The Friends of the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas Research Reserve received a donation of $1,000 from JTC Running, the largest running club in Northeast Florida. For the past five years, the club has conducted its “Back to Nature Trail Races” in the state park.
The donation was presented by JTC Running President Larry Roberts (center) to Ellen Leroy-Reed, executive director of Friends of the GTM Reserve (left), and Lia Sansom, assistant manager of the GTM Research Reserve (right).
“JTC Running has been a welcome contributor to Friends of the GTM Reserve for several years now, helping us to support and enhance environmental education, stewardship of natural and cultural resources, and scientific research at the reserve,” said Leroy-Reed.
The focus of the race is for people to get out and enjoy the area, according to a statement from the club. However, the 2016 event held in December was so successful, the club has already scheduled the next run for Sunday, December 3, 2017.
“One of JTC Running’s missions is to provide funds to worthy running-related events or causes in the area,” said Roberts. “We appreciate the use of the trails at the GTM Research Reserve. Besides, we feel it’s a great resource for the area and want to support it.”
The Friends of the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas Research Reserve is a private non-profit citizen support organization. The Friends was established to enhance environmental education, stewardship of natural and cultural resources, and scientific research through volunteer initiatives, citizen involvement and community partnerships. The Research Reserve is one of 29 National Estuarine Research Reserves across the nation; focused on researching, educating and protecting the natural biodiversity and cultural resources within the estuary. It is managed by the Florida Coastal Office of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.