WUFT News

Alachua County Barr Hammock preserve hosts grand opening

By on February 5th, 2013

Alachua County residents can now explore a 6.5-mile loop trail on Levy Prairie. The northern part of the Barr Hammock Levy Prairie Preserve opened Feb. 2.

“The trail is especially good for mountain biking, but I’ve also seen a baby stroller roll along it,” said Busy Shires Byerly, the assistant executive director of Conservation Trust for Florida.

Barr Hammock, the southern part of the preserve, is predicted to open in 18 months.

The 5,719-acre preserve is located in south central Alachua County and is about one mile from the Alachua-Marion county line.

Alachua County purchased the Barr Hammock half of the preserve for $10 million in 2006 and the Levy Prairie half for $4 million 2009.

Funds came from the Alachua County Forever Bond, Florida Communities Trust Grant, North American Wetland Conservation Act Grant, Wild Spaces Public Places sales tax, the Southwest Florida Water Management District and a donation from the Whitehurst family.

Previously, the land was privately owned and used for cattle ranching in the ‘90s.

“The preserve is important because it creates greenways,” Byerly said.

A greenway occurs when one existing natural area is connected to another. The preserve connects the Ocala National Forrest and Paynes Prairie to the Goethe State Forrest.

At least 27 species of animals and plants protected by the state live within the preserve.

The completed preserve will include two observation platforms, a horseshoe pit, a tetherball court and educational classes to promote environmental protection.

Kristen Morrell wrote this story online.


This entry was posted in Environment and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Environment

Swallowtail_one

Food Safety Guidelines Could Alter Sustainable Farm

A new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) by the FDA may pose a challenge to farmers who are using an alternative fertilizer.


Onna Maya Meyer, of Alachua, hoops at the 
Swallowtail Farm Country Fair Saturday evening.

GALLERY: Swallowtail Farm Hosts County Fair

Swallowtail Farm held its 5th annual country fair at its farm just north of Alachua on Saturday.


The FWC restocked the lake’s depleted largemouth bass population with 100,000 bass fingerlings, but it’ll take at least a year or two before the fish mature and the depleted population is
restored.

Orange Lake Levels Rising for First Time in More Than a Decade

After years of drought, this year’s rainfall has restored Orange Lake’s water levels.


Little River Springs County Park, located 3.5 miles north of Branford, Fla., is one of the springs protection and restoration projects recently approved by the Suwannee River Management District Governing Board. The refurbishments will repair the eroding shoreline damaged by river floods over the years.

Little River Springs County Park Will Receive More Than $100,000 In Restorations

The Suwannee River Water Management District has formed a partnership with the county for large repairs to take place in Little River Springs County Park near Branford. After river flooding, the park needs refurbishments to bank failures and damage to the spring bed.


A Florida gopher tortoise in its natural habitat. A new app by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will receive geographic locations of the threatened species through user-generated images.

Florida Aims to Protect Gopher Tortoises with App

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission developed an app that will help scientists gather data on the locations of gopher tortoises. The app could help better track the threatened species.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments