Chapter News


8/12/2020 – Coordinating Committee Votes to Resume Trail Maintenance Activities
Roger Doherty, Activity Coordinator

The Chapter Coordinating Committee met on-line on August 12 to discuss chapter business, including whether we should resume hikes and other activities. FTA Headquarters had issued revised COVID-19 Operating Procedures on July 30 which discusses wearing masks, social distancing, carpooling and other procedures. The guidelines put a lot of responsibility on activity leaders to ensure that activities will be safe.

There were mixed opinions on whether or not to resume conducting activities among committee members. Rather than making a hasty decision, I was asked to check with the local parks’ offices to see if the participation levels had changed and then to conduct a poll of activity leaders about their desire to resume activities.

After emailing representatives of both the county and city parks’ departments, they confirmed that they were still limiting activities at their facilities to 10 people. This information and a summary of the new procedures was included with the poll that was emailed to activity leaders. By a 2-to-1 margin, the activity leaders who responded to the poll said that they were either unable to conduct hikes and other activities at this time or did not want to lead hikes until the infection numbers related to the virus are lowered. However, a number of section leaders said that they either wanted to resume monthly maintenance activities or they were going to work alone on the sections they were responsible for maintaining.

After reviewing the results of the poll, the chair sent an email to all officers asking them to vote on one of three alternatives: 1) Do not resume any activities at this time, 2) Resume trail maintenance activities only, or 3) Resume all activities. The majority of the committee voted to resume trail maintenance activities only. So, section leaders can now hold work parties, but the chapter will not sponsor hikes and other activities until the COVID-19 numbers are reduced further.

Training for activity leaders on the new FTA procedures is being developed. Activity leaders will be notified when the on-line training is scheduled.

1/1/2020 – The Apalachee Chapter of the FTA needs to elect 2020-22 Officers at the March 2020 meeting. According to the bylaws, we need to present a slate of officers for election at the February 2020 meeting. James Kimbrel has agreed to serve another term as the Chapter Treasurer. Debbie Grant has agreed to serve as the Membership Coordinator. Unfortunately, Ray Cade has served two terms as the Activity Coordinator, and cannot serve again. We are therefore, looking for a volunteer to serve as our Activity Coordinator. More Information:


10/25/2019 – NOTICE TO HIKERS: The Monkey Creek Bridge along the Sopchoppy River section of the Florida Trail has suffered significant damage and is currently unsafe and closed to hikers. The Florida Trail has been temporarily re-routed around this section to ensure hiker safety and allow crews to assess and repair the bridge. For more info on this and other closures:

3/12/2019 – The Apalachee Chapter held their officer elections. Vote was unanimous.

Our new leadership:

Chair – Elwood McElhaney
Vice-Chair – Dawn Griffin
Treasurer – James Kimbrel
Activities/Programs – Ray Cade
Membership – Debbie Grant
Newsletter/Website – April Edmonds
Publicity – Ron Harrison
Trails – Kent Wimmer
Volunteer Hours- Dawn Brown


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