May 29, 2016

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Prime Nature Properties

Here's a look at some of Florida's most significant conservation lands.

Art Levy | 12/1/2008
The Nature Conservancy has helped preserve 1.2 million acres of Florida land, either through buying parcels itself, facilitating deals for the state to buy land or helping to set up conservation easements.

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See current Florida Forever projects, existing conservation lands and new selected projects.

  • Point Washington State Forest — Once planned for development, this 18,000-acre Walton County tract includes wet prairie lands, cypress swamps and the world's largest population of Curtiss sandgrass.

  • Big Bend Wildlife Management Area — This 68,000-acre swath along the coast of Levy, Dixie, Taylor and Jefferson counties includes seagrass beds, crucial to the state’s commercial and sport fishing industries.

  • Annutteliga Hammock — On the surface, these 10,000 acres support a classic sandhill habitat. The springs below, including Weeki Wachee and Homosassa, help recharge the Florida aquifer and provide drinking water.

  • Fisheating Creek Ecosystem — Formerly Lykes Brothers land, this 61,505-acre tract is home to dry prairie land, flatwood forests and many birds including the Florida scrub jay, the Florida grasshopper sparrow and the crested caracara.

  • Talisman Everglades Ag Restoration Area —Purchased from the St. Joe. Co. in the 1990s, this 55,000-acre tract has been crucial to Everglades-restoration efforts.

  • Model Lands Basin — South and east of Miami, these 14,000 help to buffer Everglades National Park and sea grass beds along Biscayne Bay.

  • DuPuis Reserve — Located two miles from eastern shore of Lake Okeechobee, these 22,000 acres include pine flatwoods, cypress swamps, wet prairies and freshwater marshes.

  • Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park — These 50,000 acres include numerous creeks that flow into the Kissimmee River, a major source of the Everglades’ water supply.

  • Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve —Located 13 miles from downtown Jacksonville, this 12,500-acre area has salt marshes, coastal dunes, hardwood hammocks and the estuaries of both the St. Johns and Nassau rivers.

Tags: Environment

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