Florida’s Adventure Coast is rich in unspoiled natural spaces. With outdoor recreation on the rise, ensuring environmental protection is key.
On Florida’s Adventure Coast, the county Environmentally Sensitive Lands (ESL) program was born in 1988. It is a program for the protection of natural resources and accommodating public use of those natural areas.
The ESL Program’s mission is to thoughfully retain parts of our natural and cultural heritage. Our eight Preserves are all unique and deliver a range of recreational opportunities. Among the ESL Preserves are five county parks which are loaded with amenities such as facilities, trails, boat ramps, piers and bank fishing.
Together, our Preserves have more than twenty miles of hiking trails, nine of which serve double duty as equestrian trails.
Wildlife viewing, photography and bird watching are popular pastimes, given the range of ESL habitats. Tour each Preserve to see uncommon native plant and animal life.
Around coastal areas, look for otters, manatee and occasional dolphin sightings. From solitude to baseball, picnics to sunsets, wildflowers to wildlife, our ESL Preserves have it all.
A Breathtaking Array of Plant and Animal Life
The Environmentally Sensitive Land Preserves on Florida’s Adventure Coast total 1,230 acres. From freshwater and saltwater marshes to cypress swamps, flowing streams, springs and rivers, wetlands surround us and support a variety of life. Abundant wildlife thrives throughout the hardwoods, scrubs, sandhills, bottomlands and uplands.
Thanks to this lush environment, everything grows, driving the need for trail clearing and maintenance. The woodlands are full of many native species of trees, shrubs, and wildflowers.
In addition – whether planted or accidental – invasive species such as Brazilian pepper, water hyacinth, cogon grassshrub morning-glory, Asian marsh weed, and Australian pine are a few of the non-native species on the ESL target list.
A key to successful protection of the ESLs is wise oversight of lands within the program. Another aspect of protection is sensible landscape design. Check out the free presentations offered at local libraries and theChinsegut Conservation Center.
Laughs, Loppers and Loads
Florida’s natural environment is a proud part of our Adventure Coast heritage. It will also be a keystone of its legacy, with our care.