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Jeff Vasilinda becomes the Vasilinda Family’s first published author!

Trails for Sale

February 20th, 2012 by flanews

In an effort to fund state parks, seven Florida trails may soon be open to advertisers. A bill to allow companies to buy ad space at trail access points is almost ready for debate in the Florida Senate. As Whitney Ray tells us, nature enthusiasts aren’t very enthused about the plan.

Mae Cleveland is training for the Boston Marathon.

“I’m going to try to qualify for Boston, so give it one last shot,” said Mae.

She’s runs 10 miles a day three times a week. The St. Marks Trial in Tallahassee is her favorite place to train.

“They do a really good job keeping it up,” said Mae.

Funding for state parks and trails is dwindling. Donations help, but more may be needed to keep the area clean and safe. State Senator Stephen Wise is moving a bill to allow companies to sponsor the St. Marks Trail and six others.

“They pave it, they keep it up, they cut the grass and do those kinds of things and make it nice. If you don’t have money to do that, what does it turn in to,” asked Wise.

In parking lots companies could post large signs, 16 square feet. They could also put them at the head of the trail. Smaller signs, no larger than 4 square feet could be displayed at other public entrances.

Who can advertise and what the signs look like would be left up to the Florida Office of Greenways and Trails. Mae’s not a huge fan of her favorite trail having a corporate sponsor.

“Personal preference, I just like the natural aspect of it,” asked Mae.

But if the choice is between opening the trail to ads or shutting them down, Mae and many other nature enthusiasts choose ads. Eighty-five percent of the money generated from the sponsors would be put into a trust fund set up to maintain the trails. 15 percent of the money would be used to promote traffic and bike safety.

The Seven Trails
Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail
Blackwater Heritage Trail,
St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail
Nature Coast State Trail
Withlacoochee State Trail
General James A. Van Fleet State Trail
Palatka-Lake Butler State Trail

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