Longleaf Partnership Restoration Project Walkthrough


The Kincaid Loop Longleaf Pine Restoration Partnership (Longleaf Partnership) will be hosting a walk on Saturday, September 27, 2014, to show the areas for a restoration project of the longleaf pine and sandhill ecology in the Sweetwater Preserve and Boulware Springs Nature Park. Those wishing to participate can meet up at 9:00 a.m. at Boulware Springs Nature Park, located at 33000 S.E. 15th Street, in the parking area near the Gainesville/Hawthorne State Trail. Staff from both the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department and the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department will show participants areas in various stages of restoration and talk about the upcoming project.

The Kincaid Loop Longleaf Pine Restoration Partnership (Longleaf Partnership) was formed to facilitate restoration of longleaf pine forests in Southeast Gainesville. Partners include Alachua County, the City of Gainesville, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, private conservation land owners, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Nature Conservancy. Partners cooperate on restoration activities, longleaf pine education projects, obtaining restoration funding, and sharing knowledge of restoration practices.

This fall through the Longleaf Partnership, the County and the City of Gainesville are implementing a project to remove invasive hardwoods from the sandhill at Sweetwater Preserve and Boulware Springs. The lack of regular fire in these areas has allowed hardwoods, such as laurel oaks, to invade the sandhill and form dense thickets that crowd out longleaf pines and inhibit growth of groundcover plants, thus reducing the fine fuels necessary for low-intensity fires that are vital to a healthy sandhill natural community.

Participants are advised to wear closed toe shoes and bring sunscreen and drinking water. The walk is anticipated to last until 12:00 p.m.

For more information or for persons with disabilities who require assistance, please call Sandra Vardaman, land conservation biologist, at 352-264-6803.