GREENWAYS AND TRAILS MONTH
~Greenways and trails celebrate record-setting year of visitation~
"Greenways and trails not only offer nature-based recreation and alternative, energy-saving transportation routes, but also have far-reaching economic benefits," said Jena Brooks, Director of DEP's Office of Greenways & Trails. "With visitation numbers up nearly 600,000 from the previous fiscal year,
Recent visitation numbers also show that longer trails are becoming a popular part of the greenways and trails system. Though still in development, the 106-mile, OGT-managed Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail attracted 1.1 million visitors during the 2008-2009 fiscal year, an increase of nearly double the more than 637,000 visitors in the previous fiscal year.
At the other end of the state, five counties have come together to create the 260-mile St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop through northeast-central Florida, to be completed in time for the 2013 celebration of the 500th anniversary of Spain's arrival in Florida. The potential of long-distance and loop trails to offer destination experiences, complete with the growth of supporting businesses, adds another dimension to the future of
Recognizing the many benefits of the state's greenways and trails, Florida Governor Charlie Crist officially proclaimed October as Greenways and Trails month. More than 100 events throughout the state will take place during the month long celebration, highlighting the value of
For a complete list of events, ranging from group bike rides and fall festivals to buddy walks and paddling events, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/news/gwtmonth_oct/pdf/EVENTS2009.pdf.
To view the Governor's Greenways and Trails Month proclamation, go to www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/news/2009/files/gwt_month.pdf.
Florida has been named by American Trails as "Best Trails State in America," recognizing DEP's Office of Greenways & Trails for its vision and leadership, which includes community assistance, land acquisition, public outreach and the management of eight state trails and the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway. The Greenway is
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