District Properties Offer New Features

News Release

Visitors will find it easier to navigate some of their favorite trails thanks to new features at some of the Southwest Florida Water Management District's properties.

The District created new trail maps and other information at kiosks on site to enrich the experience when exploring properties. The new trail maps were created for 16 of the District's most popular properties using detailed information including global positioning coordinates.

The properties with the new maps are:

"Conner Preserve":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/conner.html (Pasco)
"Cypress Creek Preserve":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/cypresscreek.html (Pasco)
"Deep Creek Preserve":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/deepcreek.html (DeSoto)
"Edward W. Chance Reseve – Gilley Creek Tract":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/edwardchance-gilley.html (Manatee)
"Flying Eagle Preserve":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/flyingeagle.html (Citrus)
"Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve – East Tract":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/greenswamp-east_tract.html (Polk, Sumter, Lake)
"Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve – Hampton Tract":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/greenswamp.html (Polk)
"Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve – West Tract":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/greenswamp-west.html (Pasco)
"Hálpata Tastanaki Preserve":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/halpata.html (Marion)
"Lake Panasoffkee":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/lakepanasoffkee.html (Sumter)
"Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/lowerhillsborough.html (Hillsborough)
"Potts Preserve":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/potts.html (Citrus)
"Serenova Tract at Starkey Wilderness Preserve":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/starkey-serenova.html (Pasco)
"Upper Hillsborough Preserve – Alston Tract":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/upper_hillsborough_preserve.html (Pasco, Polk)
"Upper Hillsborough Preserve – Upper Hillsbrough Tract":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/upper_hillsborough_preserve.html (Pasco, Polk)
"Weeki Wachee":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/weekiwachee.html Preserve (Hernando)

"The new maps will help guide visitors through the property," said Carmen Sanders, the District's land use and protection supervisor. "The GPS coordinates will correspond with numbered trail intersections and make it easier for visitors to pinpoint their exact location."

The maps are part of an ongoing effort to update information at District properties. In recent years, land use specialists marked District trails using an improved system.

Hiking is the greatest use of District lands with more than 850 miles of hiking trails open to the public. Many trails are located near populated areas and also are open for bird watching, jogging, bicycling and backpacking.

New information also can be found in the kiosks explaining the recreation opportunities at each property and the District's mission.

"These posters were created to explain to our visitors why the District acquires and manages lands and how those relate to water management," Sanders said.

The District purchases and manages conservation lands to protect water resources
and to preserve and restore Florida ecosystems. There are more than 343,000 acres of conservation lands in the region open to the public for recreation opportunities.

Visit "WaterMatters.org/Recreation":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/ for a complete list of District properties and recreational opportunities. Recreational Guides also can be downloaded or ordered at "WaterMatters.org/Publications":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/publications/type/all. The 152-page booklet features maps of District-owned lands and the recreational uses allowed.