Santos and Florida Office of Greenways Needs Help!

Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Trails Blog on Mar. 25, 2009 - 10:14 am

Losing the Greenway/Santos as we know it.
Really.

I am sending this to everyone I know who appreciates riding at Santos or utilizes the Cross Florida Greenway. Please post on your forums, spread the word. Then contact your representative, senator, and Governor Crist (www.myflorida.com).

The proposed budget in Tallahassee will essentially eliminate the Office of Greenways and Trails as we know it, and give the land to the state parks department. It will give the parks more land, while eliminating over 100 of their positions at the same time.

Why do we need to act?
OGT has been the land manager of Santos since the beginning of our bike trails and OMBA. We have spent years establishing a relationship with the office in Ocala and Tallahassee to ensure the best trails possible could be a reality. Ironically, Florida was just awarded “Best Trails State” at the biannual National Trails Symposium this fall.

Here are a few things worth fighting for (even if you don’t love them all, think of your two wheel friends too):
1. Recreational opportunities with nature conservation- bike trails!
2. Free access. (even though I think most of us wouldn’t mind paying for parking!)
3. The proposed trail expansion westward that has already been written up as a huge grant proposal, soil samples taken, and professional preliminary flagging. Phase 1 is 484 to 200, Phase 2 is 200 to Pruitt. 20 miles of amazing terrain (through the canal diggings) trails, a loop configuration to extend Nayls and provide connectivity across the state!
4. Freeriding in the Vortex. Period.
5. Racing permits.
6. The Fat Tire Festival.

OGT’s mission and approach to trails is a philosophy that has benefitted us over the years. IMBA and others are amazed and impressed with the relationship and privileges we have with OGT. We need to show our appreciation for what we have by fighting for them in Tallahassee.

Thank you! Let’s get this done before next Tuesday, April 2nd- the Florida Bike Summit at the capitol.

Passionately,
Renee Blaney
Ocala Mountain Bike Association
Director