In the Voices of the River series, we take a journey down the St. Johns River and hear from the people who depend on the river for their living, or whose lives are changed because they live close to it.
In the third part of the series we hear from Kraig McLane. He works for the St. Johns Water Management District in Palatka.
McLane also works with the Rails to Trails program to try and encourage more people to connect with the St. Johns River.
“Not everybody has the same type of access with motor boats or a yacht,” McLane said.
He says trails are important so Palatka residents can have a better appreciation for the river.
“I think it brings people closer to the river, give[s] them more interaction,” McLane said.
He says there are social and cultural aspects of trails that bring people out.
“People can be socially involved. They can meet one another,” McLane said.
He says the trails can be used for many different purposes including exercise, or using it for transport to work or the store.
“It’s an opportunity that folks have to engage with one another to sort of slow down a little bit in the lifestyle and take a moment and see how everybody’s doing,” McLane said.
He says he hopes people will take advantage of the trails, and spend more time learning about how they can enjoy the river.
The interviews for the Voices of the River series were produced using recordings from the Florida Department of State.