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Thursday, February 20 • 9:30am - 10:30am
Advancing Resource-Based Recreation in Florida: A Tale of Trails, Parks and Economics

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Florida is a paradise for wildlife watching and other forms of nature-based tourism. The Sunshine State’s network of parks, conservation lands, beaches, waterways and other protected areas, along with abundant fish and wildlife resources, make many forms of nature-based recreation possible. Nature-based recreation is a major driver of tourism in Florida. Because of Florida's climate, diversity of natural landscapes, and award-winning state parks and trails, the state offers a tremendous selection of outdoor experiences for residents as well as visitors. Linking these individual opportunities into a larger recreation and conservation system is essential to maximizing the value of our public lands. Learn about ways Florida’s State Park System is capitalizing on these nature tourists:

• According to Florida’s 2019 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, wildlife viewing, hiking, fishing and visiting the beach are among Florida’s top outdoor activities. Results from the recent SCORP, as well as recommendations for recreation providers, planners, tourism professionals and land managers will be shared. Learn more about the SCORP, its partnerships, how to get involved, and the benefits of participating in plan development and implementation.

• The Florida Greenways and Trails System is an international attraction and an important foundation for connecting people with nature. The FGTS provides access to recreation hubs ranging from sizeable state and national forests to small community parks. Wildlife viewing, nature study, hiking, biking, horseback riding and paddling are some of the major outdoor activities enjoyed by FGTS users, activities that create jobs, support local communities and contribute billions to the state’s economy. The FGTS also contributes to conservation by protecting wildlife habitat and water quality, and by creating linkages between public lands. Come learn how the Florida Greenways and Trails System provides safe and unforgettable nature-based recreation experiences for residents and visitors to the state, which in turn results in economic growth, improved health, and wellness and more livable communities.

• Access to nature-based recreation experiences is not only parking spots, trailheads and restrooms, it is also programming that empowers first-time and casual recreators to become lifelong advocates of natural spaces. Florida State Parks has tailored programming and promotions to reach audiences who were not taught how to recreate and who do not feel comfortable in outdoor settings. Through the incorporation of technology, fitness and outreach, Florida State Parks has developed opportunities for people unfamiliar with outdoor experiences such as birding, fishing and paddling. Learn how staples of recreation were modified to include new and expanding demographics in the world of wildlife viewing and nature tourism.

avatar for Doug Alderson

Doug Alderson

Florida Office of Greenways and Trails
Doug works as the assistant bureau chief for the Florida Office of Greenways and Trails, part of the Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Recreation and Parks, helping to coordinate the planning and promotion of non-motorized trails throughout the state. Prior to... Read More →
avatar for Robert Barrett

Robert Barrett

Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Rob has been the Interpretive Services Programs Manager for the Florida Park Service since August 2012 and has spent that time working with parks and partner organizations to create recreation, interpretive and professional development programs. A graduate of Florida State University... Read More →

Thursday February 20, 2020 9:30am - 10:30am EST
Poseidon Room

Attendees (2)