The Office of Greenways and Trails Opens Acquisition Cycle

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Greenways and Trails will begin soliciting applications for acquisition Monday, Feb. 3, 2014. 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.

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