Young Leaders for Wild Florida take on the proposed toll roads at the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council (NCFRPC) at their monthly meeting at Lake City on June 27, 2019.
We have written two previous posts about them, which can be seen at “Young people against the mine: a lesson in civics in the real world.” and
The leader of the group is Oscar Psychas, who is something of a celebrity in his own right: he is one of eight youths suing the State of Florida over climate change, and in 2017 he walked solo from Gainesville to Tallahassee to garner attention for the environment. He has hiked in Ghana and Spain and is of Finnish descent.
Ivan Landaeta Elizabeth Walker
Makena Lang Christian Landaeta
Noah Turner Anna Slayton
This group, along with their leader, is to be commended for their interest and hard work in preserving Florida from its environmental threats. The members voted to work on what they selected as the two most important threats to Florida’s environment; the proposed phosphate mine in Union and Bradford counties, and the new controversial toll roads. They also write their own speeches which they present to various county commissioners of affected counties.
OSFR board member Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson speaks to the board about ways to defeat the toll roads.
Executive Director Scott Koons gave the group a warm welcome and gave each speaker plenty of space. The visit to NCFRPC was orchestrated by OSFR board member Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson after the group did a tour of Rum 138.
OSFR finds it very gratifying to see young people active in advocacy for the river and environment. They bring the energy, optimism and exuberance of youth to our cause, so we are especially grateful to Oscar and his group for helping us with our mission.
Alachua County Commissioner Marihelen Wheeler chats with the student group.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-