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2014 ACQUISITION CYCLE OPENS:

The Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Greenways and Trails, will accept proposals for land acquisition funding under the Florida Greenways and Trails Program between February 3, 2014 through April 25, 2014.  Applicants must apply for and receive a “Certificate of Eligibility” prior to submittal of an application.  Once eligible, an applicant must submit an original “Application for Acquisition of Land” to the Office of Greenways and Trails at the address listed below by 5:00 p.m. April 25, 2014.  When possible, please submit application packages (including maps) on 8.5” x 11” paper.  You must also provide a copy of the completed application and all attachments on a CD in PDF format.  Faxes cannot be accepted.

The Florida Greenways and Trails Program, funded through the sale of bonds authorized under the Florida Forever Act.  Currently, approximately $2.5 million is available for the acquisition of projects that will close gaps in the Florida Greenway and Trails System.  The required forms and copy of the rule containing detailed program requirements can be downloaded below or you can request copies by calling 850-245-2052 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.



Summary of OGT Acquisition Cycle

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.

View the 2013 Gap Maps showing the overlap with the 2002 opportunity maps here: Hiking, Biking, Equestrian, Paddling, Multi-use

 

Acquired Properties

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:

  • Blackwater Heritage State Trail

  • Palatka-Lake Butler State Trail

  • Jacksonville-Baldwin Trail

  • Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail

  • Nature Coast State Trail

  • Suwannee River Greenway

  • Withlacoochee State Trail

  • General James A. Van Fleet State Trail

  • Cross Seminole Trail

  • West Orange Trail

  • Cady Way Trail

  • East Central Regional Rail Trail

  • Winter Haven to Lake Alfred Trail

  • Alachua 6th Street Rail Trail

  • Gainesville Downtown Connector

  • State Road 207 Mussallem Trailhead

  • St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge

Complete list of acquired properties



Last updated: March 14, 2014

  3900 Commonwealth Boulevard    M.S. 795   Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3000   850-245-2052
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