Lake Kissimmee State Park biking trail will honor the late Rep. Kristin Jacobs

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The late lawmaker and environmental champion passed away last year following a cancer battle.

A six-mile mountain biking trail in Lake Kissimmee State Park has been dedicated to the late Rep. Kristin Jacobs, who spent much of her legislative career focused on the state’s environmental issues.

That trail — which also serves as a hiking trail — was dedicated to Jacobs Saturday, the anniversary of her death.

Jacobs served as a board member for the Florida State Parks Foundation in addition to her service in the House. The Foundation works on preservation, education and volunteer initiatives to help sustain the 175 state parks located throughout Florida.

“Kristin enjoyed Lake Kissimmee State Park as a camper, hiker, and cyclist,” said Florida State Parks Foundation President Gil Ziffer. “Standing here, you are connected to the headwaters of the Everglades ecosystem, an irreplaceable resource that she worked to protect for generations to come.”

The Florida Legislature is also seeking to honor Jacobs this Session. Both chambers have approved a measure renaming the Southeast Coral Reef Ecosystem Conservation Area after Jacobs. Now, Lake Kissimmee State Park will also aim to preserve the lawmaker’s memory.

“Kristin loved this park — spent many summers with her children there — and loved this trail,” added political operative Steve Vancore, Jacobs’ partner.

“It is perfectly fitting that a trail in her honor sits at the headwaters of the Everglades, which she spent so much time fighting for. On behalf of her family, a big thank you to both the Foundation and the State Park Service for their spirit and generosity in making this happen,” Vancore said.

Jacobs fought for environmental protection up to her final days. Toward the end of the 2020 Legislative Session, Jacobs helped push through a measure banning the import and export of shark fins in Florida.

The Legislature approved that bill, renaming it the “Kristin Jacobs Ocean Conservation Act.” Jacobs died the next month. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the legislation into law last September.

“We were privileged to have had such a dynamic and energetic board member. She will be greatly missed, but this trail is a fitting tribute to ensure her legacy continues,” Ziffer added.

“As a Broward County Commissioner, Mayor and state Rep., Kristin Jacobs devoted herself to the preservation of Florida’s natural wonders. She fought for our environment and pushed to ensure public access to Florida’s lands and waters.”

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


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