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State seeks input as it lays plans for hiking and biking trails in Central Florida

Lake County
The Florida Office of Greenways and Trails is holding meetings in Central Florida seeking input on its plan for new trails.

The Office of Greenways and Trails is building its next five-year plan, and for people who care about hiking or biking through Central Florida, this week could be the time to attend a meeting.

Those meetings seeking public input are 5 to 7 p.m. both days on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at the Winter Garden City Hall and Thursday at the Stable House in DeBary.

Mike Stephens is a banker in Eustis who spends a lot of his time working with others to promote regional trails through Lake County.

"And we've been really focused on those regional trails and trying to get them developed as quickly as possible," he said. "Everybody understands the quality of life impact, but it's a huge economic impact to bring to the area."

And right now he was a lot to be optimistic about. Two of Lake County's regional trails -- connecting to areas north, south, east and west -- are on the Greenways and Trails draft maps. And a newly filed bill - Senate Bill 106 -- could mean a huge increase in funding.

He's urging others in Lake County to show up and make sure those priorities stay on the plan being developed this year.

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.
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