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2015 ACQUISITION CYCLE
The Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Greenways and Trails, accepted proposals for land acquisition funding under the Florida Greenways and Trails Program between July 1, 2015 and August 31, 2015. Applicants applied for and received a “Certificate of Eligibility” prior to submittal of an application. Once eligible, an applicant submited an original “Application for Acquisition of Land” to the Office of Greenways and Trails at the address listed below by 5:00 p.m. August 31, 2015. When possible, application packages (including maps) were on 8.5” x 11” paper. A copy of the completed application and all attachments were also included on a CD in PDF format. Faxes were not accepted. Qualified projects were brought before the Florida Greenways and Trails Council on December 14-15, 2015. Recommended projects were then sent to DEP Secretary Jon Steverson for approval or revision. Approved projects would then be sent to DEP's Division of State Lands to begin negotiations for purchase.
The Florida Greenways and Trails Program is funded through the sale of bonds authorized under the Florida Forever Act. Approximately $2 million is available for projects. There is potential for additional funds if they are legislatively appropriated. For an application or copy of the rule containing detailed program requirements, call 850-245-3069 or visit our web site at www.floridagreenwaysandtrails.com or write the Office of Greenways and Trails at: Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Greenways and Trails, 3900 Commonwealth Blvd., MS 795, Tallahassee, FL 32399-3000.
According to Florida Statutes 259.105, The Florida Forever Act, OGT receives 1.5% of Florida Forever money to “acquire greenways and trails or greenways and trail systems pursuant to chapter 260, including, but not limited to, abandoned railroad rights-of-way and the Florida National Scenic Trail and for capital project expenditures as described in this section.”
The purpose of the money is to “increase natural resource-based public recreational and educational opportunities, as measured by: The miles of trails that are available for public recreation, giving priority to those that provide significant connections including those that will assist in completing the Florida National Scenic Trail.”
As outlined in the Chapter 62S-1 rule, sponsors (person, organization, coalition, government agency or combination thereof) submit candidates for land acquisition any time during the year by sending in a "Certificate of Eligibility". Once deemed eligible, an application can be submitted during an open acquisition cycle that lasts for at least 60 consecutive days. The projects must meet certain guidelines and have a willing seller and a willing managing entity. Tax documents submitted with the application show the approximate value of the property. OGT staff reviews the applications and may conduct site visits and solicit input from other agencies or non-profit groups. Reviews must take place within 30 days after the end of the open cycle. Incomplete applications shall be returned to the sponsor for completion and resubmission within 21 days from the date of the letter.
Qualified projects are ranked and placed in two groups—(A) highest priority and (B) those that are important but not of the highest priority. A written evaluation report is provided to members of the Florida Greenways and Trails Council and the Council must submit its recommendations to the DEP Secretary within 60 days after at least one public hearing is held (usually as part of a quarterly Council meeting). The Secretary shall either approve the Council’s recommendations or modify them. Approved projects are then submitted to the Division of State Lands for surveys, appraisals and negotiations. When an agreement is made with a landowner, the project goes to the Governor and Cabinet for final approval.
In order to qualify as a potential acquisition project for the Greenways and Trails Acquisition program and close gaps in the current Florida Greenways and Trails Priority System, a 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 developed by OGT in coordination with the University of Florida, and approved by the Florida Greenways and Trails Council on May 18, 2002.
Preference may also be given to those projects identified on the 2013 FGTS Gap Maps.
2014 ACQUISITION CYCLE
2014 ApprovedAcquisition Projects:
The Florida Greenways and Trails Acquisition Program has helped to acquire the land for all or part of several corridors in Florida's Priority Trails Network including:
Last updated: December 21, 2015
3800 Commonwealth Boulevard M.S. 795 Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3000