ALACHUA COUNTY - A group of Alachua County Forever Volunteers installed two Preservation Area signs at the Phifer Flatwoods Preserve yesterday. Phifer is the eighth property protected by the County through the Alachua County Forever Land Conservation Program. It was purchased by Alachua Conservation Trust last year with private funding and held until the County could work the property through the Alachua County Forever process. Its 645 acres, located between the Gainesville-Hawthorne State Rail Trail and SR20, making it critical for species protection, habitat connectivity and viewshed preservation. Lauren Day, Alachua Conservation Trust's Executive Director, stated, "Phifer Flatwoods is special in that it inspired the community to rally around it to protect it. This project is a great example of the public and private sectors working together to protect Alachua County's special places."
Thirteen volunteers spent Sunday afternoon installing the two signs, one at the intersection of the Rail-Trail and CR325, and the other along SR20. The signs inform the public of the protected nature of the property, provides a contact number for inquiries, and demonstrates the tangible success of the Alachua County Forever Program. Additional signs are planned for other sites in the coming weeks.
Alachua County Forever was created by the voters in 2000. It is funded through a 0.25 mill property tax and is capped at a total of $29 million. To date the County has used $18 million of these local dollars to leverage $36 million of State and private funds to protect over 11,000 acres of property.
For more information about becoming an Alachua County Forever Volunteer, contact Ramesh Buch at (352) 264-6800. Visit http://www.alachuacounty.us/government/depts/epd/land/ for more information on Alachua County Forever.