Media Release

Saturday Guided Walk

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 4:10 PM

ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Florida Trail Association and the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department are co-hosting a hiking event at Watermelon Pond Preserve on Saturday, September 24, 2011, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Families, scout groups and other members of the community are invited to attend the event. Attendees will meet at the Watermelon Pond County Boat Ramp Park (10700 SW 250th Street, Newberry), and should bring: water, bug spray, a hat, hiking shoes, binoculars and a camera. 

The hike will be lead by Florida Trail Association’s executive director, Dennis Miranda and Alachua County Forever staff. Before the hike, Dennis Miranda will discuss the benefits of hiking including, wellness, and nature observation among other passive uses. Susie Hetrick, Senior Environmental Specialist with the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department will give a brief overview of Watermelon Pond Preserve, and the importance of conservation lands in the area.

The 520-acre Watermelon Pond Preserve was acquired through the Alachua County Forever Program to improve and manage environmentally significant lands, to protect water resources, wildlife habitats and natural areas suitable for resource-based recreation. Natural communities hikers will enjoy include sandhill upland lake, basin marsh, depression marsh, mesic hammock, and wet prairie. 

The Florida Trail Association is a non-profit conservation organization whose mission is to construct, maintain and manage trails throughout the state of Florida.   

For more information, contact Alachua County Sr. Environmental Specialist, Susie Hetrick at 352-264-6835 or or Lauraine Lynch at 352-378-8823 or



If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).