A bill filed in the state legislature in September of last year, approved by the House and Senate in the last session, and then signed by Governor Scott on Friday, will allow the naming and sponsorship of state greenways and trails — so maybe the “Ed Slavin Historical Park, Greenway and Coastal Trail” is in our future.
The new law, formerly SB-268 introduced by Jacksonville Senator Steven Wise, will take effect on July 1 and enables the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to enter into concession agreements for commercial sponsorship displays to be erected on certain state greenway and trail facilities or property.
Over the life of the companion bills as they made their way through the process, special interest and lobbyist for the Florida Trail Association complained the new law would promote commercial sponsorship signs at trails where the public goes to enjoy wilderness settings and natural landscape — without the intrusion of commercialization.
Lawmakers were not inclined to agree; the House approved passage on a vote of 112 to 6 and the Senate approved on a vote of 29 to 4.
The new law provides requirements for concession agreements, specifies which greenways and trails are included in the initial sponsorships, authorizes the department to enter into sponsorship agreements with entities to sponsor other state greenways and trails, provides for distribution of proceeds from the concession agreements and authorizes the department to adopt rules, etc.
The bill that made it to the Governor’s desk allows, with approval by state park officials, sponsorships on any state trails. So, look for the corporate naming of trails and advertising in natural areas at a State Park near you.