News and Events

Cabinet approves purchase of 365 acres in Marion County

  March 14, 2017


The Conservation Trust for Florida announced today a second land conservation victory in Marion County. Thanks to today’s approval by Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet, 465 acres in Ocala will be acquired with funding from the Florida Forever program.

The site, known as Silver Springs Sandhill, will be purchased by the state and managed by Marion County Parks and Recreation. The application to Florida Forever was submitted by Marion County.

In January, the Conservation Trust for Florida finalized negotiations and signed a purchase option with the multiple owners of the Silver Springs Sandhill site, which was slated to be developed with 1600 housing units. The option will now be assigned to the state and the purchase will be completed later this year. In 2015, the land trust negotiated a similar deal with Rayonier and the St. John’s River Water Management District to protect the 4,900-acre Silver Springs Forest Conservation Area in Marion County.

Silver Springs Sandhill is a crucial piece of Central Florida’s larger conservation puzzle. The property adds to a protective buffer around the iconic Silver Springs — one of the largest artesian spring systems in the world. The property also connects to Indian Lake State Forest and Marion County's Coehadjoe Park.

As its name implies, the property’s soil is sandy, making it an excellent aquifer recharge site. In addition to benefiting water quality and quantity, the site will offer public recreation opportunities and contribute to Ocala’s growing popularity as an ecotourism destination.

Central Florida is becoming one of Florida’s largest conservation hubs, where an estimated 500,000 acres of connected, publicly-owned conservation lands entice visitors and protect springs, rivers, groundwater and wildlife.

Lisa Gearen, president of the Conservation Trust for Florida’s board of directors said, “This is exactly the kind of project that we love. It brings together partners around a common goal and truly enhances the conservation value of surrounding lands. It’s exciting to be part of this success and partner with local government. We expect to be doing more of that in the future.”

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Fall 2016 CTF Newsletter now available! Get The POST

  October 10, 2016

In this issue of The POST you'll read about some exciting accomplishments achieved through powerful partnerships. You'll also meet the individuals that champion these initiatives. Get involved. Download The POST to see what's coming up, and sign up for our E-News to receive notifications. Share this newsletter with your friends!

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Stakeholder Notification/Public Notice

  August 11, 2016

The land trust accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The Conservation Trust for Florida is pleased to announce it is applying for renewal of accreditation. A public comment period is now open. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, conducts an extensive review of each applicant’s policies and programs. See how you can comment.

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Silver Springs Forest Conservation Area Grand Opening May 27

  May 18, 2016

In December 2015, the Conservation Trust for Florida partnered with the Florida DEP and the St. Johns River Water Management District to purchase the 4,900-acre

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CTF announces addition to Everglades Headwaters Refuge

  February 24, 2016

CTF is pleased to announce protection of 2,198 acres of important habitat and working ranchland in the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (with help from CTF) and the Florida Forest Service secured two separate conservation easements from the Adams Ranch, Inc., including 662 acres of some of the last remaining grassland and longleaf pine savanna landscapes in eastern North America.

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CTF Accomplishments 2015

  December 21, 2015

On December 16, CTF's proud partners turn out to celebrate the brand new Silver Springs Forest acquisition. Preservation of this 4,900 acre tract connects the landscape and protects the watershed. This ceremony was a fine closing to a year of efforts to save Florida’s wild and working landscapes for future generations. Read all about CTF's active projects in the Year End Report, and and see how you can be a partner for Florida.

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