A wildly popular conservation program is gearing up to purchase and preserve lands that will benefit humans and wildlife for years to come.
Approved by taxpayers in 2000 and 2020, Volusia Forever finances the acquisition and improvement of environmentally sensitive, water resource protection, and outdoor recreation lands. The newly authorized program also added working forests and farmlands to preserve agricultural land.
Willing sellers who want their property to be considered for purchase may complete an online nomination form at www.volusia.org/forever through Nov. 15.
County staff and the nine-member Volusia Forever Advisory Committee will review nominations and visit sites to ensure they meet the program’s criteria. The advisory committee will then make recommendations to the Volusia County Council, which will make the final decision on which properties to pursue for acquisition.
Priority will be given to properties in the St. Johns River Water Management District’s five-year acquisition plan, as well as properties that enhance corridors and connectivity, are of significant size to achieve meaningful conservation objectives, are facing imminent loss to development, allow for completion of projects begun under previous program, or serve as additions to existing conservation lands.
During the first 20 years, Volusia Forever funded the purchases of more than 38,000 acres throughout the county. Some of the more popular conservation sites that were created with purchased lands include the Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve, Hickory Bluff Preserve, the Plum Creek Conservation Area, Green Springs Park, and numerous plots within the county’s conservation corridor.
Volusia Forever has won several national awards and has been used as a model for other government acquisition programs.
Visit www.volusia.org/forever to learn more about the land selection and acquisition process; small lot acquisition program; and criteria for evaluating environmentally sensitive land, working forests and farmlands. For more information, contact Resource Stewardship Director Brad Burbaugh at email@example.com or 386-943-7081, ext. 13455.