Silver Springs Protection Zone

 
 
Manatees often take shelter in springs during colder weather.

Manatees often take shelter in springs during colder weather.

creating a buffer of protected lands around silver springs headwaters

Building on the successful protection of the Silver Springs Forest Conservation Area and the Silver Springs Sandhill projects, Conservation Florida is working with partners to protect nearly 5,200 acres known as Rainey Pasture within the Heather Island/Ocklawaha River Florida Forever Project boundary. Located in Marion County, this project is the “missing piece” in a vast corridor of protected lands. With its protection, a continuous link will be formed between the Indian Lake State Forest, Silver Springs Forest Conservation Area, the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway, Silver Springs State Park, and the Ocala National Forest!  

Protection of this property will also provide a buffer from development on the west side of the Ocklawaha River. We are working with The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the USDA’s Forest Legacy Program, and the landowner to ensure this land is protected forever. In addition to connecting other protected lands, the project is important for the recharge of the Silver Springs springshed, filtration of groundwater flowing into the Ocklawaha River Aquatic Preserve, habitat for Florida black bears and other species, and for the production of sustainable local forest products.