20 Dec Tread Lightly! Impact Report: Ocala National Forest Improvement Project
Florida Project #2
Project: Ocala National Forest Improvement Project
Location: Ocala National Forest, Florida
Description: This project was funded by Can-Am Off-Road. Can-Am has committed to funding four trail stewardship projects in the state of Florida in partnership with Tread Lightly! to help maintain and improve access to public lands and off-road trails.
Over December 9 and 10, 2022, over a dozen volunteers and staff from the US Forest Service gathered to support some of the 198 miles of OHV trails throughout the Ocala National Forest by updating old and missing signage and directional markers and installing bollard posts.
The volunteers replaced faded and missing stickers from existing Carsonite posts and installed new Carsonite posts with trail identification stickers, trail intersection (crossing) stickers and authorized vehicle stickers. This signage restoration is key to the safety of riders that are operating in this area of the Ocala National Forest.
The volunteers also helped renovate the 88 Store Corral in the forest. The base of the 88 Store is home to a corral for ATV and UTVs. Here, riders can get fuel, food and a cold drink. This corral had been overtaken by grass, briars, shrubbery and other ground cover. The team of volunteers trimmed back all of the ground cover to expose the corral entrance and fencing so OHV riders could use the area easily, helping them to avoid parking on the trails. The project also included digging holes to install 10 bollard posts across trail locations to keep OHV riders on-trail. Despite working on trails that supported only ATV and UTV vehicles, five volunteers who are full-size 4×4 users lent a hand on the project.
Thank you to the partners that supported this project:
- Can-Am Off-Road
- US Forest Service
- RideNow Ocala
“For many years I wondered how I could best get involved and hopefully make a positive impact on our environment. It wasn’t until I found out about Tread Lightly!, that such an opportunity arose and I immediately jumped on and joined the organization. Now just wrapping up my first event in Ocala National Forest and meeting wonderful like-minded people I just know we can continue to raise awareness, help in clean-ups and honestly I can’t wait for what is next to come.” Felix Lopez, Volunteer