Yes, in the Chinese calendar, 2015 is the year of the Goat. However, that doesn’t start until February 19, 2015. For us in Florida and in the outdoor recreation community, January 1, 2015 will hopefully be known as the Year of the SCORP (otherwise known as the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan). As of now we are off to a pretty good start.
In mid-December of 2014, Florida DEP’s Division of Recreation and Parks held a planning meeting with agencies and other organizations with outdoor recreation interests to discuss strategies for implementing the currently approved Florida SCORP. A significant outcome from this meeting was the start of a steering committee that will meet on scheduled bases and work on implementation strategies for the plan.
In addition to a lively discussion on the importance of SCORP in helping to develop a viable and comprehensive outdoor recreation program in Florida, there was considerable discussion on how the newly passed Amendment 1 could be used to help fund and carry out the goals and strategies outlined in SCORP. However, it will take the commitment and support of the outdoor recreation communities to see that this happen. FLORC is making it a large part of their work effort this year to help implement SCORP’s initiatives.
Now, getting back to this year also being the Year of the Goat, the following is a Chinese fortune about what people should experience in 2015. It says “People should be out among nature and commune with the great outdoors. Fresh air, trees, and sunshine will all do wonders for their health.”
Now it doesn't take a Chinese fortune cookie to tell us what we already know and that is recreating outdoors not only positively affects people health, but also the health of the environment, and in many cases to local businesses and economies.
Please keep in tune to how you can help the outdoors through your local recreation club or through FLORC. We will keep a light on and anytime you have a question or a concern about outdoor recreation in Florida, please to not hesitate to call or e-mail me at
8:30 a.m. - Registration has begun for the 2014 FNST Symposium! The symposium will begin at 9:00.
9:00 am - FLORC Executive Director John Waldron welcomes everyone to the symposium and introduces the Florida Trail Association's President Carlos Schomaker and Julian Affuso from the National Forest in Florida, who both welcome everyone to the symposium.
9:08 am - Adam Waldron and Milk In a Bowl Productions debut their new Florida National Scenic Trail documentary. Accoriding to Waldron the goal of this film is to be able to use it as a recruiting tool to get more and new people on the FNST.
9: 29 am- Megan Eno from the National Forest in Florida has taken the floor giving the annual "State of the Trail" report.
11:23 am - Jeff Glen is speaking now about the importance of regional reps and how they are vital to the success of his area of the trail. Glen works for the Florida Trail Association and oversees the North Florida part of the FNST. Glen says the FTA volunteers are the true experts of the FNST in North Florida. Glen says that the 2014-2015 volunteer hours will surpass those of this previous year.
The attendees of the 2014 FNST Symposium.
11:37 a.m.- Dr. Helen Miller from the City of White Springs is speaking now about the city of White Springs and their emphasis on eco-tourism. Dr. Miller is speaking now about the Suwannee Water Management District allocating 180 acres to create an eco-friendly lodge for the city of White Springs. Dr. Miller is speaking now about the city's "I Did a Ride" campaign and how she we would like to see it expanded to "I Did a Hike" in 2015.
11:49 a.m.- Ewin McCook is speaking now about the importance of the FTA Regional Reps calling it "the best thing the FTA has ever done."
12:42 p.m. - After a break for lunch Dr. Taylor Stein, from the University of Florida and Angela Colonna are presenting on the potential of user conflicts on multi-use trails. Colonna referenced two national studies one in Arizona and one in Boulder, Colorado. According to the Boulder, Colorado study 98% of those polled have no conflict with other users on the trail, leaving only 2% having an issue.
12:50 p.m. - According to Colonna overall interactions with other users did not have any effect on their recreation experience. Noting that identifiying potential conflicts and working to diffuse those before they happen can greatly reduce the conflicts.
1:02 p.m.- Jeff Glen points out that near White Springs, due to a re-route of the FNST, there is already part of the FNST that is multi-use right now. The part of the FNST is now a biking and hiking trail. Edwin McCook, from Suwannee River Water Management District, adds that thinking safety was focal point when thinking about the multi-use re-route.
1:18 p.m. - With thank you and goodbyes done the FNST Symposium is complete for this year. Special thanks to everyone that attended the Symposium! Continue to check back with FLORC.org for more information!