Water is at the heart of our work at the St. Johns River Water Management District, but did you know that over 400,000 acres of land we own and manage also play an important role?
We purchased these lands to support our core missions, which include the protection of water quality, water supply, and natural systems while providing flood protection. A great example of this is at the headwaters of the St. Johns River, where more than 160,000 acres of wetlands filter pollutants and sediments from area stormwater runoff, treat agricultural runoff and provide storage for flood waters. Another example we’re especially proud of is the ongoing restoration work to the wetlands at our Lake Apopka North Shore property to benefit water quality in Lake Apopka.
Beyond supporting our core missions, many of these lands are open for the public to enjoy. They are available for recreational opportunities that are compatible with conservation, such as hiking, wildlife viewing, primitive camping, canoeing, and more.
With National Public Lands Day observed this Saturday, Sept. 23, we invite you to visit one of these special public lands. It’s likely we have a conservation area not far from your neighborhood. Before you go, please check out our website, where you’ll find information such as property descriptions, driving directions, downloadable trail maps, and a camping reservation system.
So, get out there and explore your public lands to experience our work for yourself. These wild and scenic lands hold wonders for all ages.