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DCA to award $63 million in Florida Forever funding to local projects

By Staff | Sep 5, 2008

Places that define the heart and soul of Florida will be protected for future generations when the Department of Community Affairs this week selects natural, cultural, historic and recreational jewels for Florida Forever funding through the Florida Communities Trust program.

Ninety-one local and regional parks, natural areas and recreation spaces throughout the Sunshine State will compete for Florida Forever funding at the Florida Communities Trust Governing Board’s Annual Selection meeting on Thursday, Sept. 4. These special places were submitted during the 2008 Florida Forever grant cycle and have been evaluated and scored by the FCT staff.

Florida Communities Trust makes $63 million per year available through the Florida Forever program. Unlike other Florida Forever components, FCT grants are directed to projects identified by local communities to further the vision expressed in their comprehensive plans. A community is eligible to receive up to $6.3 million. This year, communities requested a total of more than $260 million from the Trust.

The local governments and non-profit environmental organizations who have applied for funding will have an opportunity to make a presentation highlighting the unique characteristics of their projects before the Governing Board on Thursday. Taking staff recommendations and noteworthy aspects of the projects into account, the Board will determine the final scores and ultimately determine which of these local treasures will receive Florida Forever funding this year.

The meeting will take place beginning at 9 a.m. in the city of Tallahassee Commission Chambers, 300 South Adams St.

Here are the 10 projects with the highest scores going into Thursday’s meeting:

— Steinhatchee Fish Market, Taylor County

— Doral North Park Phase II, city of Doral

— Legacy Park, city of Venice

— Long’s Landing Estuary, city of Palm Coast

— Inland Groves Phase II, city of Clermont

— Stanaki Property, city of Port Orange

— Galt Preserve Addition, Lee County

— Clifton S. Perry Beach, Martin County

— Sarasota Jungle Gardens, Sarasota Conservation Foundation

— Cypress Creek Natural Area Phase IV, Palm Beach County

(A list of all 91 projects is available at http://www.floridacommunitydevelopment.org/fct/ )