FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 29, 2015
Media Contact: Aliki Moncrief, Executive Director, (850) 443-7609, [email protected]
Amendment 1 To-Do List for Legislators
Citizens rally for Amendment 1 at nine locations statewide
Orlando and Alachua, FL (May 29, 2015)—On June 1, Florida lawmakers will reconvene for a Special Session in Tallahassee to pass a state budget, which will include the first year of funding under Amendment 1. Amendment 1, the Water and Land Conservation Amendment, is the constitutional amendment Florida voters overwhelmingly approved by 75 percent last November “to acquire and restore Florida conservation and recreation lands.”
Citizens throughout the state are rallying on Saturday, May 30 to send their legislators off to the Capitol to finish the job they started: honor the voters’ intent on Amendment 1 by funding Florida Forever, Everglades restoration, and springs protection.
“4.2 million voters resoundingly voted ‘Yes’ on Amendment 1 to protect our land, our water, and our wildlife,” said Laurie Macdonald of Florida Defenders of Wildlife. “We urge lawmakers to significantly increase funding in the budget they pass under Amendment 1 for protecting our parks and wildlife habitat through the Florida Forever program. Florida Forever is one of the most popular, enduring, and important state programs ever.“
“When it comes to Amendment 1, the Legislature has a very short ‘To Do’ list when they return to Tallahassee,” said Aliki Moncrief of Florida’s Water and Land Legacy. “1. Fund Florida Forever, 2. Fund Everglades restoration by acquiring land south of Lake Okeechobee, 3. Protect our springs. It’s what the voters wanted. It’s what they voted for when they said ‘Yes’ on Amendment 1.”
In Orlando and Alachua, Amendment 1 supporters are calling on state lawmakers to allocate more money for established conservation programs like Florida Forever and fewer dollars to general operating expenses, which they believe is a misuse of Amendment 1 funds. Florida Forever projects like the Wekiva-Ocala Greenway and the First Magnitude Springs have languished without funding for years, which is the problem that voters sought to solve by approving Amendment 1.
WHEN: 10am – 11am
WHERE: Eagle’s Nest Park, 5165 Metrowest Blvd, Orlando, FL 32811
- Samuel Ings, City of Orlando Commissioner, District 6
- Retired State Senator Winston W. “Bud” Gardner
- James Adamski, Friends of the Wekiva River
- Pat Grierson, League of Women Voters of Orange County
- Marge Holt, Sierra Club
- Penny Villegas, Peace and Justice Institute, Valencia College
- Deborah Green, Orange Audubon Society
- Speakers will be added as we receive confirmations.
PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS: Orange Audubon Society, Friends of the Wekiva River, Sierra Club, the League of Women Voters of Orange County
VISUALS: Scenic views of Eagle’s Nest Park, which was acquired for the public through the Florida Communities Trust and Florida Forever programs. Amendment 1 supporters rallying for water and land conservation. Speakers will be available for on-camera interviews.
WHEN: 10am – 11am
WHERE: 15935 NW US HWY 441, Alachua, FL 32615 (Parking at Lowes, Sonny’s BBQ, or other nearby lots.)
- Rep. Clovis Watson, JR. – Florida House Representative District 20
- Jill Heinerth, Cave Diver
- Stephen Robitaille, Florida Defenders of the Environment
PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS: Florida Springs Council, Our Santa Fe River, Florida Springs Institute, Save Our Suwannee
VISUALS: This stretch of Highway 441 marks the gateway to Springs Country, with hundreds of locals traveling to get to the springs on Saturday morning. Amendment 1 supporters will be rallying to protect our springs. Speakers will be available for on-camera interviews.
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Great news! It appears there is a good chance that Blue Springs in Gilchrist County on the Santa Fe River will become a state park. The date in Tallahassee is June 19, and the time to act is now. At the end of this post is a list of the Acquisition and Restoration Council (called ARC), council and staff members. Please write to any or all of them to request that they purchase this spring and surrounding land. Blue Springs seems made to order for what the people had in mind when they voted in Amendment 1.
Go to this link to see all the contact info to let the ARC member know how you feel. They are interested in your opinion.