AC Forever expands Lake Alto Preserve

Lake Alto Preserve
The Lake Alto Preserve. (Courtesy of Alachua County)

Alachua County Forever recently purchased 2.58 acres east of Waldo that will expand the Lake Alto Preserve.

According to an Alachua County release, Alachua County Forever — the County’s environmental land acquisition program — closed on the purchase from Lucretia Brooks on Dec. 9. The voter-approved Wild Spaces and Public Spaces one-half-cent sales tax provided the $11,000 in funding for the acquisition.

The property is located east of Waldo and falls within the Florida Wildlife Corridor. The property was a privately-owned inholding within Alachua County’s Lake Alto Preserve, and its protection strengthens the habitat management and recreational opportunities in the preserve.

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The purchase also falls within an area of significant focus by Alachua County and other conservation partners to protect water resources and wildlife habitat between Lake Alto and Lake Santa Fe.

Since voters reauthorized Wild Spaces and Public Places in 2016, Alachua County Forever has protected an additional 13,482 acres. Since its inception in 2000, the program now protects 32,583 acres.

Over the past year, Alachua County Forever has purchased the 982-acre Jefferson Acquisition to expand Lake Alto, the 2,274-acre Santa Fe River easement from the Hitchcock family, a 3,936-acre purchase south of Hawthorne in the Lochloosa Slough Preserve, a 400-acre purchase along the Sante Fe River, a 605-acre tract adjacent to Phifer Flatwoods Preserve west of Hawthorne and the 75.77-acre Brooks Acquisition in the Lake Alto Preserve.

Lake Alto Preserve Brooks Acquisition
Courtesy of Alachua County Lake Alto Preserve Brooks Acquisition

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