Alachua County and the City of Gainesville took ownership on Tuesday, September 25, 2018, of the Four Creeks Preserve, a 715-acre property that contributes to the flow of four separate creek systems. Rainfall on the undeveloped block of forestland situated between U.S. 441 and N.W. 43rd Avenue eventually finds its way into Turkey, Blues, Possum, and Hogtown creeks. Ownership by the City and County will help to ensure that these creeks continue to receive good quality water at their source.
View a map of the Four Creeks Preserve.
The property had been owned by a trust for Arthur D. Weiss of Boca Raton. It had once been slated for residential development, but was offered to the Alachua County Forever program by a local Realtor acting on the owner’s behalf. The passage of the Wild Spaces and Public Places funding initiative provided the impetus for the County to enter negotiations to purchase the property.
The City of Gainesville had also identified the property for potential acquisition and was a ready partner to join the County in the purchase. When the final deal was struck, the City contributed $1.5 million for 245 acres along N.W. 43rd Street and adjoining its existing San Felasco Park. The majority of the City’s funding came from its tree mitigation fund.
The County purchased the remaining 470.54 acres for $2,882,965.64. The County’s share came from the Wild Spaces and Public Places fund generated by the eight-year, one-half-cent sales tax passed by voters in 2016. Four Creeks Preserve is the first Alachua County Forever project to use this funding. The program acquires and manages lands to protect their natural resource values and to provide for nature-based recreation.
The property is predominately pine flatwoods interspersed with about 230 acres of wetlands. In addition to the ecological values on site, the tract form a part of a natural corridor on the north side of Gainesville.
Staff from the City and County will coordinate on the management of their respective properties. Plans by the County include the development of parking, a trailhead, and trail system to be open to the public before October 2019.
For more information, contact Alachua County Parks and Conservation Lands Director Charlie Houder at 352-264-6804.