LEESBURG — The Lake County Board of County Commissioners’ Parks & Trails Division is hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony of the Wildlife Watch Post, Lake County’s newest destination for birders, native plant enthusiasts and nature photographers. The event, which is open to the public, will be held on Thursday, Jan. 7 at 9 a.m. at the Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve (PEAR) Park – Wildlife Conservation Area, 4800 University Ave., Leesburg.
To help further promote ecotourism in the area, the county is proud to officially open the Wildlife Watch Post, a 320-square-foot steel bird-watching and wildlife viewing blind, at PEAR Park, one of Lake County’s premier birding and butterfly locations. The use of native landscaping and environmentally-balanced architecture harmonize with nature and provide a wildlife habitat while acting as a functional structure for nature lovers.
"As PEAR Park has evolved through restoration and trail development, it has become a destination for wildlife enthusiasts,” said Bobby Bonilla, Lake County Parks & Trails Division Manager. “It’s also one of the primary properties showcased in the annual Wings & Wildflowers Festival. That’s why the PEAR volunteers, members of the public and the Parks, Recreation and Trails Advisory Board members recommended the construction of the Wildlife Watch Post.”
The total project cost $215,000 and was paid for through penny sales tax, park impact fees, the tree mitigation fund and the Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU). The Florida Wildflower Foundation provided a $3,000 grant for wildflower planting.
For more information, contact Lake County Parks & Trails at 352-253-4950.