The Office of Greenways and Trails recently dropped the Seminole Gulf Railroad Bonita-Estero Trail from their maps, making funds less available for this project.
Bonita Springs and Estero have been working together to have the railroad corridor retained for a 9 mile shared use trail starting on the south side of Estero Parkway traveling south to Bonita Beach Road.
The goal of the two municipalities is to have the Bonita-Estero Trail connect to the statewide system of trails that provide safe, scenic and shady multimodal paths which also promote healthy lifestyles and low impact tourism to the adjacent communities.
Bonita Springs and Estero are asking residents to let the Office of Greenways and Trails know that the Bonita-Estero Trail should be included in the priority trails in their upcoming five-year plan.
A letter is available for you to customize and send to the State below:
Attention: Samantha Browne, Samantha.Browne@dep.state.fl.us
Re: Southern Region Opportunity and Priority Land Trails Map
I urge you to restore the Seminole Gulf Railroad (SGLR) ROW alignment (the “Bonita-Estero Trail”) in the Village of Estero and the City of Bonita Springs as a Priority Trail in the Florida Greenways and Trails system.
Advocacy for Trail project, as an existing Priority Trail, has been the subject of concerted effort by Bonita Springs and Estero during the past year, including unanimous endorsement last March at the first joint meeting of their town councils. Community support is wide. Future connectivity to the Trail was a key component of Bonita Springs recent successful Florida Recreational Trails Program award.
Without the Trail, the Village of Estero will be excluded from the Sun Trail Priority system. The quality of life, health, economic development and tourism benefits of the Trail cannot be overstated. This special and beautiful pathway will connect landmark features in Estero and Bonita Springs, including the Estero River, Koreshan Historic State Park, the planned Estero Village Center, Estero Community Park, Halfway Creek, Coconut Point Town Center, Lee Heath’s new 162,000 square foot cutting edge healthy living facility, Spring Creek, Bonita Springs Center for the Arts, Historic Downtown Bonita Springs, the Imperial River, Riverside Park and Florida Gulf Coast University.