Cooperatove Conservation Project
COOPERATIVE CONSERVATION CASE STUDY

Abacoa New Town

Sustainable Alternative to Suburban Sprawl

Location: Southeastern Region: Florida

Project Summary: Abacoa is a 2000-acre new town based on neo-traditional town planning principles, being built on land originally owned by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
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The location of development areas and the configuration of a 260-acre Abacoa Greenway were based on a resource assessment. Restored wetlands provide for environmentally friendly stormwater management, and in order to provide high quality wildlife habitat, many invasive plant species were removed from the Greenway and replaced with native plants.
Resource Challenge
The Conservation Fund initially worked as part of a team of ecologists, planners, engineers, and municipal officials to    develop a plan for Abacoa.  The town plan was developed after a careful assessment of the site’s natural resources, including uplands, depressional/wetland areas, wildlife habitat, and topographic and drainage characteristics.  The location of development areas and the configuration of the 260-acre Abacoa Greenway were based on this resource assessment.
Examples of Key Partners
 
Results and Accomplishments
When it is completed, Abacoa will include 6,000+ residential units, a mixed-use Town Center, Florida State University’s Honors College, a baseball stadium and spring training facility, a multi-use golf course, ±3 millions of commercial and retail space, and a 260-acre Greenway.  The Greenway was designed to protect critical habitat for the endangered gopher tortoise and provide a significant open space amenity for residents.  Restored wetlands provide for environmentally friendly stormwater management, and in order to provide high quality wildlife habitat, many invasive plant species were removed from the Greenway and replaced with native plants.
Innovation/Highlight

The Conservation Fund designed improvements including informational and interpretive signage to facilitate recreational and educational use of the greenway by community residents. These improvements include trails, pedestrian bridges, wildlife observation platforms, and extensive signage. As part of design development and constructive documentation, TCF engaged and managed a team of consultants including an architect, engineer, landscape architect, and signage designers. Literally and figuratively at the heart of the community, the greenway is a 260-acre multipurpose preserve. The saw palmetto and slash pine uplands serve as critical habitat for the endangered gopher tortoise; restored wetlands help replenish ground water reserves and provide food and shelter for a host of plants and animals; and a series of interconnected lakes and channels serve as a stormwater management system for the community and nursery for aquatic species, and environmental amenity for residents.

Project Contact
Kendra Briechle
Manager Center for Conservation and Development
The Conservation Fund
1800 N Kent Street, Suite 1120
Arlington, VA 22209
703-525-6300
kbriechle@conservationfund.org






Website: www.conservationfund.org

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