The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently purchased a 65-acre addition to Torreya State Park in Jackson County. Torreya State Park is adjacent to the Apalachicola River Florida Forever project, which includes much of Florida’s upland glades natural community, currently not represented on conservation lands, and harbors several globally rare plant species as well as 16 species that occur nowhere else in Florida.
“Torreya State Park is incredibly important, not just for its fantastic scenic views of the Apalachicola River, but also for the many rare species it protects,” said Florida State Parks Director Eric Draper. “The acquisition of this parcel preserves this landscape while helping us improve our management of this incredible resource.”
Torreya State Park is also adjacent to The Nature Conservancy’s Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve to the south. These connected and unique landscapes protect forests on the east bank of the Apalachicola which helps preserve water quantity and quality in the river – which feeds the highly productive Apalachicola Bay – and the unique species and biological communities of the region.
Lindsay Stevens, land protection program manager at The Nature Conservancy, said, “The state of Florida is to be congratulated on the addition of the Pope Family parcel. This acquisition will further protect one of the rarest of habitats: steep-head ravines and streams, and also provide important protection benefits to the Apalachicola River and Bay region, one of five biological hotspots in North America and an important economic, environmental and cultural resource. The Nature Conservancy’s Florida Chapter is proud of our continued partnership and synergy with the State of Florida to ensure protection of this valuable resource for generations to come.”
Developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, Torreya State Park is popular for hiking, fishing, camping, bird-watching and other outdoor recreational pursuits.