North Florida Land Trust announces a $10,000 matching challenge grant has been issued by the Timucuan Parks Foundation for the expansion of Bogey Creek Preserve. NFLT has a chance to purchase 12 acres of land to the east and south of the current preserve but must raise $150,000 by the end of October to purchase the property from the McGehee family. The challenge grant issued by the Timucuan Parks Foundation will help by doubling the impact of donations.
“This is a chance to turn that $100 donation into $200 or the $500 into $1000 to help us get to the $150,000 we need to raise to expand this public park,” said Jim McCarthy, president of NFLT. “We are grateful for the Timucuan Parks Foundation’s match challenge. They are great partners for our local park system and we look forward to working together on this preservation effort.”
Timucuan Parks Foundation, a nonprofit that supports local city, state and national parks, evolved from the Preservation Project Jacksonville which originated in 1999 under Mayor John Delaney to identify and assist in acquiring some of our areas most vulnerable and environmentally sensitive lands. Bogey Creek Preserve, owned then by the Spencer family, was the first property the Mayor toured as part of the project.
“Timucuan Parks Foundation and North Florida Land Trust have in principle supported each other’s conservation efforts for two decades but this is the first time that TPF has made a financial commitment to assist another conservation group’s land preservation efforts,” said Bob Hays, board chair of Timucuan Parks Foundation. “We hope that this will be a model for the future.”
NFLT was able to acquire the first tract of land for Bogey Creek Preserve in 2006 and raised money through donations to purchase the remaining 68 acres in 2017. It was opened to the public in May of 2019. The 75-acre scenic preserve is located off Cedar Point Road in North Jacksonville and offers walking trails, a picnic area and kayak access from Clapboard Creek.
The additional 12 acres of land contains forest and streams that will expand the preserve’s trail system and keep that land free from development. The current park contains trails that wind through a mix of maritime hammock forest and mixed pine-oak forest and along seep-fed cypress swamps. The preserve neighbors Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park and the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve and protects nearly one mile of critical marsh front on Clapboard and Bogey Creeks.
“We thank the McGehee family for their patience in their efforts to preserve their land forever,” said McCarthy. “They have been on various acquisition lists for decades but none of the efforts have been successful. We hope with community support we will be able to raise the money needed to purchase this property and expand our public park.”
Those wishing to donate can visit https://www.nflt.org/donate/ and click on the Bogey Creek Expansion Initiative or send a check marked Bogey Creek to North Florida Land Trust at 843 W. Monroe St., Jacksonville, FL, 32202. Donors can also contact Megan Mangiaracino at [email protected] or call (904) 479-1967.
About North Florida Land Trust
North Florida Land Trust is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to protect the natural resources, historic places and working lands (farms and ranches) throughout north Florida. Founded in 1999, NFLT has preserved tens of thousands of acres of land through donation or purchase of land as well as conservation easements. NFLT is funded largely by private and corporate contributions and works closely with willing landowners and public agencies at all levels of government, not-for-profit partners, and foundations. For more information, visit nflt.org.