Samantha started her career with the department in May 1994 as an OPS Planner with the Office of Greenways and Trails. Over the years she has worked with every aspect of the office including the greenways and trails planning efforts, grant development, contract management, marketing and communications, legislative review and budget requests, acquisition projects and managing councils. Now, having come full circle with OGT, she has the responsibility of not only steering the ship, but watching the up and coming leaders of the program develop and thrive.
Britney grew up in the North Florida Area, providing for extensive knowledge of her dedicated region. Britney has worked for Florida’s award-winning state park system for several years. She attended Florida State University where she studied Geography and Environmental Studies. As a member of the Junior League of Tallahassee, Britney has found a way to nourish her love of volunteering in the community. She frequently explores Florida’s incredible recreational opportunities, whether it be participating in biking and kayaking events or taking her dogs on hikes. So, look for her in your area on the weekends.
Katie Bernier - Greenways & Trails Coordination/South & Central Region, Florida Greenways and Trails Council coordination and Designation Program; 863-314-8439 (working out of Highlands Hammock State Park).
Katie grew up in Lake Wales, spending many weekends exploring nearby state parks which helped to cultivate her love for Florida’s many outdoor recreation opportunities. Katie attended Florida State University and completed her bachelor’s degree in Classical Civilizations and recently completed a master’s degree in Biodiversity and Conservation at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Katie’s prior experience includes working as a Forest Ranger for the Florida Forest Service and serving as an AmeriCorps Member with the Florida State Parks. In her free time, Katie loves traveling, hiking and fishing. She also enjoys checking out all of the greenways and trails that are in her region.
Justin received his bachelor’s degree in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Tennessee and it was during this time that his love for trails and greenways developed as he rode his bicycle to and from work and class every day, something he continues to do.Justin is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida State University. His study interests include GIS planning and planning for bicycle/pedestrian friendly communities. He enjoys bicycling, camping, traveling with his family, and trail running, of which he has completed several 50k events in the Southern Appalachians. His wife, Brigitte, and two kids, Jonah and Layla, live with him in Tallahassee.
Kari Baasch- Office of Greenways & Trails Graphic Designer, Web Designer; 850-245-3071
Kari grew up in rural North Florida, spending all her free time in the great outdoors. Kari graduated from Florida State University in 2018, with a bachelor’s degree in Editing, Writing and Media and a minor in Information Technologies, and has worked for DEP since 2019. She grew up farming and organic gardening with her father, and still finds herself spending all her free time outdoors, kayaking down the Wacissa river, hiking through our beautiful Florida forests, and birdwatching whenever she can. She also finds delight in photography, writing poetry, and still continues to garden.
Lindsey Gelman grew up in Boca Raton, Florida and graduated from Florida State University. She received her bachelor’s degree in International Affairs with a minor in Environmental Science and Policy. During her studies, Lindsey grew passionate for Florida’s natural resources which lead her to focus her studies in Urban and Regional Planning. Lindsey’s study interests include coastal planning, environmental law, and transit-oriented development. Her passion for environmental planning has grown over the years as she has traveled to National Parks and National Monuments. Her favorite park in Tallahassee is the Fred George Basin Greenway for its large variety of recreational purposes. In her free time, Lindsey enjoys hiking, camping, paddle boarding, cooking, and bringing her cats along on her adventures.
Mikayla Panariello- Outdoor Recreation Specialist, Webinar Series Coordinator; 850-245-3069
Mikayla grew up in Davie, Florida where she spent her childhood collecting seashells, watching the local rodeo, and climbing trees. She attended Florida State University and completed her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Political Science with a minor in Biological Anthropology. Mikayla’s prior work includes working as a Project Manager for NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and international consulting work across Costa Rica. Currently, Mikayla is getting her Master’s degree from Florida State University in Applied Policy, focusing on studying policy that promotes conservation and sustainable communities. On her days off you can find Mikayla out on the beautiful Florida trails hiking, at a local farmers market, or baking up something new in the kitchen.
Allison grew up in North Florida, spending most of her childhood exploring the Gulf coast on St. George Island. She received her interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree in Environmental Governance, Planning & Conservation with a minor in Political Science from the University of Alabama. Currently, Allison is getting her master’s degree from the University of Florida in Forest Resources & Conservation with a concentration in Ecological Restoration. Allison’s prior work includes developing the Florida Trail Town program as an intern with OGT, working with Coosa Riverkeeper in Birmingham, AL researching economic development, and conducting coastal/reef research in Belize. In her free time, Allison enjoys hiking, camping, paddling, cooking, and going on adventures with her golden retriever.
Office of Greenways and Trails Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Recreation and Parks 3900 Commonwealth Boulevard, MS 795 Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3000
Please note: Florida has a very broad public records law. Most written communications to or from state officials regarding state business are public records available to the public and media upon request. Your e-mail communications may therefore be subject to public disclosure.
October 15, 2021 - 2:00pm
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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.