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

Kevlar gloves are used by Gainesville’s Northwest Seafood when filleting lionfish in order to protect against the venomous barbs.

If You Can’t Fight Them, Fry Them

Lionfish are being pushed to Florida menus following August regulation changes on the venomous invasive species’ importation. While dangerous to catch, they are easy to eat as conservation efforts try to save the reefs by increasing demand for the destructive fish.


lionfish

FWC Attempts to Reduce Lionfish Population

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is concerned with the growing population of lionfish, a destructive species of fish. The FWC hopes to start up new efforts to prevent the further spread of lionfish and work on extraction. Extraction [...]


Former governor Bob Graham (left), Jon Mills (center) and David Hart (right) from the Florida Chamber of Commerce discuss how Amendment 1 would affect Florida in front of an audience at Pugh Hall Sept. 4. Graham, a supporter of the amendment, said Florida should be viewed as a treasure to be protected instead of a “commodity,” while Hart said that passing this amendment could cause some serious implications for balancing the state budget.

Natural Resources Amendment Secures Environmental Funding But Raises Concerns

With almost one million signatures from Florida voters, Amendment 1 – also known as the Florida Land and Water Conservation Amendment – will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot, though not all parties are pleased by this development.


Signs like this one show residents of Hawthorne have serious concerns with Plum Creek Timber Company's plans for development in the area.

Hawthorne Residents Voice Concerns With Development Plans

Southeast Alachua County landowners discuss Plum Creek Timber Company’s proposal to develop parts of the city and express their concerns.


Citrus Greening

Saving Florida Orange Juice: The Search For A Cure For Citrus Greening – The Greening Series, Part 3

Nutrient supplements, root stock additives, genetic modification, heat therapies and a bacterial killer are just a few of the proposed solutions to what has been called the worst disease in history to hit Florida orange groves. Citrus greening, a bacterial [...]


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