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The Power of Effective Partnerships

Extension Education

Brittany Council-Morton
Urban Horticulture Extension Agent
University of Florida/IFAS


The Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail, spanning over 35 miles, winds through some of the most captivating and ecologically diverse landscapes in coastal central Florida. This area offers immediate access to multiple water bodies, various parks, as well as barrier island dunes, and beaches.

However, it faces threats from development, increased traffic, aging tree canopies, and natural impacts. In response, the Volusia County Council launched the ReGrow the Loop initiative in June 2023, led by the University of Florida/IFAS Extension Volusia County office, and supported by state and local partners invested in the Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail. This initiative aims to educate residents of the loop on the importance of restoring and enhancing the natural beauty of the loop. The objective of this presentation is to showcase how Extension established partnerships to effectively engage residents.

In collaboration with these partners, we organized over twenty educational events, both formal and in-formal. The partners were instrumental in providing expertise and topic relevancy. In addition to these events, social media posts and blogs were created to educate residents about invasive species. Partners embarked on in-person outreach to encourage residents to commit to the ReGrow the Loop pledge, indicating their intention to implement practices to restore and protect the natural resources of the loop. Monthly partner meetings were held to review initiative progress, social media engagement and pledge counts, share organizational updates, and plan future events.

The ReGrow the Loop initiative, through partnerships, notably engaged over 500 individuals from nine different cities throughout the county, with 70% actively participating in multiple events, and 209 committing to the pledge. This demonstrates a widespread dedication to the program. These collaborative efforts widened resource availability, strengthened community ties, that created, and rekindled new and existing partnerships that boosted the initiative's outreach. Collectively, these strategies have been pivotal in showcasing the effectiveness of united community actions towards the ReGrow the Loop mission. With partner buy-in they can continue to support and maintain the enthusiastic interest of this pilot program.

Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted only for display at AM/PIC. Poster is not to be judged, but the abstract will be published in the proceedings.

A poster file has not been provided

Authors: Brittany Council-Morton, Kalan Taylor, Karen Stauderman
  1. Council-Morton, B. Urban Horticulture Extension Agent, University of Florida/IFAS Extension, Florida, 32724
  2. Taylor, K. Natural Resources Extension Agent, University of Florida/IFAS Extension, Florida, 32724
  3. Stauderman, K. Commercial Horticulture Extension Agent, University of Florida/IFAS Extension, Florida, 32724