PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — On Sunday, Pensacola city leaders, the A1S Foundation, Visit Pensacola and the Historic Pensacola Trust all gathered at Plaza Ferdinand for the America’s 1st Settlement Trail Ribbon Cutting.
Michael Carro said they started this project a year ago, with the inspiration behind the trail being the Freedom Trail in Boston.
“Myself, Rob Overton and Ross Pristera all met a year ago a came up with the idea,” Carro said. “One year later, on our city’s birthday, we are having the ribbon cutting. We are super excited about it.”
Carro thanked several people whom he said the project wouldn’t have happened without. He thanked the board, Rob Overton, Ross Pristera, Charletha Powell and Darien Schaefer. Carro went on to thank the City of Pensacola.
“It took one phone call to Mayor Robinson and he said it was a great idea, let’s get it done,” Carro said. “Then, he put it in the hands of David Forte and Amy Tootle and they did an amazing job. Without them, we could not have done this. Of course, they have their own support staff that did an amazing job helping us get this off of the ground. Every single member of the city council has donated from their discretionary fund to make this happen so we are grateful for them. We also had two county commissioners, Robert Bender and Jeff Bergosh that donated, as well.”
The trail is a three-mile marked path through downtown Pensacola and the Pensacola Historic District. Along this trail are twenty stops and over seventy points of interest. Along the trail, you will see sites from as early as 1756, when the Spanish built Fort San Miguel in what is now downtown Pensacola.
“This is phase one of the project,” Carro said. “Eventually, we are going to have four offshoots, which will be the North Hill Preservation District, the East Hill Preservation District, the African American Trail that goes into Belmont DeVilliers and then the Maritime Trail. So, this is just the beginning of a long journey to bring a historical awareness to Pensacola.”
Overton said when Carro came to him with the idea, he thought it was great.
“I thought it would help us fulfill our mission at the Historic Trust,” Overton said. “This allows us to take history outside the boundary of our museums and helps us share the wonderful history in these communities. I see this as something that can continue to help the economy here but also help preserve the history.”
Mayor Grover Robinson said they are working hard to make sure the story of all of Pensacola is being told.
“I think the exciting part of this is where it goes from here and the ability we have to tie it into so many other trails,” Robinson said. “We are going to be able to tie in and show much more of our history all the way around. It’s something we have been trying to do in a very positive way. I have been on that Boston Trail, as well, so when Michael came to talk to me about this idea, I knew it would be a good idea. This is a great day for Pensacola.”
For more information about the A1S Trail, click here.