I met with the board of the Florida Trail Association last Saturday to explain to them why I founded Hiking Trails for America and Friends of the Florida Trail and for them to realize that FFT exists to support the Florida Trail, both directly and through the efforts of the Florida Trail Association. I explained that the initial emphasis would be two-fold. The first is an effort to engage the Florida legislature and the governor in making a commitment to support the completion of the Florida Trail, and the second is to raise the awareness of the Florida Trail in the minds of all Floridians. I explained that I had employed a lobbyist in Tallahassee to help with the first issue and have been fortunate to enlist the support of Jane Mahoney in crafting a grant proposal that will be submitted to non-profits, foundations and individuals for outreach, letting the world know that a winter trail, free of snow, exists in North America.
A final draft of a generic grant proposal was projected onto a screen for the board to review in detail. All of the comments were positive, and in the end, the board supported the efforts of FFT. Of particular importance to me was their acceptance of added marketing responsibilities which will come if a grant is secured and we proceed with our marketing mission.