Little Talbot Island State Park Designated a Leave No Trace Hot Spot

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Boulder, CO- The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics recently designated Florida’s Little Talbot Island State Parkits first 2014 Leave No Trace Hot Spot as part of the nonprofit organization’s campaign to put Leave No Trace into action on public lands across the country. Leave No Trace Hot Spot events will take place June 5-­‐8 at Little Talbot Island State Park.

Located 17 miles from Jacksonville, the popular 2,500-­‐acre state park is one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier islands in northeast Florida. The heavily used Little Talbot Island State Park has experienced visitor‐created impacts in recent years. Trash, damage to vegetation and trees, fishing waste such as lines and hooks, water trails from kayaks and canoe pull outs in undesignated areas as well as trail erosion, and user conflicts have damaged the park. All these factors have led to the Little Talbot Island’s designation as the Leave No Trace Hot Spot for 2014. 

In its fourth year, the Leave No Trace Hot Spot programs raise awareness about natural areas around the country facing the threat of irreversible environmental damage. As part of the initiative, The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, a national organization that protects outdoors by teaching people how to enjoy it responsibly, works with volunteers, nonprofit organizations, friends groups and governmental agencies to reduce the impact of recreational activities in the selected endangered area. This goal is achieved through community outreach, education, training, signage, educational materials and local collaboration.

The Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers will work with key park staff, volunteers, and the general public to implement Leave No Trace programs at Little Talbot Island State Park. The following is a list of events happening at the park that are open to the public: 

  • Saturday June 7th: National Trails Day: Come volunteer at the park for the North Beach Cleanup. Starts at 9:00am. Big Talbot Island State Park.
  • Saturday Evening Program: Campfire Talk: Join the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers for an evening program at the park’s campground. For overnight campers only.
  • Sunday June 8th: Family Hike: 10am at the Dune Ridge Trailhead. The Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers and a local park ranger will lead a 4-mile hike through the park. The hike will take 1.5-2 hours, so bring water, sunscreen, bug spray, and snacks.
  • Sunday June 8th: North Beach Outreach at 1 pm: Come by North Beach to chat with the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers about ways to protect the places you play around the park. (Dune Ridge Trailhead and North Beach are located in Little Talbot Island State Park, 12157 Heckscher Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32226)

“This is an important initiative on many levels,” according to Tracy Howard, a Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers. “The great love and popularity of Little Talbot Island State Park as well as the tangible human-­‐created impacts to the island make this a perfect candidate for broad Leave No Trace education.”

About Leave No Trace

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics in a national nonprofit program that protects the outdoors by teaching people how to enjoy it responsibly. Their Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers are mobile teams educators that visit 48 states every year delivering Leave No Trace programs such as Hot Spots. For more information, visit: www.LNT.org.

About the Park

Talbot Island State Parks includes 7 different Florida state parks that span the coastal region north of Jacksonville to the southern tip of Amelia Island. These parks include Amelia Island State Park, George Crady Fishing Pier State Park, Big Talbot Island State Park, Little Talbot Island State Park, Ft. George Cultural Island State Park, Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park and Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park. To learn more, please visit http://www.floridastateparks.org/littletalbotisland/ or contact the Ranger Station at (904) 251-­‐2320.

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