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LOGO FDEPGOVERNOR AND CABINET APPROVE ACQUISITION TO EXPAND
SCENIC CENTRAL FLORIDA TRAIL
December 29, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – On December 13, 2017, Governor Scott and the Florida Cabinet approved the acquisition of a 1.3-mile connection to the Shingle Creek Regional Trail (SCRT). The 35.2-acre parcel will join two distinct segments of the SCRT and will provide greater recreational access to the picturesque Shingle Creek Watershed and Lake Tohopekaliga.

"Strategic acquisitions like this one are vital to making a positive impact on communities while preserving our natural resources," said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. "The department is looking forward to partnering with local communities to expand our trail connections to allow even more Floridians and visitors to enjoy Florida’s beautiful natural landscapes through our nationally renowned system of trails."

The SCRT offers numerous ecotourism opportunities to the public, supporting hiking, cycling and wildlife observation over wetlands, through orange groves and along waterways. Once the two segments are joined, the SCRT will provide a more than 30-mile connection between the metropolitan areas of Orlando and Kissimmee while offering access to the surrounding ecosystems.The SCRT is one of only two trails in Florida that have been recognized nationally by the Department of the Interior through the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative that supports enhancements of urban parks and green spaces.

Mayor Jose Alvarez, City of Kissimmee, said: “Creating passive recreational spaces, while also preserving Florida’s natural resources, is an important element for emerging cities across the nation. The approval for the acquisition of additional land by Governor Scott and the Florida Cabinet not only helps expand the SCRT in the City of Kissimmee, but shows the commitment the State has to providing residents and visitors access to green spaces and ecotourism opportunities.”

“As Florida’s oldest conservation organization, Audubon is proud to support this great project that both preserves natural lands and provides recreational opportunities in Central Florida,” said Julie Wraithmell, interim executive director of Audubon Florida. “Saving Florida’s special places connects people to our natural treasures and inspires future generations to continue protecting them.”

“This acquisition will provide important benefits to the residents and businesses in the city of Kissimmee and Osceola County,” said John Newstreet, president and CEO of the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce. “Projects like the Shingle Creek Regional Trail help connect our community and improve our quality of life.”

“The Florida Greenways and Trails Council is proud to support this important acquisition to expand a priority trail,” said Sarrah Glassner, chair of the Florida Greenways and Trails Council. “This connection will help connect people in Central Florida and provide them with incredible opportunities for healthy recreation.”

“The Greenways and Trails Foundation is excited about this acquisition that will connect Floridians with scenic trails and natural lands,” said Dale Allen, president of the Florida Greenways and Trails Foundation. “We look forward to working with the department on future opportunities to expand Florida’s greenways and trails network.”

About the Florida Department of Environmental Protection

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s principal environmental agency, created to protect, conserve and manage Florida’s environment and natural resources. The department enforces federal and state environmental laws, protects Florida’s air and water quality, cleans up pollution, regulates solid waste management, promotes pollution prevention and acquires environmentally sensitive lands for preservation. The agency also maintains a statewide system of parks, trails and aquatic preserves.

Visit the department’s website at https://floridadep.gov/.

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