REI Awards Grant for River-to-Sea Nature and History Corridor

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DELAND, Fla. (May 29, 2019) The St Johns River-to-Sea Loop Alliance has been awarded a $6,500 grant by local outdoor outfitter REI Co-op of Winter Park.  This grant supports Phase 2 of the “Get Out on the Loop in West Volusia” Project.  Phase 1 resulted in establishing the River to Sea Loop Nature and History Corridor in West Volusia with a map kiosk located at Jacob Brock and DeBary Avenue. 
The Loop, an emerging 260-mile multi-use Florida SUNtrail from Titusville to DeBary to Palatka to St. Augustine and along the Atlantic coast to Titusville, is an undiscovered central Florida ecotourism jewel.

“The project will increase enjoyment and eco-tourism exploration of the St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop Alliance and conitnue formation of River-to-Sea Loop Nature and History Corridor that highlights little known treasures of Central Florida,” said Maggie Ardito, president of the Alliance.

The St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop Alliance will use the grant to identify, plan, and initiate improvements to maps and signs that allow trail users safe access to natural and historical sights, campgrounds and recreation opportunities. Phase 1 of the project focused on Deltona. Deltona has recently been named a Florida Trail Town with a designated state trailhead planned for the Lakeshore Center. Phase 2 will extend to other towns in West Volusia including DeBary, Orange City and DeLand. Future plans include expansion of the corridor to other areas around the Loop. 

Working with Volusia Parks, Recreation and Culture Department, REI, local towns and supporters, the Alliance will hold public meetings and organize volunteers to design and locate maps and signs.

The St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop Alliance ( is a non-profit group dedicated to advancing, advocating, supporting, promoting and protecting the Loop, eco-tourism and agriculture-tourism in Central Florida.

“We support the idea that with the right knowledge and equipment anyone of any age or physical condition can enjoy cycling, hiking and other trail usage,” said Pat Northey, board member and Loop advocate.

REI ( is a national co-op outdoor retailer that supports nonprofit organizations that nurture and create access to outdoor spaces.

“REI shares the Alliance goal of inspiring a lifetime of outdoor adventures and stewardship” said Brigitte Loper, REI’s Winter Park Outdoor Programs and Outreach Market Coordinator. 

People interested in the Loop can contact