FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 29, 2012
DEP’S FLORIDA COMMUNITIES TRUST CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING OF DUBOIS PARK
~Florida Communities Trust partnered with Palm Beach County to purchase the historic homestead at the park~
Aerial view of DuBois Park.
PALM BEACH – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)’s Florida Communities Trust (FCT) today celebrated the grand opening of DuBois Park. Located in northern Palm Beach County along Jupiter Inlet and near the mouth of the Loxahatchee River, the 1.17 acre property was purchased in 2008 through a partnership between Palm Beach County and Florida Communities Trust.
“This park is another great example of how Florida Communities Trust is helping Florida’s communities protect their most important natural, cultural and historical resources for future generations,” said Clay Smallwood, Director of DEP’s Division of State Lands, which administers the FCT program. “I am pleased that this successful partnership will allow the residents and visitors of Palm Beach County to enjoy the unique and historical DuBois Park.”
Known to locals as “Zeke’s Marina,” the property at DuBois Park features a pineapple packing house that was relocated down river by barge to its current location in the late 1890s by Harry DuBois. The structure, considered to be the oldest in Palm Beach County, will be renovated in the future for use as an educational kiosk. The property is also home to a red mangrove community that provides habitat for a variety of animal species, including manatees, sea turtles and various wading bird species.
In 2008, FCT awarded $1.8 million for the acquisition and the county contributed an equal amount in local matching funds. Additional amenities at the park include a one-acre snorkeling lagoon and artificial reef, boat ramp and floating water-taxi landing, picnic shelter and ADA-compliant ramp. The front walkway displays an iron cannon recovered from the wreck of the San Miguel de Archangel that sank in 1659.
FCT is a state land acquisition grant program that helps Florida’s communities protect important natural resources, provide recreational opportunities and preserve traditional working waterfronts through the Parks and Open Space and Stan Mayfield Working Waterfronts Florida Forever Grant Programs.
FCT provides Florida Forever funding to local governments and eligible non-profit organizations to acquire land for parks, open space, greenways and projects supporting Florida's seafood harvesting and aquaculture industries. Once a property is acquired through grant funds provided by FCT, the local grant recipient holds title to and manages the lands purchased. Since its inception in 1991, Florida Communities Trust has awarded nearly $827 million from both programs to help communities with their local land acquisition efforts.