Happy Birthday to Timucuan Preserve! 33 Things We Love About You…

Timucuan Parks Foundation invites you to wish Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve a very happy 33rd birthday by helping us build a list of 33 reasons why the Timucuan Preserve is your favorite!

On February 16, 1988, President Reagan signed the bill that was introduced by Congressman Charlie Bennett and approved by Congress to establish the National Park Service’s Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. Today, the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve encompasses more than 46,000 acres of pristine land and water — a Jacksonville gem offering you a place to enjoy the natural surroundings and to learn the rich history of our region.

The preserve protects the area where the St. Johns and Nassau rivers meet the Atlantic Ocean — one of the largest remaining salt marsh estuaries on the Southeast Coast. It has more than 200 archaeological sites from archaic rings and middens that represent more than 6,000 years of human history to the first excavations focused on the archaeology of slavery and plantation life. These sites serve as outdoor classrooms for scientists, researchers, students and citizen scientists.

Named in honor of the Timucua, the Native Americans who inhabited the area for thousands of years, the preserve connects us to the echoes of those first inhabitants and to sites reflecting French, Spanish, English, and American history. Historic sites like Fort Caroline National Memorial, Ribault Monument, Kingsley Plantation, Nana Dune at American Beach, and the Ribault Club await you within the Preserve, as do natural landscapes like Theodore Roosevelt Area and Cedar Point.

The Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve’s untouched lands and waters also offer you plenty of recreational opportunities for activities like hiking, bicycling, bird-watching, kayaking, boating, fishing and more.

The preserve features unique habitats great for exploration where you may catch a glimpse of wildlife in the area including dolphins and migratory birds, or some of the more rare or sensitive species like the Atlantic loggerhead sea turtle, West Indian manatee, the wood stork, and the bald eagle.

The National Park Service has created a guide to help you plan your park visit which you can access here: https://www.nps.gov/timu/planyourvisit/index.htm.

Let’s celebrate also the people who fulfill the Timucuan Preserve’s mission. More than 20 rangers work from three sites to manage the expansive national preserve, from the superintendent to administrative, facilities, and interpretive staff members who care for the sites and share their knowledge with the community. Thanks too to the numerous interns and volunteers who help the staff make the Preserve a place that all can enjoy.

Share your birthday wishes by commenting what you love and appreciate about your local national preserve! Help us make the list of 33 things!