PAISLEY — The Lake County Board of County Commissioners is inviting the public to a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the three recently opened public lands properties of Ellis Acres Reserve, The Pasture Reserve and Lake May Reserve. The ceremony will take place at the Ellis Acres property, located at 25302 County Road 42 in Paisley on Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 9 a.m.
During the event, guests will be invited to participate in a guided tour of the property, where they can view the variety of Florida native plants, birds and other wildlife. Because the trail located on the property might include uneven or unstable terrain, persons who wish to participate in the guided tour are encouraged to wear appropriate footwear and clothing for the weather. Members of the Friends of the Paisley County Library will be on hand to provide water and information about the library.
Immediately following the event, there will be an open house at Lake County Fire Station 13, located at 25250 County Road 42. The open house gives residents a chance to view the newly-built fire station, which opened in Aug. 2010.
All three public lands properties were acquired by the County through the Public Lands Management program established in September 2005. In 2004, Lake County voters approved a public-lands referendum that called for up to an additional one-third millage for the acquisition and improvement of land to protect drinking water, improve water quality of rivers and lakes, protect open space and provide passive recreation areas. More than 2,000 acres have been acquired through the Public Lands Management Program.
Each of the largely undeveloped reserves offer scenic views of picturesque landscapes and feature unpaved hiking and biking trails and small low-impact parking lots. Much of the time-intensive land-restoration work that has been accomplished so far includes uprooting non-native plant species and planting native vegetation, but restoration efforts and enhancements are still underway on all of the properties.
Future recreation opportunities at all of the reserves include picnic areas. Both Ellis Acres and Lake May Reserves are slated to have canoe launches, and The Pasture Reserve will add primitive camping and wildlife observation areas. Lake May Reserve will also feature catch and release fishing.
For more information about the Public Lands Management program, call the Lake County Parks & Trails Division at (352) 253-4950, email firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.lakecountyfl.gov/parks.