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Explore Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

May 17, 2019 by Corey A Edwards

Paynes Prairie Preserve STate ParkLooking to get out into the great outdoors during your North Florida adventures? Great idea! Hampton Lake Bed & Breakfast is surrounded by a number of parks and recreation areas, such as Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park.

Florida is a natural wonderland, lush with unique and vibrant flora and fauna and Paynes Prairie Preserve is a great place to see some of it. The preserve is home to wide and sometimes surprising variety of species. Along with the expected alligators and deer, Paynes Prairie Preserve is also home to herds of wild horses and bison!

Birders, in particular, will find a lot to love at the preserve, with almost 300 different species of birds. Black cormorants, blue herons, white ibis, belted kingfisher, snail kites, anhinga, and many others. can be found here throughout the year.

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Take A Hike – at Gainesville’s Sweetwater Wetlands Park!

February 23, 2018 by Corey A Edwards

Sweetwater Wetlands ParkSweetwater Wetlands Park in Gainesville, Fl is more than 125 acres of man-made wetland habitat. Designed to improve water quality and act as a wildlife preserve, the park has since become one of North Central Florida’s best birding areas!

Not too long ago, we told you about the amazing wildlife and scenery to be found at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. Well, one the reasons Paynes Prairie Preserve is so pristine is due to Sweetwater Wetlands Park.

Prior to the creation of Sweetwater Wetlands, the area’s water quality was beginning to suffer. Further, ranchers in the 1930s dug a ditch to drain part of Paynes Prairie in order to expand grazing areas. The ditch they dug fed directly to Alachua Sink and dehydrated more than 1,300 acres of prairie wetlands.

Over the decades, the Alachua Sink, which directly connects to the Floridan Aquifer, built up an excess of nitrogen from all the urban runoff and wastewater. Soon, it was clear something must be done to reverse this damage.

The solution was the Paynes Prairie Sheetflow Restoration Project. The project’s mission was to reinvigorate the natural water filtration via the restoration of wetland habitat along the northern rim of Paynes Prairie. At the same time, they created an environmentally friendly park, filled with plants and animals: Sweetwater Wetlands Park!

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