While District lands vary in size and terrain, they all have at least one thing in common — they provide a variety of important benefits to the water and…
Southwest FL Water
Exploring the Green Swamp
Check out how a professional photographer from #MyBlueRobot recently documented the Green Swamp, which is a District property held in conservation for its water resources. The land is filled with wildlife and natural beauty. Aspiring photographers can take advantage of more than 400,000 acres of conservation lands throughout the District.
Withlacoochee River Park | WaterMatters.org
Withlacoochee River Park. Pasco County operates this regional park near the Withlacoochee River. The District provides the county with the use of 146 acres of the Green Swamp – West Tract to accommodate riverfront access for the canoe launch, dock and 1.5 miles of hiking trails. The Withlacoochee River Park offers visitors access to a wild and scenic portion of the river and a mosaic of habitat communities, from high sandhills to low riverine swamp.
Weekiwachee Preserve | WaterMatters.org
Weekiwachee Preserve. The preserve provides a rich mosaic of habitats including several miles of Weeki Wachee River frontage, portions of the Mud River, dense hardwood swamps, freshwater and saltwater marshes, and pine-covered sandhills. The preserve is best known for its Florida black bear population. The bears are shy, elusive and pose no threat to people, spending most of their time deep in the forest.
Two Mile Prairie | WaterMatters.org
Two Mile Prairie. This property lies along the southern bank of the Withlacoochee River at the northern end of the Tsala Apopka Lake system. The Withlacoochee River is designated as an Outstanding Florida Water, which makes the river highly suitable for recreation, fishing and wildlife. This location on the river is very attractive to recreation users seeking to experience a serene canoe ride or pleasurable hike along the riverbank.
Terra Ceia Preserve — Frog Creek | WaterMatters.org
Terra Ceia Preserve. The natural areas fall into the mesic temperate hammock type with dominant plant species consisting of live oak, laurel oak and cabbage palms. These areas provide the shade needed by wildlife on open grassy plains. Mesic temperate hammocks are important habitat for wildlife and provide secondary habitat for a number of rare, threatened and endangered plant and animal species.
Tampa Bypass Canal | WaterMatters.org
The Tampa Bypass Canal (TBC) is a 14-mile waterway that connects the Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve with McKay Bay. The canal provides flood protection for the cities of Temple Terrace and Tampa by diverting floodwaters from the Hillsborough River. The canal is also a water supply source for the city of Tampa.
Starkey Wilderness Preserve | WaterMatters.org
Starkey Wilderness Preserve. The prominent natural communities within the preserve are pine flatwoods, cypress domes, freshwater marshes, stream and lake swamps, sandhill and scrub. The 2,300 acres of wetland communities in Serenova combine with the wetlands in the Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park to form a connected 6,000-acre wetland ecosystem spread throughout approximately 18,000 acres of conservation lands.
Sawgrass Lake Park | WaterMatters.org
Sawgrass Lake Park was designed for people interested in observing and learning about nature. The Sawgrass Lake project began in 1972 to provide flood protection to the city of Pinellas Park. A water-control structure was built to facilitate drainage canal improvements and to maintain desirable water level fluctuations in Sawgrass Lake and the surrounding swamp. The main emphasis at the park is environmental awareness and education.
RV Griffin Reserve | WaterMatters.org
RV Griffin Reserve. Public water supply facilities, agriculture, wildlife habitat conservation and passive recreation characterize the diversity of the working landscape at the RV Griffin Reserve. The reserve offers vistas of pine flatwoods, freshwater marshes, wet prairies and glimpses of forested wetlands and oak hammocks. Much of the flatwoods have a sparse overstory of pines and resembles Florida dry prairie, one of North America’s most imperiled ecosystems.
Panasoffkee Outlet | WaterMatters.org
Panasoffkee Outlet. Still primarily natural, the property is a mixture of pine flatwoods, freshwater marshes and oak scrub forest. The western portions contain some of the oldest and largest trees in the area. The boundary of this property extends over three miles along the eastern floodplain of the Withlacoochee River.
Myakka State Forest. The Myakka River dividing the forest into two tracts, with the larger portion on the west side of the river. Big Slough enters the forest at the northeast and drains into the Myakka River. The western section of the property contains much of the headwaters of Rock Creek, a tributary to Lemon Bay, which is also part of the Charlotte Harbor estuarine system.
Myakka Prairie Tract | WaterMatters.org
Myakka River State Park -- Myakka Prairie Tract. The property has large expanses of excellent dry prairie that are considered a globally imperiled habitat. The remainder of the property contains depressional marshes interspersed with pine flatwoods and hammocks. Deer Prairie Slough runs through the eastern portion of the property.
Myakka River — Deer Prairie Creek | WaterMatters.org
Myakka River Deer Prairie Creek. The dominant natural communities are pine flatwoods, mixed hardwood and pine, and wetland hardwoods. A portion of the tract was utilized for cattle grazing and is being restored to a more natural condition through the reintroduction of fire on a periodic basis. Reintroduction of fire will stimulate the growth of the flatwoods species that require fire as part of their life cycle.