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2021 Spring In the Loop

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Lost History Week is March 15 - 21  


The St Johns River-to-Sea Loop Alliance is presenting “Lost History Week”
March 15–21 in partnership with Stetson University and Enterprise Museum.

The Week includes three  events at Enterprise Museum in Enterprise, Florida.  Each event will be avaialbe in person at Enterprise Museum for a limited number of attendees and also available for virtual participation. 
  1. March 16  6:00 PM  “Slavery and the Struggle for Freedom in East Florida” by Dr. Andy Eisen 
  2. March 18  6:00 PM “William Bartram: Creating Wilderness” by Dr. Tony Abbott
  3. March 20  1:00 - 4:00 PM Virtual History Tour highlighting museum exhibits and historic places of interest access from Volusia's world class regional trails  
 Attendance at the museum is limited but the events are available virtually.  All events are free but advance registration is required.  Visit  River2SeaLoop.Org   for more information and to register for virtual and live events.  To check out in-work interactive maps for historic Bartram and African American locations you can reach from the trail go here and click on the top map  image:  https://river2sealoop.org/nature-and-history-corridor
This week is the highlight of the River to Sea Nature and History Corridor project in partnership with Stetson University and Enterprise Museum and supported by Florida Humanities.  "Lost History Week" includes lectures focused on forgotten or erased history in West Volusia, exhibits at Enterprise Museum, and a Virtual History Tour that explains the exhibits and shows how historic points of interest can be reached and explored from regional trails. Exhibits are displayed until March 31 and may be seen at the events and during museum hours Thursday through Saturday 10AM-2PM. Private tours may be arranged by contacting the museum 386-804-6087.


  
We have 13 beautiful Bartram Illustrations installed at Enterprise Museum courtesy  of the Bartram Trail Society
.

There is also a large 3-D walk-around display panel with well-researched details related to “Slavery and Struggle for Freedom in East Florida”.  


Saturday's Virtual History Tour will include maps directing travelers to historic sites accessible from Volusia County's regional trails.  To check out in-work interactive maps for historic Bartram and African American locations you can reach from the trail go here and click on the top map  image:  https://river2sealoop.org/nature-and-history-corridor  


We hope to see you at Enterprise Museum or online.  Don't forget to register at River2SeaLoop.org

Trail Alliance Partner Program

In an effort to increase involvement, develop trail advocates and champions, and raise funds to allow us to continue our mission, the St Johns River-to-Sea Loop Alliance is launching our Trail Alliance Partner Program.  The goal of this program is to encourage more businesses and decision-makers to take advantage of the many benefits of trails, bike-friendly infrastucture and equitable mobility to our area. 
 

We are especially interested in establishing partnerships with municipalities in our region. 
To jumpstart this program we are offering a 2021 Founding Municipality Partner rate of $100.  We already have one Founding Municipality - the City of Deltona which has joined at the Trail Contributor level.  Board Member Jerry Mayes invites city representatives to contact him at jmayes@deltonafl.gov  to arrange a meeting to explain the reasons and benefits for becoming a Founding Municipality Partner.

We also seek to establish partnerships with nonprofits.  To jumpstart this program we are offering a 2021 Founding Nonprofit Partner rate of $100.  We already have one Founding Nonprofit - the DeLeon Springs Community Association.  Board Members Pat Northey and Maggie Ardito invite noprofits to contact them at info@river2sealoop.org to arrange a meeting to explain the reasons and benefits of becoming a Founding Nonprofit Partner.

Trail Alliance Friends Program

For individauls and families who want to support regional trails, bike/walk/people-friendly infrastructure and equitable mobility, we are launching our 2021 Trail Alliance Friends Program. 

Founding Municipality Partner:
The City of Deltona

The City of Deltona has embraced trails for recreational and physical activities. The City has developed eight Ecological Parks for nature viewing and passive nature interactions. Each park has a trail, designed for pedestrian use. Two of these parks are on the Coast to Coast/St Johns River to Sea Loop Trail, being Thornby Nature Park and Audubon Nature Park. The City’s new wayfinding signage is now erected. These signs start at the main highway entrances (I-4 at Normandy, Saxon, and Dirksen) and at SR-415, and direct visitors all the way to each park of interest.


The City has approved the Providence Trail, a major internal, phased trail that run North-to-South and bisects the City from Howland Boulevard (North) to Doyle Road (South) and is working with the River-to-Sea TPO and FDOT. The City is in discussions with Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy regarding East to West trails utilizing their power line right-of-ways.

The Lakeshore EcoVillage was approved as a City Park and put into the Parks & Rec Department’s Master Plan. The Lakeshore EcoVillage is a City owned property located on the Lakeshore Loop Trail, which connects the Coast to Coast/St Johns River to Sea Loop Trail at Thornby Park and Green Springs Park. The State of Florida’s Department of Greenways & Trails has designated the City of Deltona as a Trail Town and the Lakeshore EcoVillage as a Trailhead.  Plans are for a full service bicycle shop, café, kayak/canoe sales and rentals, a heritage/trail and EcoPark information center. In the final phase there are planned glam-cabins and treehouses for lodging.

Founding Nonprofit Partner:
DeLeon Springs Community Association



The DeLeon Springs Community Association, Inc. started as a small group of volunteers that grew out of a merchant’s group, who wanted to help the downtown businesses improve.  With a desire to encompass a wider area of service, the DeLeon Springs Community Association, Inc. incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 2011. This group blossomed into a focused team of committed citizens with a diverse group of volunteers.  Their civic-minded dedication has accomplished outstanding goals which include providing annual college scholarships, school reading programs, addressing environmental issues, protection of their beloved DeLeon Spring and working in concert with Volusia County and the FDEP to bring critical water and wastewater lines to the downtown area and McInnis Elementary School. 
 
Their Mission Statement reads, “The DeLeon Springs Community Association, Inc. strives to foster positive economic and cultural advancement within the community of DeLeon Springs, Florida, while preserving its rural nature and agricultural heritage.  As stewards of this unique area, the DeLeon Springs Community Association, Inc. works to cultivate an appreciation for the environmental treasures that abound in DeLeon Springs through education, awareness, and conservation of natural resources. The DeLeon Springs Community Association, Inc. is dedicated to providing opportunities to increase and enhance community spirit, volunteerism and civic responsibility, thereby improving quality of life for all.”

PS River-to-Sea Loop trail users will be happy to know the DeLeon Spring connection is now complete.  Cyclists and walkers can now follow the trail from where the segment starts at Minnesota and Grand Avenue in DeLand all the way to DeLeon Springs State Park and the current terminus at Highway 17 and Spring Garden Avenue. The Fichter Trailhead is at Humane Society Road just north of DeLand.  
 

National Bike Summit and Lobbying in Washington DC


St Johns River-to-Sea Loop Board Members Maggie Ardito and Jason Aufdenberg were honored to join Florida Bicycle Association Team Florida’s national lobbying effort at the National Bike Summit last week.  A main goal of the week was lobbying for more funding for Transportation Alternatives Enhancement and Complete/SAFE Streets bills.  These are vital bills that will make policy improvements a priority in Washington, resulting in more funding and more local control for trails and bike/walk-friendly infrastructure.   Maybe the time has come for our public roadways to serve more than motor vehicles.
(This picture was taken at the post meeting happy hour ... we all wore suits during the day!)


We were pleased to see the National Bike Week opened by our partner Mobycon with a virtual tour of Delft. We’ve been working with Mobycon for several years and they have met with Volusia County and the city of DeBary to explain how the small but knowledgable company can help our regions move toward more multimodal, equitable transportation.   If you are interested in having Mobycon speak to your group please contact us at Info@River2SeaLoop.Org.


Another highlight of the National Bike Summit was Secretary of Transportation Buttigieg’s keynote. 
Secretary Buttigieg said “Bikes have been one of the bright spots of the last year as many people have increased or returned to biking.  People are recognizing that biking is good for residents, good for business and good for the planet. The challenge is integrating biking and walking into the highway program.”  He ended with this optimistic statement:  "You're going to see a lot of energy coming from my office and my team. We're going to be a better, safer, cleaner and greener country where more people have great, safe options to get around on two wheels."

We invite you to join us St Johns River-to-Sea Loop Alliance as we continue our mission to fight for active, equitable mobility for all users of our public spaces including roadways.   

CRA and the Bike-Friendly Connection to DeLand Sun Rail Station

Good news for DeLand... Voorhis Avenue Streetscape! Planning Meeting March 15 at 6:00 PM.... could this be the first step to a cycling connection from downtown Deland to the Loop and the new DeLand Sun Rail Station? Let's make it happen. Results of the survey will be presented to members of the CRA board at their next meeting, 5:30 p.m. Monday, March 15, at DeLand City Hall, 120 S. Florida Ave. The meeting is open to the public.

Alliance News

The St Johns River-to-Sea Loop Alliance is pleased to welcome two new Board Members, Wendy Anderson and Jerry Mayes. We are delighted to have such powerful and active people join our board – visionary and committed environmentalists and economic development activists and decision-makers.
We also welcome a new correspondent Christine Asay. You can read all their bios here and this would be a great time to check out our Who‘s Who page and consider joining us. We are always looking for correspondents to keep us up to date on Trail News, Ambassadors to help us spread the word about the benefits of trails, and advisors to help us advance out mission.  

Publicity for our World-Class Trails 

Our efforts are paying off - suddenly the world is turning a spotlight on our trails!

The City of DeBary was recently named Bike-Friendly Community of the Year.    The Alliance was very pleased that our nomination for DeBary accomplished the desired result!  On May 5, Becky Afonso of the Florida Bicycle Association will at DeBary City Hall to present DeBary the award. May 5, 6:30 pm, 16 Colomba Road.

Also watch for the Spring to Spring segment of the St Johns River-to-Sea Loop to be featured in an upcoming edition of the Rails to Trails Magazine.

 

Scenic Byways near the Loop win National Designation

There are five Florida Scenic Byways that run along or cross the St Johns River-to-Sea Loop as it connects five counties in Centra Florida.  Two of these were recently awarded coveted National Status by the US DoT. The River of Lakes Heritage Corridor in west Volusia County was named a National Scenic Byway and the A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway in St. Johns County was named an All-American Road.  The St Johns River-to-Sea Loop Alliance works closely with these Scenic Byways and our president serves on the board of directors for the River of Lakes Heritage Corridor. 

Thank you for reading.

If you have information, photos, announcements or articles you'd like to see in the upcoming "In the Loop" update please submit them. If you have questions, comments or corrections relating to this issue we'd love to read them.    
  send to info@river2sealoop.org
@SJR2C
River2SeaLoop.Org
Email
FL Greenway trails advocacy page
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532 W Florence Ave, DeLand, FL 32720

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