City of Gainesville and Alachua County co-purchase conservation land

Alachua County and the city of Gainesville have joined together to buy a nearly four and half million dollar plot of land in North Gainesville.
It's a part of the half-cent Wild Spaces Public Places county tax being put to use.

The Four Creeks Preserve is 715 acres of land. 470 goes to the County who paid 2.8 million and the rest going to the City who paid 1.5 million.
Charlie Houder is the Director of Parks and Conservation Lands for Alachua County. He gives us a sneak peak of the property and said, "the City and the County have similar goals in the protection of the environment and establishing a greenway around the North side of Gainesville. So this is in the city of Gainesville and we're logical partners on this deal."

And Houder said it won't take long before active Gainesville residents will be able to utilize the land.
"Our primary goal is to restore the habitat the natural communities on the property and while we do that we provide recreation for the public so we'll establish a trailhead parking lot and trails in the next year."
Mike Carrillo owns the Gainesville Running and Walking store and routinely uses Gainesville's trails, he said. "I'm really excited because you do get tired of running the same ones over and over again and I think it will be a huge benefit to the Gainesville community here."

This is the first major purchase using the voter-approved tax dollars, more land should be finalized in the next few months said Houder.
"Within the past month, we have acquired contracts for two more pieces of property. The 111-acre Saranola property just South of Williston Road and the 597-acre Fox Pen property which is on the Alachua County, Putnam County line."

The Wild Spaces Public Places half-cent tax was approved in 2016 and is expected to generate 75 million dollars for land acquisitions around the County.