EUSTIS — Lake County is inviting the community to celebrate the official grand opening of one of its largest public lands, Pine Meadows Conservation Area, at 9 a.m. on Friday, May 18, at Pine Meadows Golf Course Road in Eustis.
Stakeholders and guests will cut the ribbon on this 770-acre conservation area, which is complete with more than six miles of passive recreational trails. Lake County acquired the property in 2014 from the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) and has invested $650,000 on improvements. Lake County provided enhanced landscaping, restrooms, picnic tables, a canoe and kayak launch area, gravel boat ramp and a dog-friendly loop trail.
Together, SJRWMD and Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission (FWC) contributed $549,000 towards removing and replacing water control structures, enhancing fish and wildlife habitat and creating new recreational opportunities.
The improved site will now offer residents and visitors with quality fishing, non-motorized boating and wildlife-viewing while also providing sustainability of natural resources. The site is quickly becoming a popular destination for birders due to the nearly 120 species viewed there, including the Henslow’s sparrow, blue-winged warbler, bald eagle and swallow-tailed kite.
Pine Meadows is the center point for the Trout Lake Nature Center-Pine Meadows Conservation Area-Lake May Reserve Loop Trail. Hiking and biking is currently available at the property, with future equestrian trails soon to be completed.
The Lake County Office of Parks & Trails regularly hosts free events at the property. To find out more, visit www.lakecountyfl.gov/parks or call 352-253-4950.