TAVARES — The Lake County Board of County Commissioners will celebrate the purchase of the 192-acre Ferndale Preserve on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 9:30 a.m.
With its hard shoreline, the recently purchased Ferndale Preserve offers a picturesque vista of Lake Apopka.
The celebration will include tours of the site and dedication of a preserve sign. Interested members of the public and media are encouraged to attend this celebration. A bus will depart from the Lake County Administration Building, located at 315 W. Main St., Tavares, at 9 a.m. To reserve a seat for bus transportation to the site, call (352) 253-4948 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A host of dignitaries from the three partners that helped make this land preservation possible are expected to be on hand for the event. The Lake County Board of County Commissioners, Lake County Water Authority and St. Johns River Water Management District all played a significant role in protecting the pristine stretch of land on the shores of Lake Apopka.
A grant secured last year from the Florida Communities Trust funded 75 percent of the acquisition. A partnership between the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, Lake County Water Authority and the St. Johns River Water Management District funded the other 25 percent of the land purchase on County Road 455, a state designated scenic highway.
Lake County purchased the scenic preserve for $4.025 million. The County will manage the property as plans for the preserve include restoration work in both upland and wetland areas and development of public passive recreation opportunities. Preliminary passive recreation plans for the first County access point to Lake Apopka include nature, pedestrian and bicycle trails, a fishing pier, observation tower and picnic facilities.
Limited parking will be available on site. For a detailed map to the Ferndale Preserve, click here.