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Donation of Land to Alachua County Adds Protection to Santa Fe River

Press release from Alachua County

Alachua County has received a major donation of land on the Santa Fe River from Dr. Dale A. and Helen C. Lundgren. The property will be managed under the Alachua County Forever program and will add permanent protection to the Santa Fe River.

The 236-acre Lundgren property was a joint gift by the Lundgrens to Alachua County, Alachua Conservation Trust (ACT), and Conservation Florida, two local land trusts. ACT and Conservation Florida were granted a conservation easement over the property before ownership was transferred to the County. The donors requested this arrangement to ensure that their beloved property would remain undeveloped, further protecting their conservation legacy.

The property lies in the Upper Santa Fe River basin, about five miles northwest of Waldo. It has almost a mile of frontage on the Santa Fe River and includes the Moccasin Branch, a pristine tributary of the river. There are a variety of natural communities in good to excellent condition, including sandhill, floodplain forest, and dome swamp.

The property will provide numerous environmental benefits, including protecting water quality, storing floodwaters, and providing wildlife habitat. It will be managed as a preserve by the Office of Land Conservation and Management under the Alachua County Forever program. Development of public access and recreational amenities is anticipated once the management planning process is complete.

Learn about donating land to Alachua County Forever.

  • Another loss of tax revenue.

    Must be nice to be one of those woke, privileged liberal democrats who don’t have to worry about how much the costs of living in Alachua County are.

  • Actually, I see the silver lining here, as this donation means that we won’t be paying for this land. Typically that is what the county does, in order to keep buying up more land for their “green necklace.”
    I think they should pursue more land donations, and use the taxpayers’ money to at least improve on all the land that the county has bought, so that the land can actually *be used by the people* for recreation, etc.
    Alachua County is pitiful as far as the number and quality of parks we have compared to other counties. We do have beautiful natural surroundings, and it would be a shame if only the wealthy, who were able to purchase them, were able to enjoy them. I’m a conservative, but I also like getting outdoors and hiking, riding my bike, kayaking, running, etc.

    • Ah, we won’t be paying for it directly but we’ll be paying for it. The county barely has the funds to maintain the parks and bike paths they have now. A lot of land has been donated to the county or the university in recent years. I’m not opposed to parks either but the tax revenue lost by such donations more often than not do benefit the wealthy more than the impoverished. I guess the county can pay for the buses or watercraft to enjoy all they’re not able to afford on their own. The couple that donated the 700 acres couple years ago no longer have to pay property taxes but still are able to use the property at their discretion. Nice arrangement I must say. All the benefits but none of the costs. Now this couple gives 236 acres with a mile of water frontage. Any guesses to the taxable value there?
      As far as the “green necklace”, Alachua county far exceeds the state’s ideal percentage of green space. There are a large number of county parks scattered from north to south and east to west. So many in fact that I would venture to say there is not a surrounding county that has either the quality or quantity we do. Enthusiasts such as yourself and many others, who have the means to get to them, can access them. I just don’t believe there are less fortunate individuals who are able to commute to O’Leno or Watermelon Pond to go for a stroll or a swim.

      • If the property was to remain in its natural condition (no chainsaws, no bulldozers, no man),
        That’s one thing…but now the county is going to
        Manage it which lines certain people’s pockets at taxpayers’ expense.
        You know they are going to say that “there’s invasive species in there” and will always be a war
        Against Chinese Tallow, or their will be a pine beetle emergency and next thing you know they
        Will be harvesting the pine trees and industry will be in sanctuary… i like the land donations but have a problem when it comes to taxpayer money
        Being used to buy swamp land that can’t be developed. Who’s involved in these trusts? Things
        Are stinky when Hutch & Byerly are involved…I can see their small bendy horns…I don’t trust em
        As far as I can throw them…the devil’s in the details…

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