Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park
The Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park - through the cooperative efforts of the Northwest Florida Water Management District, the City of Tallahassee, and the property owner, Colin Phipps - was purchased in October of 1992. It is a beautiful 670 acre tract of land on the eastern shore of Lake Jackson.
The City purchased 162 acres outright, containing two existing active recreation areas. The Meadows Soccer Complex on Millers Landing Road will continue to function as a youth and adult soccer facility, and the Meridian Park area has been re-developed as a multi-use youth sports complex. The vast majority of the park, over 600 acres, will be utilized for passive forms of recreation and environmental education.
Invasive Plant Education/Volunteer Program Events
For camaraderie, fun, healthy exercise, and the satisfaction of doing something good for the environment, consider participating in this event, which is part of a series of sessions for everyone - all ages - interested in the outdoors. Learn the importance of addressing the problem of invasive plants, with a particular focus on Coral Ardisia (CA), which is currently smothering much of the understory of this beautiful park and many other areas throughout Florida and Georgia.
The event involves a short (0.5m) hike during which you will learn, via hands-on work (great exercise!), how to remove CA. If time permits, we will also hike to a nearby area where CA is almost under control. Lunch will be provided at the end of the event by an anonymous donor.
Experts from local chapters of the Florida Native Plant Society and the Florida Trail association, along with the Northwest Florida Water Management District, The Nature Conservancy, and the City of Tallahassee will be on hand to teach you how to identify at least 4 species of exotic invasive plants that can be found there, different methods for removing them safely, and how to distinguish them from native plants.
At lunch (~30 min), there will be more discussion about why this effort is important, how you can help in different ways appropriate for different activities (e.g., hiking, cycling, walking, your own back yard), how to report invasive plant sightings (http://www.eddmaps.org/). If time, you will also learn more about this beautiful park: its rare butterflies, bluebird boxes, artifacts, history, and the Red Hills Horse Trials.
Bring water, bug spray, garden/work gloves, and wear shoes appropriate for hiking. Bring a clipper and/or a shovel (pointed type is best) if you own them.
The next event will be held on March 21. For more information on this event, download the flyer (PDF)
Contact: Karen Berkley, 850-570-5740
Redbug Bicycle Trail Rehabilitation Project
The redbug mountain bike trail is one of the oldest in the city park system. The trail is a 4 mile trail that is the most tight and technical of all the city park trails and is considered to be an upper level intermediate trail. Over the years this trail has suffered from erosion and resultant sedimentation into adjacent streams, water bodies, and native forest communities. Erosion has also taken a toll on the trail surface, exposing more and more tree roots and eroded trail tread. The resultant technical challenge of riding eroded and rooty trails is both welcomed by advanced riders, and disliked by riders who would normally expect to be able to have an enjoyable intermediate level riding experience. Currently, few ride-a-round options are available for lower level intermediate riders to ride along with friends ,or for advanced riders to test their skills riding more technical options above the intermediate level. The constant erosion also makes the trail less predictable because eroded sections constantly change along with riding conditions. Tree roots that provide the predominant technical feature are slippery in wet weather making all weather riding limited.
It is the goal of the Tallahassee Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood affairs department to keep the redbug trail as the "tight and technical" trail in the park trail system. The trail is intended to provide an upper level intermediate riding experience. In addition, options to allow less skilled riders to ride along with those with more skills, whether to help learn and improve their skills or simply enjoying a group riding experience, are desirable aspects on any off road trail. Similarly, more technically challenging advanced options can satisfy advanced riders while also riding with others of intermediate skill. The combination of ride-a-round options along a main intermediate level trail helps riders improve their skills by attempting more challenging sections, learn from more skilled riders, and enjoy a multi-skill level group riding experience.
Sustainability in a trail system means more predictability for riders, much less maintenance needed, and longer trail life span. Accordingly, the redbug trail is scheduled to be refurbished with sustainability and rideability as major goals. While retaining the challenge and tight-technical nature of the trail, trail hardening, rerouting, and added structures will provide the sustainability that will assure the trail will be environmentally sound as well as having a long design life. The general plan for the redbug is to increase technicality for advanced riders while maintaining proper flow for riders of many skill levels. It is possible that very beginner riders may find it necessary to dismount in some sections of the trail as they build the skill necessary to negotiate all sections. While advanced features will be as challenging, or more challenging, as the current trail, advanced sections will be designed so that the trail will continue to flow for riders with the skill to negotiate advanced features.
While the trail design process is not a committee process, local riders will have the opportunity to provide input in the reconstruction at a pre-construction community meeting as well as on the trail during volunteer work day projects. Input via The Tallahassee mountain bike association Facebook page is also encouraged. The redbug trail project is scheduled to begin during the first week of December and construction is estimated to continue for two weeks. The amount and quality of trail work that is accomplished during this period will be directly proportional to the amount of volunteer help and involvement invested. With the proper amount of local support, labor, and helpful input, this project will result in creating one of the most long lasting, technically challenging, enjoyable and environmentally sound signature trails in the southeast. Dates for a pre-construction user meeting and volunteer work projects will be announced on this website, the Capital City Cyclists website, and on the Tallahassee Mountain bike Association Facebook page.
Additional Information (PDF)