The City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs (PRCA) Department is happy to announce that, starting Monday, Sept. 14, visitors will be able to purchase annual passes to enjoy Sweetwater Wetlands Park. The annual pass costs $75, and is valid from Oct. 1, 2015-Sept. 30, 2016. Passes allow a vehicle to enter the park with any number of persons in the car. Passes are available for purchase in person at the PRCA Administrative Office, which is located on the third floor of the Thomas Center, Building B (306 NE Sixth Ave.), and is open Monday-Thursday from 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sweetwater Wetlands Park, also known as the Paynes Prairie Sheetflow Restoration project, is now open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, from 7 a.m. until sunset until the end of September. Starting Oct. 1, the park will be open daily, including federal and state holidays. The entry fee is $5 per vehicles and $2 for pedestrians or bicycle entry. The park is located at 325 SW Williston Road. For directions, a map can be viewed at https://goo.gl/maps/bK9YN.
Sweetwater Wetlands Park continues to be a popular destination. It is not only a place to connect with nature, it is also a way to protect our environment. The park, which consists of more than 125 acres of wetlands and ponds, was created to improve the water quality of wetlands in Paynes Prairie and the Floridan Aquifer. This unique park features more than 3.5 miles of trails and boardwalks that overlook a thriving created wetlands environment on the north side of the Paynes Prairie State Preserve. Visitors will find a wide variety of native plants, birds, butterflies, alligators and even the occasional Florida cracker horse.
Ranger-led tours, Introduction to Sweetwater Wetlands, are offered each Saturday. Tours are free with park admission. Tours start at 9 a.m. at the Welcome Classroom Pavilion. Attendees should wear comfortable shoes and bring water. For more information about the tours, please call 352-393-8437.
For more information, please contact Linda Demetropoulos, nature operations manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-393-8445. For more information on the park and its development, please visit www.sweetwaterwetlands.org.