of Environmental Protection records.
“With more than 25 million visitors at our parks last year, it’s clear that Florida’s state parks are among the best in the world,” Gov. Scott said in a prepared statement.
New Location: Wild Ocean Market
“Get ready for some dramatic changes along Broward County’s section of State Road A1A.
Plans are in the works to add landscaping, wider sidewalks and bike paths to parts of the 28-mile route, with two workshops scheduled this week so residents can comment.
Among the highlights: Creation of a greenway along Fort Lauderdale’s Galt Ocean Mile and a roundabout to slow traffic; a new four-way intersection where A1A curves in Deerfield Beach; and enhanced medians with lush tropical vegetation and reconfigured travel lanes in Hollywood.
Click here to read more!!
“The Big Bend Scenic Byway continues on Route 98 along Florida’s Forgotten Coast as the John Gorrie Memorial Bridge spans the five miles of open water between Eastpoint and Apalachicola.
A series of bays and bayous makes up the rich seafood and wildlife habitat where the Apalachicola River — having finished its journey from the confluence of the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers at the Florida border — empties into the Apalachicola Bay.
Roll down your windows and breathe in the salty air. Marvel at the glistening water, the rabble of monarch butterflies swarming over the bay, the clouds drifting over the river city on the western shore.”
Click here to read more!
MELBOURNE, Fla. — The first hint that something was amiss here, in the shallow lagoons and brackish streams that buffer inland Florida from the Atlantic’s salt water, came last summer in the Banana River, just south of Kennedy Space Center. Three manatees — the languid, plant-munching, over-upholstered mammals known as sea cows — died suddenly and inexplicably, one after another, in a spot where deaths were rare.
Read more via New York Times at
Pedestrian bridge to be completed this Fall!
Read move via Tampa Bay Times at
“The Courtney Campbell Causeway connecting Tampa and Clearwater is undergoing resurfacing improvements and enhancements, including the addition of new pedestrian and bicycle trails physically separated from the road.”
Click here for more details!
PENNEY FARMS – Former Orange Park Town Manager John Bowles, center, portrayed the late James Cash Penney at the June 29 “Attic Treasures Sale” to benefit the J.C. Penney Memorial Scenic Highway. Audrey Penney, left, a Penney Retirement Community resident played Penney’s wife. The event, which featured vendors from Northeast Florida, raised
$400 to benefit the scenic highway project. To learn more about the J.C. Penney Scenic Highway, contact Cathie Parrott, volunteer coordinator at (904) 529-1596.
By Correspondent Dorothy Bruner
The Big Bend Scenic Byway was named one of the top ten most amazing North American road trips to take this summer!
Read more: 10 amazing North American road trips
The owners of the Old Pineapple Inn in Eau Gallie and their local partners celebrated the unveiling of a long awaited State of Florida Historical Marker on April 5, 2013. The marker celebrates the long history of this storied property. Originally owned by the Gleason family, “The William H. Gleason House was built around 1884 by William Henry Gleason and his wife Sarah Griffin Gleason. Mr. Gleason was the first elected Lieutenant Governor of Florida under Governor Harrison Reed in 1868. The house remained in the Gleason family until 1995 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. This stately home was constructed in a Queen Anne Victorian style with moldings, wooden entry doors, and banisters in an Eastlake design. The three-story, frame construction dwelling sits on coquina and brick piers, and was originally sited to afford an excellent view of the Indian River.
Celeste and Robert Henry, the current owners initially applied for the historical marker from the Brevard Historical Society in 2009 – 2010. They were notified by the County Historic Commission and then the State of Florida Historical Marker Council that their marker application had been approved. After several rounds of modifications and edits to its text the marker was finally ordered in the spring of 2013. Ms. Henry worked closely with her partners including the Brevard County Historical Commission, Brevard County Tourist Development Council, Florida Department of State and the City of Melbourne to develop all the necessary justification and documentation. The marker was unveiled before a crowd of approximately 25 local government representatives, community advocates and neighbors.
Ms. Henry is on the Board of Directors of the Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway and the Inn looks out over the lagoon and is located on the byway.
When interviewed, Ms. Henry said that the application took some time and perseverance to complete but it was well worth the effort. The “history of the Eau Gallie area and the Gleason House itself are so special”. For further information on the history of the Gleason House or to check out the Old Pineapple Inn please refer to the following: www.oldpineappleinn.com. For additional information on the State of Florida Historical Marker program please refer to the following: www.flheritage.com/preservation/marker.
Pledge to “take the road less traveled” and join the Exit the Highway summer travel program. Take the scenic route, share pictures and places to explore, connect with others and enter to win a Prius V from Toyota!
Sponsored by Toyota and the National Audubon Society
Notice of Meeting
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
The Florida Scenic Highway Advisory Council announces a public meeting to which all persons are invited.
DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time (US & Canada).
PLACE: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Room 252, Marathon Building, 2574 Seagate Drive, Tallahassee, Florida 32301,
GENERAL SUBJECT MATTER TO BE CONSIDERED: This is a Scenic Highway Advisory Council meeting.
The purpose of the meeting is to conduct business.
A copy of the agenda may be obtained by contacting: Mr. Jeff Caster, State Transportation Landscape Architect at the Production Support Office, Florida Department of Transportation, 605 Suwannee Street, MS-40, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0450, (850) 414-5267, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or fax: (850) 414-4796.
Pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, any person requiring special accommodations to participate in this meeting is asked to advise the agency at least 24 hours before the meeting by contacting: Mr. Jeff Caster, State Transportation Landscape Architect at the Production Support Office, Florida Department of Transportation, 605 Suwannee Street, MS-40, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0450, (850) 414-5267, email: email@example.com or fax: (850) 414-4796. If you are hearing or speech impaired, please contact the agency using the Florida Relay Service, (800) 955-8771 (TDD) or (800) 955-8770 (voice).
Currently Available Grants
The following grants are currently available from the Florida Humanities Council. Click on each grant type for additional information including deadlines and application materials.
Major grants provide support for the planning and implementation of large scale humanities projects or those that occur over a longer time frame than those funded by mini grants. Projects may be presented in a variety of formats including exhibits, multi-media resources, lecture series, book and film festivals, walking tours and maps, cultural heritage products, and many others. All applicants must first be pre-approved through a Letter of Intent process.
Mini grants provide financial support for the planning and implementation of a variety of public humanities projects. Mini grant proposals are typically for small projects such as single events, lectures or panel discussions, reading and discussion groups, film series, and/or small exhibits. Mini grants can also support the development of print and/or on-line resources which may include interpretive brochures, reading lists, audio/video recordings of scholar presentations, and classroom resources.
Partnership grants are available to non-profit community organizations who are interested in designing and conducting annual series of humanities programs over a two year period. Organizations must host a minimum of two to four programs annually that clearly relate to a well-defined central theme. In addition to costs related to presenting a program series, grant funds may be expended on the development of complementary resources that extend the reach of the project.
The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) was authorized by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) which was signed into law in 2012. The TAP redefines the former Transportation Enhancements (TE) Program eligibilities and consolidates them with the Safe Routes to Schools, Recreational Trails Program, and the planning, design, or construction of boulevards in the right of way of former Interstates or other divided highways. With the exception of the Recreational Trails Program, the TAP is administered by the Florida Department of Transportation. The programming of transportation alternatives projects is handled by the department’s district offices.
MAP-21 funding for transportation alternatives projects as provided by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) includes eligibility in the following project categories:
- Facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-motorized forms of transportation.
- Safe routes for non-drivers (Including children, older adults, and individuals with disabilities to access daily needs, not to be confused with the Safe Routes to School Program).
- Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for pedestrian and bicycle trails and other non-motorized transportation users.
- Construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas.
- Community improvement activities, including:
- Inventory, control or removal of outdoor advertising
- Historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities
- Vegetation management practices within transportation rights-of-way to improve roadway safety, prevent against invasive species, and provide erosion control
- Archeological activities related to impacts from implementation of a transportation project
- Environmental mitigation activities, including pollution prevention and pollution abatement activities and mitigation to:
- Address stormwater management, control, and water pollution prevention or abatement related to highway construction or due to highway runoff
- Reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality or to restore and maintain connectivity among terrestrial or aquatic habitats
The TAP is a cost reimbursable program, under which projects that are proposed by eligible project sponsors are selected for implementation through a competitive process.
Local control and decision-making is a fundamental part of TAP. Fifty percent of the funds are sub-allocated to areas based on population while the other fifty percent may be obligated to other areas of the state. Eligible entities (project sponsors) within Transportation Management Areas (TMAs) with population greater than 200,000 submit eligible projects which are selected and ranked by the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) through a competitive process, in consultation with the FDOT. In TMAs with multiple MPOs, the MPOs coordinate and agree upon a single project priority list for the entire TMA.
Projects within MPOs with population between 50,000 and 200,000 and Non-MPO Areas are ranked in priority order by the appropriate MPO or County Commission, and submitted to the FDOT District Office for funding consideration.
The following entities are eligible for TAP funding: local governments, regional transportation authorities, transit agencies, natural resource or public lands agencies, school districts/local education agencies or schools, tribal governments, and any other local or regional governmental agencies with responsibility for oversight of transportation or recreational trails.
Recreational Trails Program (RTP)
The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is a competitive program administered by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) which provides grants for projects that provide, renovate or maintain recreational trails, trailhead and trailside facilities.
Eligible projects include:
Mixed-Use projects (either motorized, non-motorized or a combination of both)
Recreational trails are thoroughfares or tracks across land or snow used for recreational purposes including, but not limited to bicycling, cross-country skiing, day hiking, equestrian activities, jogging or similar, fitness activities, trail biking, overnight and long distance backpacking, roller skating, in-line skating, dog sledding, running, snowmobiling, aquatic or water activity and vehicular travel by motorcycle, four-wheel drive or all terrain, off-road vehicles.
The FDEP’s Office of Greenways & Trails administers the program in coordination with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
Projects are funded through the RTP Grant Application process. Eligible entities are: municipal or county governments, state or federal governmental agencies, recognized state and federal Indian tribal governments, and organizations approved by the State.
The maximum grant amount for mixed use projects and non-motorized projects is
$200,000. The maximum grant award amount for motorized projects it is $660,000
Applications are initially reviewed for eligibility by FDEP pursuant to state and federal eligibility requirements. The eligible applications are prioritized by DEP in consultation with the RTP Advisory Committee and submitted to the FHWA for funding consideration.
Click here to download a PDF of this newsletter.
Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) is issuing a request for proposals to rural communities facing design challenges
Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design Issues RFP for Rural Communities Facing Design Challenges
Partnership of federal agencies and national organizations offers workshop funding, technical assistance, and additional resources
Today, the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) is issuing a request for proposals to rural communities facing design challenges to host local workshops in 2013. Successful applicants will receive a $7,000 grant and in-kind design expertise and technical assistance valued at $35,000. The Request for Proposals is on the new CIRD website: www.rural-design.org.
The deadline for submitting a proposal is Tuesday March 5, 2013 at 5:00 pm EST.
CIRD (formerly known as “Your Town”) works to help rural communities with populations of 50,000 or fewer enhance their quality of life and economic vitality through facilitated design workshops. The program brings together local leaders, non-profits, and community organizations with a team of specialists in design, planning, and creative placemaking to address challenges like strengthening economies, enhancing rural character, leveraging cultural assets, and designing efficient housing and transportation systems.