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

Florida Forever Program Confirms 2015 Priority List

The Florida Forever Program, a land acquisition program, hopes to obtain 119 new properties, many of which located in North Central Florida. The lands are assessed based on several criteria to determine their environmental value.


Although the grove is currently closed to visitors, signs and maps still stand to display the historic site.

Historic Orange Grove’s Fate Undecided

The historic Carney Island orange grove has switched caretakers’ hands many times, but the Marion County Board of Commissioners now must face a decision on its future owners and use.


The redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus, killed by a fungus founded by a team of UF researchers in order to stop the spread of laurel wilt, a disease that kills several tree species.

Solution Found For Disease Threatening Avocado Production

UF Researchers and researchers from the Tropical Research and Education Center, USDA and the Indian River Research and Education Center in Fort Pierce have found an alternate way to control the spread of Laurel wilt, a disease that threatens Florida’s avocado industry.


This octagon-based receptacle, which looks as if its been opened, sits in front of Dragonfly Sushi in downtown Gainesville. Morgan Kalish, a downtown worker, smokes a cigarette as he walks by it on Monday morning.

Cigarette Receptacles Making Impact Downtown

The local Cigarette Litter Prevention Program is seeing success after the installation of more than two dozen cigarette receptacles in the downtown area. The program hopes to expand into midtown, despite vandalization by the homeless.


Skeletonization of a Gainesville air potato leaf shows why the air potato beetle is considered one of the most successful biocontrol approaches in recent decades compared to other projects — current or past.

Plant-Eating Beetle: Cheapest Way To Kill Weeds

The FWC has seen recent success in controlling invasive plants that overrun Florida with the use of air potato beetles, and other beetle 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
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments