Thursday, September 17, 2015

First Leg of Apalachicola Walking Trail Completed

Apalachicola, FL - On Friday, September 18 the Conservation Corps of the Forgotten Coast (CCFC) will celebrate the completion of its first project in Franklin County with a ribbon cutting for the first mile leg of a new Apalachicola Nature Trail. The walking trail, located west of town, was designed and constructed by the CCFC with the support of the City of Apalachicola on a 700 acre site which serves as the spray fields for the City’s water reuse system.

The public is invited to join with the CCFC partners and the community for a light lunch and presentation at noon at the Kevin Road Trail Head in Apalachicola.

The CCFC is a comprehensive youth development program for young adults 18-25 years of age which provides participants with job training, academic programming, leadership skills, and additional support through a strategy of service that conserves, protects and improves the environment, as well as community resilience. The Corps is funded on a “fee for service” model which provides governmental agencies and nonprofits a cost effective alternative to completing environmental work while providing benefits to the local communities through youth training and employment. The group came to fruition thanks to the efforts of the Franklin’s Promise Coalition which was selected by the Corps Network to be part of the Gulf Coast Restoration Initiative in 2014. The CCFC is supported by the Nature Conservancy and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through the mentorship of the Corps Network.

The CCFC crew leaders, Shane Murphy and Abbey Toomer from Florida based corps, Community Training Works, Inc. served as mentors for the Apalachicola five-member crew. Local crew members Eric Coleman, Will Collins, Holden Foley, Caci Wallace and Kendall WhiteEagle worked for eight weeks to complete the nature trail.

The group is already planning a second pilot project. Among the projects being discussed include an array of specific habitat restoration projects such as invasive species removal, living shoreline installation, oyster reef restoration, water quality monitoring, and pine savanna restoration.

For additional information on the CCFC program, contact Joe Taylor, Franklin’s Promise Coalition at 850-323-0176.