Copy
View This Email In Your Browser

In this issue:

Chapter Programs
From the Chapter Chair...Elwood McElhaney
Chapter Council Update
Membership Report
IDidAHike
Calendar of Activities
From our Members

Join us for a virtual Chapter Meeting/Program September 8th


Adam Fryska, Panhandle Trail Program Manager with the Florida Trail Association will provide an update on FTA's response to the COVID situation, our plans for the upcoming field season, and changes to our training opportunities. He will also go over FTA's recent infrastructure projects and plans for the next few years, including Spring Creek.

6:45 PM - Virtual social meet and greet
7:00 PM - Meeting starts

Register in advance for this meeting via Meetup:
https://www.meetup.com/Apalachee-Florida-Trail-Hiking/events/272779685/
After registering via Meetup, the link will become available.

 FROM THE CHAPTER CHAIR...Elwood McElhaney

 And the pain continues……

The Officers of the Apalachee Chapter of the Florida Trail Association met on August 12, 2020, to plan the operations of the Chapter for the 2020-21 fiscal year that ends on June 30, 2021.  Based on guidance from the FTA home office regarding resumption of activities, we have decided that we will not open up any FTA activities for the next three months except for maintenance of the Florida Trail. Please see an article on this decision by Roger Doherty, our Activities Coordination. (Follow this link to article)

Due to the pandemic, the Church where we hold our monthly meetings is not yet allowing folks back inside. We will therefore hold a virtual monthly meeting on September 8, 2020.  Look for a future email providing access information for that meeting.  After that, we will assess the effectiveness of virtual meetings going forward.  We are tentatively skipping the October 2020 meeting, and resuming in November 2020 with our annual awards meeting.

The FTA fiscal year ended on June 30, 2020.  In this newsletter, we are reporting back to you with a 2019-20 Treasurer’s Report and other information on what we accomplished during the fiscal year.  (Follow this link to report)

These are trying times unlike anything that any of us have ever experienced.  While we miss our friends and activities, safety is always our primary concern.  Please bear with us.  We hope to see you all when it is once again safe to do so.  Until then, please follow all recommended suggestions to keep you and your family safe, and don’t forget to exercise your constitutional right to (safely) VOTE on November  3.  We hope to bring you better news in the foreseeable future.

Until then, I’ll see you on the trail.

CHAPTER COUNCIL UPDATE

FTA Annual meeting scheduled for April 4th was cancelled due to Covid, the Annual Awards were delayed until they were recently announced in the June E-Blaze.   I was surprised to see that I had been awarded the Cornelia Burge Award which is an FTA special recognition for long time commitment and work to help FTA on a statewide basis. Kent Wimmer also received the Burge award in 1999.    Congratulations Howard! Thank you for all that you do for our chapter. 

Chapter Council (CC) April Meeting (same day as FTA Annual Meeting) was cancelled due to Covid. There has been CC work continuing.  Last October, the Board of Directors adopted updated policies and procedures for FTA Chapters to follow. In that document (Chapter Operating Procedures aka COP) there was a requirement that Chapters develop an Addendum to the COP which includes procedures unique to the Chapter and how it works.  During Spring and this Summer,  Chapters have been working with the CC COP Committee on their addendum's.  As of now, Apalachee was one of seven (out of 19) Chapter which has had its addendum accepted by the COP Committee.  These addendum's replace our existing Chapter Guidelines.

Howard Pardue
Apalachee Chapter Council Representative

Membership Report

Debbie Grant, Membership Coordinator
In July 2019, we had 302 members in our Chapter.  Before social distancing guidelines in February 2020 we had a total of 281 members. On June 30, 2020, we had 256 paid members. Thank you for continuing your membership during these difficult times. For additional information, contact Debbie Grant at dag9465@comcast.net
 
Become a Member Or Renew your Membership

IDIDAHIKE February 27, 2021 - St. Marks

Virtual planning meetings have been ongoing since February. We have a date and staging location set, which will allow for a wide variety of hikes to be offered on the National Scenic Trail. Show off your creativity and consider submitting a design for the event t-shirt contest (rules and guidelines are posted on our web page). As planning continues, look for details and updates posted on our chapter website

Come join the fun in planning the event with fellow hikers! We can sure use your talents and creativity to assist on one of the five hikes (FTA activity leaders to lead and co-lead). Can you share any information on the biodiversity of the St Marks NWR area? Perhaps you are a talented craftsperson who can make a donation for the raffle items. Do you have some large tables or a tail gate tent that can be used on the day of the event? Still looking for someone to volunteer coordinating the raffle and event publicity.

The IDIDAHIKE is an annual outdoor event and fundraiser for the Florida Trail Association designed to showcase the wonderful and abundant trails in our backyard. Our chapter has committed to organizing this 13th annual event and plans to offer a "buffet" of wonderful hikes. There is a lot that goes into hosting this public event and volunteers are crucial to its success.

Interested in learning more and how to help plan and organize this amazing event?
Contact Dawn Griffin (Griffindd@aol.com) (850) 509-6103 

CALENDAR OF ACTIVITIES

The Florida National Scenic Trail and other forest trails are part of the natural environment. Expect rough, uneven, and/or slippery surfaces, protruding roots, encroaching vegetation, fallen branches, mud and water, insects and other wildlife, irritating plants and other hazards to be present. Be prepared for the weather, insects, and sun protection. If you question whether a hike is within your ability, contact the Activity Leader. Paddlers must have a USCG-approved life jacket for each person and a sound-producing (whistle/horn) device on board while on the water. Bicyclers under 16 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet.   Minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Level: “L” Leisurely (1-2 mph walking pace), “M” Moderately difficult (2-3 mph walking pace), “S” Strenuous (3-4+ mph walking pace).  For more information, read the Guidelines for Activity Participants.

Unless indicated all activities are open to the public and please sign up at MeetUp.com to attend. Check our Meetup site for dates, meeting locations, and any last-minute announcements before starting out. REGISTRATION LINK: https://www.meetup.com/Apalachee-Florida-Trail-Hiking
SEPT 6 SUN (S) 8:00 AM - FLORIDA NATIONAL SCENIC TRAIL MAINTENANCE: APALACHICOLA NATIONAL FOREST WEST - Lop, mow, blaze and clear the Florida National Scenic Trail in the western section of the Apalachicola National Forest. Bring lunch, snacks, insect repellent, rainwear, sun protection, first aid kit and plenty of water. Tools and safety equipment provided. PPE IS REQUIRED. LIMIT 10 PEOPLE. YOU MUST SIGN UP; if you don’t contact one of the trip leaders in advance, you cannot join the work party. OPEN TO PUBLIC. For more information, carpooling, and directions contact: Al Ingle (850) 509-1162, al@capitalavionics.com or Mike Tucker (850) 545-3489, tuckems@hotmail.com
https://www.meetup.com/Apalachee-Florida-Trail-Hiking/events/cmtzlrybcmbjb/

SEPT 8 - CHAPTER MEETING/PROGRAM - VIRTUAL - Adam Fryska, Panhandle Trail Program Manager with the Florida Trail Association will provide an update on FTA's response to the COVID situation, our plans for the upcoming field season, and changes to our training opportunities. He will also go over FTA's recent infrastructure projects and plans for the next few years, including Spring Creek.
Meeting Link: https://www.meetup.com/Apalachee-Florida-Trail-Hiking/events/272779685/

OCT 4 SUN (S) 8:00 AM - FLORIDA NATIONAL SCENIC TRAIL MAINTENANCE: APALACHICOLA NATIONAL FOREST WEST - Lop, mow, blaze and clear the Florida National Scenic Trail in the western section of the Apalachicola National Forest. Bring lunch, snacks, insect repellent, rainwear, sun protection, first aid kit and plenty of water. Tools and safety equipment provided. PPE IS REQUIRED. LIMIT 10 PEOPLE. YOU MUST SIGN UP; if you don’t contact one of the trip leaders in advance, you cannot join the work party. OPEN TO PUBLIC. For more information, carpooling, and directions contact: Al Ingle (850) 509-1162, al@capitalavionics.com or Mike Tucker (850) 545-3489, tuckems@hotmail.com
https://www.meetup.com/Apalachee-Florida-Trail-Hiking/events/cmtzlrybcnbgb/

NOV 1 SUN (S) 8:00 AM - FLORIDA NATIONAL SCENIC TRAIL MAINTENANCE: APALACHICOLA NATIONAL FOREST WEST - Lop, mow, blaze and clear the Florida National Scenic Trail in the western section of the Apalachicola National Forest. Bring lunch, snacks, insect repellent, rainwear, sun protection, first aid kit and plenty of water. Tools and safety equipment provided. PPE IS REQUIRED. LIMIT 10 PEOPLE. YOU MUST SIGN UP; if you don’t contact one of the trip leaders in advance, you cannot join the work party. OPEN TO PUBLIC. For more information, carpooling, and directions contact: Al Ingle (850) 509-1162, al@capitalavionics.com or Mike Tucker (850) 545-3489, tuckems@hotmail.com
https://www.meetup.com/Apalachee-Florida-Trail-Hiking/events/cmtzlrybcpbcb/

NOV 10 - CHAPTER MEETING/PROGRAM - VIRTUAL -  The Florida Trail and Northwest Florida Sentinel Landscape. Kent Wimmer, Senior Representative, Defenders of Wildlife and the Apalachee Chapter’s Trail Coordinator, will share how a budding partnership he is leading can help close gaps in the Florida Trail in the panhandle. The goals of the Northwest Florida Sentinel Landscape Partnership are to protect habitat for listed species, conserve working lands and protect the training missions of five military installations in Northwest Florida. The Florida Trail is a principal way the public can be provided access to the lands conserved through this partnership of state, federal and private agencies. Meeting Link: https://www.meetup.com/Apalachee-Florida-Trail-Hiking/events/272779714/

DEC 6 SUN (S) 8:00 AM - FLORIDA NATIONAL SCENIC TRAIL MAINTENANCE: APALACHICOLA NATIONAL FOREST WEST - Lop, mow, blaze and clear the Florida National Scenic Trail in the western section of the Apalachicola National Forest. Bring lunch, snacks, insect repellent, rainwear, sun protection, first aid kit and plenty of water. Tools and safety equipment provided. PPE IS REQUIRED. LIMIT 10 PEOPLE. YOU MUST SIGN UP; if you don’t contact one of the trip leaders in advance, you cannot join the work party. OPEN TO PUBLIC. For more information, carpooling, and directions contact: Al Ingle (850) 509-1162, al@capitalavionics.com or Mike Tucker (850) 545-3489, tuckems@hotmail.com
https://www.meetup.com/Apalachee-Florida-Trail-Hiking/events/cmtzlrybcqbjb/
 

FROM OUR MEMBERS


Submitted by Member Currie Leggoe

Do you have tents, tarps, bug spray, rain gear that can be donated?

Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program of the Big Bend Homeless Coalition are looking for supplies for their clients. They are in need of tents, tarps, bug spray, and rain gear. Currie can pick items up or they could be donated directly at the office to Joanna Gewanter.  You can also visit their Amazon wish list (link). Basically you buy the item(s), and it is shipped to them directly. For more information and/or pick up arrangements, contact Currie Leggoe at cleggoe@fsu.edu
Submitted by Member Roger Doherty

During our hiatus from hiking and maintenance activities, I have been performing a lot of “trail maintenance” activities on my own acre and a half.  Squirrels, birds, wind and/or gravity have worked to plant scores of pine trees in my yard over the last few years, and some had gotten to be more than 25 feet tall.  I figured that now was a good time to prepare for the 2022 and 2023 hurricane seasons by cutting down any pines within 100 feet of my house.  

The bad news is that my 20-year old Craftsman electric chainsaw bit the dust in May, so I started shopping around at our local home improvement and tool stores for a replacement.  The good news is that while at Home Depot, I discovered the most valuable tool accessory that I have found in years – a 9-inch pruning blade for a reciprocating saw!  They come two to a package.

While I eventually did buy a 14-inch chainsaw, thanks to the pruning blades, my Ryobi cordless reciprocating saw has become my main tool for cutting down trees up to seven inches in diameter.  I can quickly cut up a small tree into the lengths that Waste Pro requires for yard trash pickup.  I have taken down more than 60 trees this summer, mostly pines between five and 15 feet tall, but some over 20 feet tall. I have also removed some crepe myrtles (they have become invasive in my yard).  

I may bring my reciprocating saw on maintenance activities this fall.  I can easily include the saw and two batteries in my day pack.  I normally get a couple of hours work out of a single rechargeable battery, so two should last the day.  It is certainly easier than having to carry a chainsaw and a gas can, and its quicker than a hand saw.
 

CHAPTER OFFICERS

 
CHAIR:  Elwood McElhaney
VICE-CHAIR:   Dawn Griffin
TREASURER: James Kimbrel
ACTIVITIES: Roger Doherty
MEMBERSHIP:  Debbie Grant
NEWSLETTER/WEBSITE:  April Edmonds 
PROGRAMS: Need Volunteer
PUBLICITY/SOCIAL MEDIA:  Ron Harrison  
TRAILS: Kent Wimmer 
VOLUNTEER HOURS:  Dawn Brown  

TRAIL SECTION LEADERS

FNST: ANF WEST -  Al Ingle (850) 509-1162
FNST: ANF EAST -  Richard Graham (850) 878-3616
FNST: ST. MARKS - Dale Allen (850) 656-8050
FNST: AUCILLA  -   Need Volunteer(s)
FT. BRADEN TRACT -   Howard Pardue (850) 386-1494
ELINOR KLAPP-PHIPPS PARK - Dawn Brown (850) 668-0091
TORREYA STATE PARK - Need Volunteer(s)

 

FLORIDA TRAIL ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP


Your membership in the Florida Trail Association helps make our activities open and accessible to everyone. If you are a member, thank you! If you are not a member, please consider making a donation to the FTA at outings or meetings that you attend. Make an online donation or join the FTA today by clicking one of the buttons below.
 
Become A Member
Give a Gift Membership
Support the Florida Trail Association!
Facebook
Our Mission: The Florida Trail Association builds, maintains, protects, and promotes the unique Florida National Scenic Trail (Florida Trail), along with a network of hiking trails throughout the state of Florida. Together with our partners, the Association provides opportunities for the public to contribute to meaningful volunteer work, engage in outdoor recreation, and participate in environmental education.   Serving Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty and Wakulla Counties.
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
Website Website
Email Email
Instagram Instagram
Forward To Friend Forward To Friend
Copyright © 2020 Apalachee Chapter of the Florida Trail Association, All rights reserved.