Davie Farm Park Preserved (FL)

Florida, November 21, 2006: The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national nonprofit land conservation organization, announced today the preservation of Davie Farm Park, a 54-acre working landscape in the Town of Davie. TPL sold the site to the Town of Davie in a transaction that closed late Friday, November 17.

“The Town’s new farm park will celebrate Davie’s agricultural roots with the creation of a living history center,” said Council Member Judy Paul. “We’ll have working fields and teaching fields for both crops and livestock. It will be an opportunity for our local 4-H clubs to get back to their agricultural components and plant gardens or raise animals for the county fair.”

TPL purchased the 54-acre site on March 31 from landowners Tim Ryan and Gene Burgess for $12.4 million, significantly below its market value. The organization held the property while staff worked with the Town to secure funding for the property’s eventual purchase. The Town will receive reimbursements of up to $6.2 million from the Florida Communities Trust state grant program, and $3.5 million from Broward County. The balance will come from Davie’s recently passed $25 million bond referendum.

“Passage of the bond really shows our residents’ commitment to open space,” said Paul.

The property consists of cleared agricultural land historically used for cattle operations. A portion will be used for traditional park and open space activities, featuring play areas and picnic tables. But most of the property will become an innovative “farm park,” a working landscape where local farmers can sublease plots to cultivate crops. Also planned is a “living history” component celebrating the Town’s rural agricultural heritage.

“The farm park will truly connect people to the land in an area where concrete is becoming much more common than grass, where people are far more plentiful than livestock,” said Kevin Mooney, director of projects for the Trust for Public Land’s office serving Florida and the Caribbean. “TPL comments the Town of Davie for their vision in protecting key landscapes before they are lost forever.”

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, historic sites, rural lands, and other natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 2 million acres of land in 46 states. In Florida, TPL has protected more than 300 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 850-222-7911.