Lochloosa Slough Preserve Public Workshop

Press release from Alachua County

The Alachua County Office of Land Conservation and Management is hosting a public workshop regarding the Lochloosa Slough Preserve. The Lochloosa Slough Preserve public workshop is at the Little Orange Creek Nature Center (24115 S.E. Hawthorne Road, Hawthorne. Look for the “ACF Event” signs at the entrance to the Nature Park and Center.) on Thursday, June 9, 2022, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

This workshop provides citizens the opportunity to learn about the preserve and to provide initial input into the development of a management plan for the preserve, including ecosystem management and restoration practices and plans for public recreational access.

The 5,797-acre Lochloosa Slough Preserve is located in southeastern Alachua County, approximately five miles south of Hawthorne on the east side of U.S. Highway 301. It was acquired through the Alachua County Forever program, with funding from Wild Spaces and Public Places (the 2016 voter-approved one-half cent sales tax). Wild Spaces and Public Places funds the acquisition and management of environmentally significant lands to protect water resources, wildlife habitats, and natural areas suitable for resource-based recreation. 

The preserve, which is part of the state-designated Florida Wildlife Corridor, encompasses a variety of natural communities. Restoration of about 2,000 acres of mesic flatwoods from intensively managed pine plantation will be a major focus. A significant quantity of wetland habitats occur on the preserve, including basin swamp, basin marsh, depression marsh, and flatwoods prairie lakes. Lochloosa Slough, the preserve’s namesake, is a major hydrological rural creek that meanders through the southern portion of the property and connects Lake Lochloosa with Orange Creek and eventually the Ocklawaha River.