Florida DEP approves six greenway acquisition projects

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Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection approved on Monday six acquisition projects to close trail gaps in the Florida Greenways and Trails Priority System.

Funding for the projects come from the Florida Forever funding to the Office of Greenways and Trails.

“These projects will enhance recreational opportunities for Florida residents and visitors,” said DEP Secretary Herschel Vinyard. “In simpler terms, these trails will enable the folks to get a little mud on their boots and bike tires.”

Among the projects are two trail gaps in Palm Beach County along the 63-mile Ocean to Lake Trail, a hike, bike and horse trail running along Hobe Sound Beach near Jupiter to Lake Okeechobee in Port Mayaca.

Two other projects will close gaps in the 110-mile Cross Florida Greenway. Another connects the Cross Florida Greenway to the 4,462-acre Indian Lake State Forest near Silver Springs in Ocala.

One approved project is in the Florida Panhandle, creating a greenway along the Chipola River in Jackson County and furthering a proposed publicly owned corridor between the Florida Caverns State Park and the county-owned Hinson Conservation and Recreation Area.

The approved projects now move to the department’s Division of State Lands to begin the acquisition process.

For a complete project list, visit the DEP website.

Florida Greenways and Trails Priority System projects

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.