Land Conservation

“There is a delight in the hardy life of the open. There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm. The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value. Conservation means development as much as it does protection.”
- Theodore Roosevelt
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Mission Statement:

To acquire and provide for the stewardship of environmentally significant lands and parks to protect, maintain and improve natural resources and diverse resource-based recreational opportunities for current and future generations.

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 news08/22/2016 1,479 acres of Alachua County Forever Land Control Burned in the 2015-16 Burn Season:

The use of prescribed fire is critical to the ecosystems of Florida and the safety of its citizens.  Not only is it the most cost effective resource management tool, it is used to decrease fuel build-up, it benefits plant and animal diversity, it is required for future propagation of many native plant species, and it decreases the likelihood of wildfires.
Alachua County Forever's prescribed fire program is proud to announce that they had a record year this 2015/2016 burn season with 1,344 acres of in-house burns and an additional 135 acres burned by private contractors, making it a grand total of 1,479 acres on seven preserves!

Alachua County Forever Project Map and List
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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