406 Acres Added to Tomoka State Park (FL)

Ormond Beach, FL, 11/15/04 — Two properties totalling 406 acres have been purchased by the national nonprofit Trust for Public Land (TPL) as an addition to Tomoka State Park, it was announced today. The transaction was completed Friday, after the Volusia County Council removed the sites from the developer’s 20-year-old construction plan at its Thursday meeting.

Together, the two sites – known as Tall Pines and Mission Pines – had been approved for 762 homes. Purchase by the Trust for Public Land takes the property off the market until the state can buy it. Funds for the state purchase were approved by Governor Jeb Bush and the Cabinet in May.

“We were very pleased to have the opportunity to preserve this extraordinary addition to Tomoka State Park,” said TPL project manager Bob Guido. “Purchase of these two sites prevents major residential development within the park’s optimum boundary and protects the wildlife and natural communities to one of the state’s largest urban parks. It gives people a place where they can enjoy the outdoors and escape the stresses of urban life.”

The eastern boundary of the site fronts Old Dixie Highway, a canopy road running through Tomoka State Park that also is a portion of a scenic drive known as the “Loop.” Community activists have been working to “Save the Loop” for nearly 20 years. These acquisitions will protect more than a mile of the 23-mile-long canopy road.

“Ormond Beach is proud to have been awarded the designation as a “Community for a Lifetime!” said Fred Costello, mayor of the City of Ormond Beach. “Along with our beautiful beach, our parks and our rivers, we consider “The Loop” to be one of the major treasures we include in our ECHO (Environment, Cultural, Heritage and Outdoor) amenities. We are truly blessed to have community activists and developers who partnered together to preserve this wondrous trip into old Florida.” He added, “We are also grateful to the Trust for Public (More)?Land, the State of Florida and Volusia County for helping assure that “The Loop” will remain for future generations to experience. If you haven’t experienced the Loop, you haven’t seen what Florida’s natural beauty was like many lifetimes ago.”

“This is a wonderful addition to the park,” said Benny Woodham, park manager of the Tomoka Basin State Parks. “It will preserve several cultural resources, including part of the Dummett Plantation site, and protect the integrity of the natural resources in the area.” He added that the purchase also will straighten out the park boundaries and simplify management of the park.

This is the third addition that TPL has been involved with for Tomoka State Park. The first was along Plantation Road in 1996; the second was in 1998 along the river.

Archaeologists have identified the ruins of a residence and kitchen foundation of British Plantation Period 1820’s and 1830’s on the Bulow Creek Mission Pines tract. The Plantations were burned during the second Seminole Indian War. Future surveys are expected to reveal other plantation features on both properties.

“Thank you sincerely to all involved in preserving and expanding the Tomoka State Park,” said Peggy Farmer, executive director of the Ormond Beach Chamber of Commerce. ” It is one of our community’s greatest assets and having this recreational area in our city limits is a responsibility that we do not take lightly. It is indeed an historical and pristine site and we our honored to do our part to protect and promote this beautiful park.”

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 1.9 million acres of land in 45 states. In Florida, TPL has protected more than 290 sites – over 200,000 acres at a market value of about $500 million. The Trust for Public Land depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve our land for people mission. For more information please contact us at (415) 495-4014.