US Forest Service

US Forest Service | More than just a trail

More than just a trail

Building stakeholder engagement through elegant design


The last time stakeholders in the development and maintenance of the Florida National Scenic Trail sat together to discuss goals was 1986 when collaborators created the original Comprehensive Plan. Priorities and personalities shifted in the ensuing years until it became clear it was necessary to bring together land holders, trail managers and local conservation groups in order establish new priorities and create a strategy for the near-term evolution of the Trail. Conservation Impact facilitated the convening of stakeholders and managed the creation of a new 5-year strategic plan for the Florida National Scenic Trail.

The strategic plan is a landmark document that provides a framework for focused, collaborative efforts and allocates resources to achieve specific results that benefit both the trail and trail user. The plan also presents a new partnership model that fully engages a diverse group of land managers who are connected to the trail. In order to bring the concepts presented to life and ensure the information would be read, the project team hired Blue Marble to come up with a thoughtful design for its layout.


To appeal to a wide variety of constituents, the strategic plan needed to look less like a government white paper and more like a feature in an issue of National Geographic. To that end, we emphasized beautiful photography and lots of white space to evoke the ambience of the trail as it traverses the Florida coast and inland the expanse of its open spaces. We also incorporated a variety of staff and trail-user photos which gives readers a sense of personal connection and ownership. The publication's landscape orientation connects with the impressive length of the trail but more importantly maximizes optimal readability on screen.


As a printed brochure, the Florida National Scenic Trail Strategic Plan makes the work that has been done tangible for stakeholders. Digital versions of the plan have been widely distributed making it easy to share pertinent information among the partner entities and keep the public engaged. Elements of the brochure have since been used as visual references when providing progress updates. 



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Print and digital publication