Land Conservation

"Surface Water or Ground Water... somebody, some day, somewhere is going to have the opportunity to drink that water. Best keep it clean." - Anonymous       Check back for new thoughts and quotes. Send your suggestions to us by clicking here.

Mission Statement:

To acquire, manage and improve environmentally significant lands to protect water resources, wildlife habitat, and to provide natural areas suitable for resource-based recreation.

Vision and Values:

Alachua County Forever will be a conscientious, innovative, progressive leader in land conservation and use acquisition, stewardship and funding development practices to preserve the environmental integrity of Alachua County and improve the quality of life for current and future generations.


  1. To be accountable to the taxpayers.
  2. To acquire the most environmentally significant habitats.
  3. To use a 'No Loss of Conservation Values' stewardship ethic.
  4. To treat partners, landowners and sellers with respect.
  5. To leverage the County's local investment.
  6. To encourage a community land ethic.
Breaking News

Click here for news2/13/2015: City and County Move Forward with Sandhill Habitat Restoration at Boulware Springs Nature Park and Sweetwater Preserve.

The upcoming habitat restoration projects at Boulware Springs Nature Park located at 3300 SE 15 Street and at Sweetwater Preserve located at 95 SE Williston Road will require some temporary trail closures. The long-term goal of the restoration is to bring back the former Sandhill habitat and restore biodiversity to the site.  This work will involve the removal of hardwood trees not native to Sandhill habitat. 
Closed from February 16th will be a portion of the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail adjacent to the park. Users will be re-routed around the closed segment of the trail for the short duration of the active tree removal project.  Additionally the East Trail and Trailhead at Sweetwater Preserve, adjacent to the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail, will be closed for the duration of the restoration project. Click here for a map of the closures. The south entrance to Boulware Springs will remain open, and the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail between Boulware Springs south and east to Hawthorne will not be affected throughout the restoration process.
 For more information, click on this link


Alachua County Forever Project Map and List

Check back regularly for updates from your Land Conservation Program.

ACF project map



General Program Brochure 

Quarterly Reports

ACF Dashboard

Acquisition List protected: 24,089
With Direct ACF funding: 19,430
Remaining on List: 27,236
Under contract: 0
Value of land protected: $105,625,976
County share: $37,671,732
Partner share: $67,954,245
Managed by County: 10,662
Managed by Partners: 8,634
Acreage open now: 12,817
To be opened in next 5 years*: 4,703

*Guided group tours can be arranged in the interim
As of 5/27/2015

Alachua County Forever Program Staff



Sandra Vardaman
Acting Program Manager
Land Conservation Biologist


Kelly McPherson
Sr. Environmental Specialist

 Stephen Montgomery
Sr. Environmental Specialist Forester

David Hoyt
Sr. Environmental Specialist Prescribed Fire

Kevin Ratkus
Environmental Specialist

Bob Kennedy
Environmental Specialist

Rick Campanale
Environmental Specialist

Javier Salazar
Environmental Specialist

Contact Us

  • Land Conservation
  • 408 West University Ave., Suite 106
  • Gainesville, FL 32601
  • Phone: 352-264-6800
  • Fax: 352-264-6852

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