DEP Acquires Upland Acres at Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park

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DEP Acquires Upland Acres at Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park 

~Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park's wet-prairie landscapes and coastal bayou are home to many rare plant and animal species~

Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park

 Fla. - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is pleased to announce the addition of three acres to Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park through the Florida Forever Program. This strategic tract located along SR 293 in Escambia County is surrounded by state park lands, the Bronson Outlying Landing Field and the Blue Angel Navy Recreation Area. The Tarkiln Bayou tract was the final parcel completing a continuous undeveloped boundary between the three protected areas.

“Even a small puzzle piece can have a big impact on conservation,” said DEP Division of State Lands Director Callie DeHaven.

The shallow estuarine water body of Tarkiln Bayou, surrounded entirely by undeveloped shoreline, provides habitat for wildlife such as wading birds and ducks. Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park’s prairie community is an example of one of the most diverse plant communities in the southeast. The park is home to several species of endangered plants including the white-topped pitcher plant. The pitcher plant thrives in longleaf pine savannas and is unique to areas between the Apalachicola and Mississippi rivers.

Visitors to the park are greeted with a boardwalk view of the wild and beautiful Tarkiln Bayou. The branches of the sand live oaks are laced with Spanish moss to form a shady canopy for visitors to enjoy. Park goers can also enjoy a picnic or hike nature trails to observe rare plants and animals.

“We are pleased to welcome this addition," said Tarklin Bayou Preserve State Park Manager Kiersten Wilson. "We look forward to managing, restoring and preserving this critical upland area.”

Public lands help ensure Florida’s residents and visitors have the opportunity to truly appreciate Florida’s unique landscapes. Florida Forever is the state's conservation and recreation lands acquisition program, a blueprint for conserving our natural resources and renewing our commitment to conserve our natural and cultural heritage. 

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Division of State Lands is Florida’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship, serving as staff to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund. Florida's state parks are managed and preserved for enjoyment by this and future generations through providing appropriate resource-based recreational opportunities, interpretation and education that help visitors connect to the Real Florida.