In 2002 the Florida's Eden Feasibility Conference laid the groundwork for a regional approach to sustainable economic development in thirty counties of North Florida. Since then Florida's Eden has worked at the confluence of the economy, environment and education to promote the Florida's Eden Plan which places creative talent in the context of the North Florida Region.
Florida's Eden: The Region
The area identified as Florida’s Eden is a thirty county region of north Florida spanning the area from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. The Florida/Georgia state line defines the northern boundary, extending west to the Apalachicola River. The southern counties of Florida’s Eden include Citrus, Marion, Lake and Volusia. Florida’s Eden is a natural bioregion and comprises one growing zone.
Florida's Eden: Counties
Alachua, Baker**, Bradford**, Citrus, Clay, Columbia**, Dixie**, Duval, Flagler*, Franklin*, Gadsen*, Gilchrist**, Gulf*, Hamilton**, Jefferson**, Lafayette**, Lake, Leon, Levy**, Liberty*, Madison**, Marion, Nassau*, Putnam**, St. Johns, Suwannee**, Taylor**, Union**, Volusia, Wakulla*
Counties of Critical Economic Concern, designated REDI by the State of Florida.
** listed 2002 - 2007
* listing added 2007 - 2008
Florida's Eden: The Organization
Florida’s Eden is a nonprofit citizen initiative partnering to unite 30 counties of North Florida, creating one identifiable region for the purpose of protecting our natural resources and building a sustainable and prosperous economy. Founded in 2002, Florida’s Eden uses the power of arts and culture, and the dual assets of our natural environment and creative population, to unite the people of North Florida so that together we can address our most profound educational, economic and environmental challenges. Florida's Eden is an initiative of the Artists Alliance of North Florida, a non-profit 501c3 organization. It grew out of a gathering of some of North Florida’s notable artists, writers, and naturalists convinced that our thirty counties did not have to remain caught in a cycle of chronic poverty brought on by an economy based on the extraction and destruction of our natural resources. The Florida’s Eden Feasibility Conference, held in 2002, brought together leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, and laid the foundations for the Florida’s Eden Plan.
Florida's Eden: The Plan
The Florida’s Eden Plan is a comprehensive framework for establishing North Florida as a cohesive, prosperous and sustainable region. The Florida’s Plan is citizen-based, non-partisan, and provides an inclusive vehicle through which all existing corporate, civic, educational and governmental organizations can cooperate even as they remain autonomous and contribute what they do best. In 2002 Florida’s Eden proposed uniting thirty counties of North Florida into one identifiable region, formed a non-profit organization, and held a feasibility conference attended by corporate, government, education and business leaders from across the region. A strategy emerged that recognizes that our natural resources are our region’s core economic asset. Consensus was reached that North Florida’s thirty counties must begin to act as a region, but that no jurisdictional agency holds the mandate or legal capacity to act regionally. The Florida’s Eden Plan provides an open framework within which everyone can benefit while contributing to the success of the entire region. The Florida’s Eden Plan recognizes that regional success can be achieved by working in ten important areas:
• Workforce Development
• Community and Leadership Development
• Technological and Economic Innovation
• Sustainable Economic Development
• Conservation of Land / Water / Energy
• Asset-based Tourism / Cultural Destination
• High Profile Portrayal in the Media
• Regional Cooperation / Uniting of Local Efforts
• Development of Civic Awareness and Participation
Florida's Eden works at the confluence of the economy, environment and education to build a sustainable and prosperous economy based on the assets of talent and place. Our programs work within broad parterships to recognize and nurture the creative talents of Florida's people and communities; and to foster conservation-first strategies to protect the assets of our natural environment.
Florida's Eden is the registered name of the non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, The Artists Alliance of North Florida, Inc. (AAONF, Inc.) which is registered with the Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services as required by law.
A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL FREE (800) 435-7352 WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.