NAVIGATION

September 26, 2017

Conservation

Patchwork

Charlotte Crane | 9/1/2006

Tallahassee and Leon County planners for a decade have envisioned preservation of the wetlands and forested uplands of the St. Marks River flood plain, facilitating the purchase of 4,700 acres to add to a patchwork of green spaces that eventually could connect from Georgia to the Gulf.

This summer, the state chipped in by purchasing 2,589 acres from developer St. Joe Co. for conservation and a possible state park. The $10.6-million deal was brokered by The Nature Conservancy. The acreage, largely in Leon County, is part of a 15,000-acre, top-priority Florida Forever project and includes St. Marks River shoreline, cypress trees more than 100 years old and prime habitat for migrant birds and Florida black bear.

"We had pieces of the puzzle,'' says Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department special projects manager Craig Diamond. "This is a major assemblage of other parts of the jigsaw.'' Conservation of the river corridor also will help protect the water quality of the St. Marks and the Floridan Aquifer. "The greater the width of land where you can protect and undertake restoration measures, the more likely the water quality of the river can be protected,'' Diamond says.

St. Joe Co.'s recent announcement of its FloridaWild program, offering restricted- use sale of conservation acreage, attracted significant interest in the St. Marks corridor among private buyers, says Senior Vice President Will Butler. But St. Joe held off on a sale and accepted the state's offer, deeming its plan the "highest, best and proper use.''

Tags: Big Bend, Environment

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single digital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

How a video game might help us build better cities
How a video game might help us build better cities

Part game, part urban planning sketching tool, "Cities: Skylines" encourages people to use their creativity and self-expression to rethink the cities of tomorrow. 

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Are you still being cautious to prevent mosquito-borne diseases? (i.e. protective clothing, insect repellent)

  • Yes, very cautious
  • Sometimes, if I remember
  • No, not worried

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe