Pensacolians are encouraged to join in the beautification of one of the area’s lesser known, but treasured recreational areas in Escambia County. The county is seeking volunteers to sign up and become a “Friend of Jones Swamp” by creating a committee that officials hope will become a nonprofit dedicated to preservation of the Jones Swamp Wetland Preserve in Warrington.
Since its creation, the county has struggled to maintain the preserve’s facilities, resulting in excessive litter and neglect along the greenway trail within the preserve.
“Unknown to many, the Jones Swamp Wetland Preserve is an amazing wildlife sanctuary in the heart of Warrington,” said Escambia County District 2 commisioner Doug Underhill.
Tucked away in an urban core, the preserve offers natural outdoor recreation, including hiking, biking, bird watching and environmental education opportunities.
The elevated boardwalk and walking trails found in the preserve are part of the Southwest Greenway and plans are to connect the trail via 15 miles of trail way from Lexington Terrace Park in Warrington near Bayou Chico to Tarklin Bayou State Recreational Preserve and Big Lagoon State Park near the Alabama-Florida state line.
Jones Swamp is owned and maintained by the county, but county officials say the preserve is in need of citizen involvement to preserve its value.
“If citizens take ownership of this great natural asset by becoming active and engaged on a volunteer basis, Jones Swamp can become a shining star and signature for Warrington and West Pensacola as a whole,” said Underhill.
The group will serve as a “Booster Club” for the park, rallying support, pulling together volunteers and advocating for its continued preservation.
“This is a way to give Jones Swamp its own specialized attention while bringing the community together,” added Underhill. “Not to mention, an organization unattached to government has the ability to exist and succeed long after a sitting commissioner’s term and without interference, ensuring that Jones Swamp remains a priority for the district and Escambia County.”
District 2 is looking for those with a love of biking, birding, nature walking, all around outdoors enthusiasts, and those with talents in procuring sponsors, volunteer recruitment, fundraising, administration, technology and more.
The county is asking for those interested in volunteering to contact the District 2 office at 850-595-4920 or [email protected].