Floridas Eden was founded in 2002 in order to put the 30 counties of North Florida on the map as a cohesive region; and to put forth the concept that its primary assets of PLACE, PEOPLE AND TALENT must to be safeguarded and nurtured if the region is to overcome longstanding challenges and achieve prosperity in the 21st century. The framework for developing the areas asset-based creative economy received recognition by economist Richard Florida in 2006.

The Florida’s Eden plan is on the leading edge of the international movement for developing regional creative economies. Creativity is a tremendous engine for economic growth and the Florida’s Eden plan is unique in its awareness of the many commonly experienced pitfalls and challenges. This plan is an inclusive, open, and neutral agency developed specifically to address the problems of income disparities, rural isolation, and a degraded environment and quality of life. As a plan which encourages cooperation and partnerships, Florida’s Eden merits attention, as it allows individuals to participate without losing their own identity, control and investment. In short, in bringing prosperity and improved quality of life, this is the work we would like to see happening in communities around the country.

Richard Florida

Working at the confluence of the environment (place), the economy (people) and education (talent) Floridas Eden has portrayed the regions assets through the arts, Primavera Florida, and the online Floridas Eden Source. Two online scenic guides showcase the unique treasures and local economy in 7 North Florida counties. Water is the singular key environmental treasure of North Florida and the heartland of Floridas over 1000 natural springs. The Blue Path is the water awareness component of Floridas Eden, while the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute headed by Dr. Robert Knight, PhD, obtained its start under the Floridas Eden umbrella and in 2013 gained independence as its own non-profit organization.

The Ichetucknee Classroom Model was developed in partnership with Fort White Middle and High Schools in Columbia County. This cross-disciplinary model links school and local environment, allowing students to learn about their own backyard while integrating learning of math, science, English, social studies, web design and more.

In 2012 Floridas Eden launched GainesvilleConnect.com on behalf of a consortium of organizations. This new portal to Alachua County represents a consensus that the creative economy has come of age and that all facets of place, people and talent must be portrayed in order to foster quality employment, education, investment and innovation in the region.

To learn more about Floridas Eden and to support or become involved in any of our programs please contact us.