State agrees to advertising along trails

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By The Staff

The Nature Coast Trail may soon be dotted with corporate advertising, according to a Florida Department of Environmental Protection press release put out last week.

The state's park service, run by FDEP, has finalized plans to seek corporate sponsors through acting intermediary Bikepath Country on behalf of the trail, as well as six others in the state.

The signs can only be placed at trail heads, with a size limit of 16 square feet, or at access points, with a size limit of 4 square feet, according to FDEP.

Donald Forgione, director of the Florida Park Service, said he was pleased with the agreement.

"This is an opportunity for corporate sponsors to reach active trail users," he said in a statement.

The plan, however, has, in other parts of the state, drawn both praise and criticism.

Supporters say the signs will be a way to save taxpayer money. Legislators, putting it forth in Senate Bill 268, have been arguing for sponsorship since 2011.

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