Historic City News was informed by St. Johns County spokeswoman Karen Pan, that The William Bartram Scenic and Historic Highway has been recognized recently with several awards for its Master Plan and website www.BartramScenicHighway.com.
The William Bartram Scenic and Historic Highway was recognized for “Outstanding Master Plan” from the First Coast Section of the American Planning Association, Florida Chapter. Additionally, the Highway’s website received Honorable Mention from the same group, as well as the “Public Education Award” from the First Coast Chapter of the Florida Planning and Zoning Association.
The William Bartram Scenic and Historic Highway (WBSH), located on State Road 13 between Julington Creek and State Road 207, was first recognized by the State Legislature in the 1980’s with suitable markers placed along the roadway. In the late 1990’s, as development in northwest St. Johns County increased, citizens led the effort to protect the corridor’s natural and cultural resources by having it formally designated as a state of Florida Scenic Highway.
Development of both the WBSH’s website and Master Plan were funded through a 2006 National Scenic Byway grant from the Federal Highway Administration, secured by St. Johns County. The website is designed to educate the public about the Highway’s intrinsic resources, including historical, archeological, scenic, cultural, natural and recreational. The website also provides information on WBSH activities and helps get the community involved.
The Master Plan is a design document which identifies various corridor improvements along the scenic highway and guides future improvement efforts. The WBSH Master Plan includes components such as traffic calming, public access, park improvements, wayfinding signage and interpretative signs. All of the proposed improvements were designed comprehensively in relationship to one another and with the public’s feedback. Both the website and the Master Plan utilize a common graphic theme, which is being used to brand the WBSH.
The WBSH Corridor Management Council is a non-profit organization, composed of community volunteers, established as the governing body to oversee the implementation of the established goals, objectives and strategies. St. Johns County partners with the Council to provide professional expertise and assist with implementing the Master Plan. The Council meets the second Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm at the St. Johns County Northwest Annex Building, located at 725 Flora Branch Boulevard.