OSFR is pleased to celebrate with Alachua Conservation Trust this added protection for the Santa Fe River. This is important to keep the river intact and protect it from development and more pumping.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum
Tucked against the northern portion of Alachua County and fronting the Santa Fe River, Santa Fe River Preserve now totals 1,067 acres of conservation land. The initial negotiations for the first tract of the Preserve started in 2008. Acquisitions were completed in multiple phases over the last decade kicking off in 2012. By the time the public opening was held in November 2017, ACT and Alachua County had acquired 934 acres and protected more than 6 miles along the river. This preserve serves as an anchor for ACT’s work along the Santa Fe River corridor.
Recently, an incredible opportunity to expand this regional treasure by 133 acres came to ACT. The land, located in Bradford County, stretches the Santa Fe River Preserve north across the river, and most importantly, conserves another 1.3 miles of riverfront. This further protects the upper Santa Fe River and establishes a portion of the preserve on the New River – a key tributary to the Santa Fe River.
Along the river frontage of this property there are uncommon trees such as water elm and river birch, as well as a profusion of flowering shrubs including wild azalea. It is home to several endemic species that have disappeared or declined elsewhere.
With funding support from the U.S. Endowment Healthy Watersheds Consortium, a very generous private foundation, private donor loan, and individual donors like you, ACT secured the funds needed to close on this key property in May – safeguarding water resources for several counties in North Central Florida.