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Florida Park Service allows advertising at 7 state trails
The Florida Park Service is moving ahead with a plan to allow advertising at seven state trails, including the Blackwater Heritage Trail in Milton.
Some people are upset, saying that trails aren't the place for advertising
But as Christina Leavenworth reports, the choice was close the trails, or allow advertising. Advertising won.
If you walk or bike along the Blackwater Heritage State Trail, its very peaceful with all the nature, the birds chirping and every once in awhile, you see a sign like this one. But come mid September, you will see corporate advertising all along the trail.
"It's a long trail...Rest areas every three miles..."
Frank Levanti walks out here a few days a week.
"Theres a lot of trees, birds, and all kind of good stuff...:"
Soon he'll also be seeing ads along the way too. The Department of Environmental Protection won't say who is advertising and how much money they expect the signs to bring in.
"It would be nice if they found other sources..."
Mark Woolson runs Truly Spokin, a bike shop at the beginning of the trail. The initial reaction from many people was "no way."
"One of the reason for going out there is to get away from hustle, now you are bring that element back into the situation..."
The DEP is trying to make the sponsorship ads blend in. The signs would only be at access points and at the trailhead, and the size would be limited to 4 by 4 feet.
"If they have to do that for funding, I guess that be fine as long as its tastefully done, not obtrusvie and obnoxiously done."
They will finish negotiations with potential advertisers by Sept. 7th. Christina Leavenworth, Channel Three News.