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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is taking seeking public comment throughout October as it updates future plans for Blackwater River State Park.

Proposed improvements sought for the park include restoration of the park’s upland and wetland communities to improve water quality, expand overnight lodging, a new canoe and kayak launch and picnic pavilion, new signage, parking improvements at the ranger station and support facilities such as a staff residence and storage.

DEP’s Florida Park Service is in the process of updating Blackwater River State Park’s Unit Management Plan. Citizens are invited to attend a public hearing to learn more about the proposed plans for the state park and to share their comments. Every 10 years, each of the 164 state parks in Florida update their unit management plans which outline future improvements and developments.

The public notice, agenda and draft plan are available online here. Copies may also be obtained by emailing [email protected] or calling 850-983-5363. In addition to sharing input at the public hearing, the public is invited to review and submit comments to the Division of Recreation and Parks at[email protected] until Oct. 27, 2015.

WHAT:   Public Hearing

WHEN:   Oct. 13, 2015
               5-8 p.m.

WHERE: Blackwater Heritage Trail Visitor Center
               5533 Alabama St.
               Milton, FL 32570

The following developments and improvements are proposed for the updated Blackwater River State Park Unit Management Plan:

  • Implement resource management activities focused on the restoration of the park’s upland and wetland communities to improve water quality and wildlife habitat.
  • Expand overnight lodging opportunities with tent camping, hammock camping and primitive cabins.
  • Provide additional paddling and picnicking opportunities with a new canoe/kayak landing and large picnic pavilion.
  • Add new trailside interpretive signage.
  • Provide traffic and parking improvements at the ranger station.
  • Offer additional park support facilities including a staff residence and a storage/equipment shelter.
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