Palm Beach County celebrated the opening of two parks last month – the Cypress Creek Natural Area and Historic Jupiter Indiantown Trail, and Dubois Park. Both parks were purchased using Florida Forever funding provided by Florida Communities Trust.
The Cypress Creek Natural Area and Historic Jupiter Indiantown Trail opened to the public on March 24. County Commissioner Karen T. Marcus hosted the ceremony, which featured a tour of the trail and public use facilities on the 2,083-acre natural area. Amenities include hiking trails, observation platforms, an elevated multi-use trail surface, informational kiosk and equestrian pitcher pump well. The park makes up part of the larger Northeast Everglades Natural Area that stretches from Palm Beach County into Martin County. More than 165,000 acres of natural lands offer more than a dozen activity and education centers providing information about the area’s history.
FCT and Palm Beach County have partnered on four different acquisition phases for the Cypress Creek Natural Area since 2001. This partnership has resulted in the acquisition of more than 1,400 acres with FCT awarding nearly $21 million in Florida Forever funds and Palm Beach County contributing more than $33 million in local matching funds. Negotiations are currently ongoing between the county and FCT to acquire a fifth phase that was selected during FCT’s 2011 Florida Forever grant application cycle.
On March 29, Commissioner Marcus hosted another dedication ceremony for DuBois Park, located in northern Palm Beach County along Jupiter Inlet near the mouth of the Loxahatchee River. The park includes a 1.17-acre property known to locals as Zeke’s Marina, which was purchased in 2008 through a partnership between the county and FCT.
Zeke’s Marina property includes a former pineapple packing house, which was relocated down river by barge to its current location in the late 1890s by Harry DuBois. The structure is considered the oldest in Palm Beach County and will be renovated in the future as an educational kiosk. The property also features a red mangrove community that provides essential habitat for a variety of animal species, including manatees, sea turtles and various wading birds.
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