Welcome to the 2014 Florida Outdoor Recreation Summit! If you can't be at the Summit this year, keep it here for up to date highlights from the Summit!
9:01 - FLORC Executive Director John Waldron greets the attendees of this year's summit, noting this is the first year the Summit has been held in the Big Bend area. The Summit had been held in Sanford for the previous three years.
9:16 - Dr. Taylor Stein takes the stage and begins his program on about the need of quality resources in order to have quality recreation.
9:20 - Dr. Stein pointing out that most outdoor recreation providers use a measure of success that is often times the exact way they measure failure as well.
9:26 - Dr. Stein hitting on the challenges of quality recreation. A big challenge for managers is focusing more about the humans they provide for and satisfying their needs, rather than their own philosophies. Dr. Stein finally concedes that quality recreation is dependent on the amount of time and resources that can be dedicated to it.
9:31 - Dr. Stein talking now about the fine line that between a recreation disaster and a recreation savior. Noting that it takes effort and science to ensure that recreation is managed correctly.
9:37 - Dr. Stein notes the enjoyment of nature, the sense of independence, the strengthening of family, and the reduction of tension are among the most common reasons for people to recreate.
9:47 - FLORC Executive Director John Waldron speaking now on the Florida SCORP program. SCORP is the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Program.
9:59 - Waldron stating that the statistics show that State Parks in Florida had over 27 million visitors in 2013 alone.
10:00- Waldron noting that the goal of SCORP is to create a diverse and balanced recreation landscape in Florida.
10:02 - Waldron hitting on the economic impact of recreation in Florida stating its a $38.6 Billion industry in Florida. Also notes that the most important thing that SCORP can accomplish is reconnecting people to the outdoors.
10:10 - To view a copy of the SCORP program follow the link HERE.
10:17 - The SCORP program has been around since 1965. According to Waldron to implement the SCORP program most effectively someone has to take the lead, preferably a non governmental organization. As always though, a dedicated funding source is the key to successfully implementing the program.
10:45 - The Value of a Connected Trail System by Dale Allen starts
11:04 - Local trails are loved the locals, but the longer trails are better economically
11:05 - Connected trails are being created across North America
11:10 - Florida has too many trails that are not connected. Funding is now in place to bridge the trail gaps to create a much better trail system in Florida.
11:14 - The proposed connected trails: Coast to Coast; NE Coast Connector; SW Coast Connector; FL Keys Overseas Heritage Trail; Heart of Florida Loop; St. Johns River to Sea Loop; Gator Nation Connector; Great NW Coastal Trail Connector; River of Grass Greenway; East Coast Greenway.
11:20 - Funding for these trails are coming from Florida Legislature, Bills introduced in 2014 that allowed building of trails not adjacent to roads, Amendment #1.
11:23 - For more information on this visit www.FGTF.org
11:30 - David Jones is our 2014 John O'Meara Award for Excellence!
11:44 -Attendees are currently discussing the importance of Amendment #1 which is the Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative. The initiative will be voted on this November. FLORC supports the amendment. To learn more click here.
And with the conclusion of the discussion we are breaking for lunch. Join us later for our coverage of Keynote Speaker Bill Montford!
12:43 - Senator Montford, the Keynote Speaker, is speaking right now after lunch. He is speaking about the natural beauty of Florida and how we need to protect these natural beauties. Senator Montford continues to praise the Florida Park Service and their work throughout the state. Senator Montford is continuing to drive home the importance of the water issue that is facing the state, commenting on some of the new bi-partisan policies and initiatives that are being worked on.
1:17 - Senator Montford updates the Summit attendees on where the several different initiatives and lawsuits that are currently ongoing with the Apalachicola River.
1:33 - Representatives from Tallahassee Community College have the floor now speaking about the new Wakulla Environmental Institute. The new Institute is being built in the Crawfordville area.
1:42 - Bonnie Holub from TCC is now talking about the importance of the TCC Green Guide program and how it effects the area and the curriculum.
1:53 - TCC is now talking about the new oyster initiative and study that is taking place in Crawfordville. The goal of the program is to protect and help regrow the oyster population in the Big Bend area.
2:13 - Holly Parker from the Surfrider Foundation is speaking now about the importance that water plays not only in recreation but also in our everyday life.
2:18 - According to Parker Florida is #1 domestically in outdoor recreation visitors, saltwater fishing and seasonal homes. She continues to talk about the importance of a healthy ocean and marine habitat, noting that there is an extreme issue with losing wetlands not only in Florida but in the US.
2:28 - Parker notes that the Surfrider Foundation is a grassroots program based on avid surfers and beach walkers/goers and rely on those resources to find out more information about potential aquatic issues, including but not limited to access, reef restoration, etc.
2:30 - To find out more about the Surfrider Foundation click here.
2:30 - Breakout sessions will take place for the next hour. Jim Schuette from the South Florida Water Management District is speaking about the cost of managing our natural resources. David Jones, the 2014 recipient of the John O'Meara award will be speaking about marketing recreation through inclusion programming. Lastly, FLORC's own Ian Waldron and Sunil Karnik will be discussing the rise of the millennials.
3:45 - Robin Will from Get Outdoors Florida! is now presenting, focusing on the importance of improving health thorugh not only outdoor recreation, but also through outdoor activities as well.
4:08 - Lester Abberger from B.L. Abberger and Company, is speaking now on the role of the Lobbyist and how they can help bring it all together.
4:37 - That's a wrap for the 2014 Florida Outdoor Recreation Summit! Thank you to all that attended! Continue to check back with FLORC.org for more information!
I know it is still summer and we still have the whole month of August to get through, but I’m thinking ahead, and so should you. The 2014 Forum on Outdoor Recreation, which is September 12-13, is being held for the first time in the Big Bend area in Crawfordville, Florida at the TCC- Wakulla Center, and is less than 6 weeks away!
The first day (September 12th) will consist of the Annual Florida Outdoor Recreation Summit. This year's theme is “Water-Land-Recreation” and we are putting the spotlight on recreation resources (which includes trails!). This is really an important summit as it comes right before the November 4th election that will decide a constitutional amendment to secure dedicated funds for the acquisition and management of public lands. A final draft of the Summit agenda is on line when you click to the registration page for the summit.
We are also excited to announce our key note speaker for this year's summit! A man who is no stranger to the folks in the Big Bend area, Senator Bill Montford will speak during our luncheon (which is being catered by Posey’s Seafood Restaurant and is included in your registration fee!). Senator Montford is a strong advocate for the outdoors and has represented the Big Bend counties since 2010. He is currently the chair of the Agricultural Committee and Vice Chair of the Appropriation Subcommittee on education. He is also the CEO for the Florida Association of District School Superintendents.
Day two (September 13th) of the forum will consist of the Annual Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST) Symposium. The title of this year’s symposium is State of the Trail: Completion of the Trail. Anyone who has or still volunteers on the FNST or is actively involved in the management of lands where this unique trail system runs should plan to attend. A draft agenda of the symposium can also be found by clicking onto the registration page for the symposium. The FNST Symposium is a free event with lunch provided. However you still need to go online and register.
Right now registrations are starting to come in so don’t delay any longer. We look forward to seeing you at the 2014 Florida Outdoor Recreation Summit and the 2014 FNST Symposium!