Wild Spaces Public Places Updates

City of Gainesville Expands Conservation
and Park Land by Nearly 400 Acres!

Since October 2011, the Wild Spaces-Public Places half-cent sales tax has allowed the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department to acquire nearly 400 acres of pristine land for conservation and recreational use. With this public affirmation, the Gainesville community chose to demonstrate its commitment to fund a unique quality of life that respects our environment and that values a green, sustainable future. The initiative funds local capital improvement projects for our parks, recreational and cultural programs, as well as sensitive lands acquisition.

The 395 acres of new park land is adjacent to, and enhances, six existing city parks and conservation areas:

Existing Park
 Additional Acres
 Flatwoods Conservation Area  87 acres
 29th Road Nature Park
 1 acre
 Green Acres Park  39 acres
 Morningside Nature Center  40 acres
 Fred Cone Park  75 acres
 Palm Point Nature Park  153 acres
 Total  395 Acres

Funding for these lands was provided by a portion of the revenue generated from the 2008/2010 Wild Spaces-Public Places Half-Cent Sales Tax Initiative. The total amount of these Wild Spaces-Public Places initiative acquisitions was $2,244,819.29.

Director Steven R. Phillips states, “The new acquisitions will expand the conservation and recreation opportunities for the citizens of Gainesville. Future development may include a variety of uses including: additional waterfront access, hiking trails, boardwalks, observational platforms, signage and parking. The newly-adopted Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs ‘Vision 2020’ Master Plan will be consulted when determining specific recreation needs on these new acquisitions.”

The City of Gainesville continues to negotiate with landowners on other priority acquisitions, and is expecting to close on an additional 110 acres north of Morningside Nature Center in early 2013.

For more information, please contact Steven R. Phillips, Director of the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department at 352-393-8755, or call the PRCA Administrative Office at 352-334-5067.

An article in the January 3rd edition of The Gainesville Sun discussed the progress of Wild Spaces - Public Places (WSPP) Projects. As City Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Director, I wish to provide you with more information to help clarify the status of projects funded through the Wild Spaces - Public Places tax initiative. Please read more...

Steven R. Phillips, Director
City of Gainesville
Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs

On November 4, 2008, City and County voters cast their ballots in favor of a half-cent sales tax initiative commonly referred to as the Wild Spaces, Public Places tax initiative. With this public affirmation, our community chose to demonstrate its commitment to fund a unique quality of life that respects our environment and that values a green, sustainable future. The initiative funds local capital improvement projects for our parks, recreational and cultural programs, as well as sensitive lands acquisition. The City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department is charged with developing an implementation plan to ensure that public funding is spent wisely to achieve maximum return for each dollar invested.

Again, thank you for your commitment to the improving Gainesville's quality of life!