The nature of Outdoor Recreation and Greenways and Trails continues to evolve. To keep you up to date on the latest trends, the Office of Greenways and Trails has established a webinar series providing research and best practices on a variety of topics. Each of the webinars will involve the experts who have experience and knowledge of the subject matter.
The webinars, which began in October of 2021, occur on the second Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. Eastern time/9 a.m. Central time.
The Outdoor Florida Webinar Series is available free of charge and can be enjoyed anytime through our webinar archive at the bottom of this page.
Each webinar will require a separate registration and is limited to 300 people. Please sign up no later than 9 a.m. Eastern time on the day of the webinar you wish to attend. Save your spot and register now!
March 13, 2024 (10 a.m. ET)
To celebrate Florida Biking Month, we’ll hear from Lisa M. Lake, Executive Director of Bike Florida. She will provide an overview of the many rides, tours and awareness raising events they lead throughout the state, including tours on the renowned Florida Coast-to-Coast Trail from St. Petersburg to Titusville. Bike Florida was founded in 1992 to help Florida communities expand their bicycle awareness, education and infrastructure through bicycle tourism.
Now that a multi-year restoration effort of the Kissimmee River has been completed, reestablishing 44 miles of winding river channel, the lure of experiencing the famous waterway and its abundant wildlife first-hand is creating excitement among outdoor recreation enthusiasts. Several new campsites have been developed by the South Florida Water Management District and the District is working with the Office of Greenways and Trails on establishing the river as a designated Florida paddling trail. Mike Cheek, Recreation Project Manager with the South Florida Water Management District, will talk about the Kissimmee River restoration along with the many recreational opportunities available to the public throughout the District’s 16-county region, where they manage over one million acres of public land from near Orlando to the Keys. Popular activities include hiking, biking, boating, paddling, fishing, hunting, camping, wildlife viewing, and horseback riding.
Join us for a discussion about recreational wetlands with Mark Sees, manager of Orlando Wetlands. Orlando Wetlands provides advanced treatment for reclaimed water from the City of Orlando while also serving as a recreation space with opportunities for hiking, bicycling, and wildlife viewing. In recent years, the wetlands were awarded an FDEP Recreational Trails Program grant which allowed for the construction of a boardwalk to enhance the recreation experience. Learn how property facilitates water filtration, the challenges and opportunities that come with managing a multi-use space, and more.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety with Bike/Walk Central Florida
How do we make crosswalks safer for cyclists and pedestrians? Tune in to the January Outdoor Florida webinar to learn about Bike/Walk Central Florida’s approach to changing behavior through the Best Foot Forward Program, a coalition of over 30 partners working in central Florida. Emily Hanna, BWCF Executive Director, will also discuss the work of the Healthy West Orange Trails Connection and BWCF’s Bike 5 event.
The health benefits of outdoor recreation are multiplied when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Join our guests from the team at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare to discuss which foods best support an outdoor lifestyle and other nutrition insights. We'll also explore the overlap between outdoor recreation and outdoor exercise with a look at the benefits of staying active outdoors and ways to elevate your normal walk or hike into a workout.
It’s Florida Paddlesports Month! Tune in to learn about accessible paddlesports featuring guest speaker Danny Paltjon. Co-founder of Oceans of Hope Foundation, Danny will discuss the different ways the organization makes surfing and kayaking accessible to people with physical disabilities in the New Smyrna Beach area.
Celebrating Florida Greenways and Trails Month: The Florida Gulf Coast Trail
October is Florida Greenways and Trails Month, so we’re catching up with Charles Hines to discuss the latest news on the developing Florida Gulf Coast Trail. When complete, this regional pathway will cover seven coastal counties from Pinellas/Hillsborough to Collier, span 336 miles, and connect an estimated 21 million people to the outdoors. Find out how this trail got started, how you can help shape its identity, what sections you can explore today and more.
What percent of residents in my county live within walking distance to a park? When is it safe to visit the beach? How can I recognize heat stroke while I'm hiking this summer? Florida Environmental Public Health Tracking, a program located in the Florida Department of Health, is joining us this month to share the multitude of information and resources they offer surrounding your health and your environment. Printable infographics for kiosks, interactive web maps, social media video clips, and health-related data are at your fingertips by visiting their website.
Technology is becoming increasingly prevalent in all parts of life, and outdoor recreation is no exception! This month, we are featuring three different programs that all use technology to encourage outdoor recreation. Learn how Sebring showcases their recreation spots through a Geocache Tour, how Sarasota is encouraging beach exploration with their mobile-based Beach Pass program, and how park visitors to Tennessee State Parks are earing digital points for completing recreation activities through the Healthy Parks Healthy Person initiative.
Making the Most of National Park & Recreation Month
July is National Park and Recreation Month! Hear from the Florida Recreation and Park Association about resources your city, county, or nonprofit can use to promote recreation and parks this month, along with their "It Starts in Parks" initiative and opportunities they offer for recreation professionals across Florida. We'll also be joined by speakers from Palm Beach County and the City of Port Orange for a look at how they organize unique Park & Recreation Month activities on a local level.
June 3rd will be the 31st anniversary of American Hiking Society's National Trails Day®! We are catching up with Wesley Trimble from the American Hiking Society for a recap of the 2023 festivities, the backstory of how the event was started, and more. He will also be highlighting how parks, cities, nonprofits, and individuals can partner with AHS to get involved with future National Trails Day celebrations.
Are you looking to fund a trail or recreation related project? Join us to learn about opportunities including Trail Capacity and Legacy Trail Program Grants from American Trails and various grants available through the Land and Recreation Grants Program within the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Our speakers will be providing information on what kinds of projects are funded, how to be successful with your application, and more.
For National Volunteer Month we are diving into how to recruit, train, and manage volunteers with speakers from the Florida Trail Association. Every year FTA works with hundreds of volunteers who donate thousands of hours to maintain the Florida National Scenic Trail. Learn tips and tricks for building a volunteer program or strengthening an existing one.
This month, we're highlighting trails that have a rich connection to their area's history and culture to celebrate Florida Archaeology Month. Hear from the Florida Public Archaeology Network and the Randell Research Center (Calusa Trail) about best practices for connecting trail users with the cultural significance of an area, how to preserve artifacts while also allowing public trail access to sites, and more.
Learn all about equestrian trails from our special guests the Southern Trailriders Association, Backcountry Horsemen of North Florida, and the Equine Land Conservation Resource. Topics will include the importance of building and maintaining public equestrian trails, safety measures on multi-use trails, engaging with the equestrian community, considerations for creating new equestrian trails, and more.
The Florida Wildlife Corridor connects hundreds of conservation gems across the state, from the Blackwater River State Forest in the panhandle to Everglades National Park. Join Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation’s Chief Conservation Officer Jason Lauritsen along with their Director of Strategic Communications Marly Fuller as they take you on a journey through the Corridor and introduce you to the importance of maintaining the ecological connections among our special places. You will learn how connection not only benefits our wildlife, but also enriches our communities and economies. And you will leave with a sense of Corridor pride and appreciation of its role in our everyday lives.
To celebrate Florida Paddlesports Month, hear from Dorsey DeMaster who is the president of the Florida Paddling Trails Association. She will give a history and overview of the organization followed by an overview of the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail (CT). The discussion will include best practices for paddling the CT, the trail angel network, and highlights of Dorsey's own experience on the 1,515 mile journey.
Please join us for our September Webinar that will highlight Florida’s Main Street Program. Kathie Beck, the Florida Program Coordinator will be presenting an in-depth look at the Main Street Program. This webinar will also focus on the Main Street Program’s intersection with outdoor recreation and the many benefits to the public.
While summer travel is at an all-time high during August this webinar will look into how the Rails to Trails Conservancy is changing interstate travel with the Great American Rail-Trail. We will look into how the nations largest trails organization took the dream of a cross country trail and made it a reality. This webinar will focus on the community and economic benefits this trail brings as well as how utilizing existing structures such as greenways, rail-trails, and other multiuse pathways will make it possible to connect nearly 50 million people to this trail.
Wildlife Viewing with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
July is National Recreation and Parks Month and we’ll be kicking this off with a presentation from the FWC. In this session, we will discuss the importance of getting into nature and how “Vitamin Green” can positively affect your mental health and wellbeing. We will also highlight how the FWC can facilitate these opportunities through their different programs, including wildlife viewing along the Great Florida Birding Trail.
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Get Outdoors with Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network
This June, we will be celebrating National Get Outdoors Day with the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network (FYCCN). This presentation will provide an insight into the program and their work in providing conservation education and youth recreation to kids all over the state. We will also discuss the importance of creating positive outdoor recreation experiences for our youth, as well as the work the FYCCN does to provide recreation opportunities to underserved children in communities with limited access to outdoor areas.
National Biking Month with SORBA and Swamp Mountain Bike Club
As part of National Biking Month, we will be focusing on mountain biking and hearing from the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association, as well as local mountain biking club, Swamp Mountain Bike. This presentation will touch on mountain biking on a regional and local level and the benefits this recreation opportunity has on a community. We will also be discussing examples of how to create mountain biking opportunities and ways to replicate this in your community.
For our April installment of the Outdoor Florida Webinar Series, we will be celebrating National Public Health Week and National Park Week by focusing on the intersection between health and outdoor recreation. We will hear from the Timucuan Parks Foundation on their Passport to Health initiative as well as how their partnership with entities such as Humana contributes to the goal of promoting health through outdoor recreation. We will also take a look at how the Timucuan Parks Foundation has adapted its work throughout the pandemic and how it has continued.
March is Florida Biking Month and in addition to encouraging all our stakeholders to get out on the trails, we will be highlighting the Florida Bicycle Association (FBA) and Bike Florida. In this session, we will be discussing their unique partnerships and we will also be touching on how both groups have worked to bring communities together and foster relationships through biking opportunities.
In this webinar, we will be focusing on how outdoor recreation can act as a preventative measure for health and wellness. We will be teaming up with Lee Health to discuss their Healthy Lee initiative and how they have been working to promote the intersection of outdoor recreation and health and wellness. We will also be learning about key partnerships in the community and how these relationships further healthy community initiatives.
Join us for a walkthrough of how the First Day Hikes Program engages visitors, creates new experiences, and works to create return visitors. We’ll discuss the benefits of hiking, visiting local parks, and engaging with natural resources in your area. We’ll also be showcasing recent first-day hikes and help you plan out your next hiking experience in one of our state parks.
Trail Town Spotlight- City of Deltona and Everglades City
Want to learn how your city can become a Trail Town? In this session, we will be shining a light on two of our Trail Towns, the City of Deltona and Everglades City, and discussing the benefits of the program. Our presenters will also provide best practices and do’s and don’ts that will help you along your way to achieving this recognition. Additionally, we will also be highlighting how these Trail Towns can enhance holiday travels through outdoor recreation in their areas.
Meeting the Needs of the Community through Urban Trails - The Underline
Mobility week takes place this year in the second week of November, and what better way to celebrate it than to spend time learning how vital to the community urban trails are. This presentation will highlight the many successes of Miami’s Underline and how this trail contributes to the health and wellness, transportation and recreation needs of the public. As a bonus, we’ll also be touching on best practices and lessons learned for creating urban trails.
Unique Partnerships within Regional Trail Systems – Space Coast TPO, city of Titusville and Titusville Area Chamber of Commerce
This presentation will kick off our webinar series with a discussion on the importance of unique partnerships and how they bring positive impacts and different perspectives to your projects. Additionally, we’ll explain how regional trail systems benefit from these partnerships and what are the advantages of their proximity.
Pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, any person requiring special accommodations to participate in this workshop/meeting is asked to advise the agency at least five days before the webinar by contacting Anna Hopkins, Office of Greenways and Trails, Division of Recreation and Parks, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, 3900 Commonwealth Blvd., MS 795, Tallahassee, FL 32399-3000; or Anna.E.Hopkins@FloridaDEP.gov, 850-245-3069; or Britney.Moore@FloridaDEP.gov, 850-245-2052. If you have a hearing or speech impairment, please contact the agency using the Florida Relay Service, 800-955-8771 (TDD) or 800- 955-8770 (voice).
February 28, 2024 - 10:27am
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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.