The Farmton Tree Farm includes regionally significant environmental resources such as Spruce Creek Swamp, Crane Swamp, Cow Creek and Sandy Drain as part of a connected system of uplands and wetlands. Approximately 41,000 acres of environmentally sensitive lands have been permanently protected through various conservation easements. The Farmton Mitigation Bank easements cover approximately 23,000 acres and the Farmton Local Plan easements cover an additional 17,000 acres. Both sets of easements include perpetual maintenance and annual monitoring. Through careful stewardship, these lands provide connected wildlife corridors, significant habitat, regionally important wetland systems, aquifer recharge and compatible recreation. The Deering Preserve at Deep Creek was donated by Miami Corporation to Volusia County, the East Central Florida Rail Trail cuts through natural areas of the property and the Southwest Wildlife Corridor was established to provide habitat linkages for the Florida Black Bear and other wildlife.
Farmton Conservation Management Plans
Ongoing maintenance of the approximately 41,000 acres of lands under conservation easement is essential to our ecology and restoration goals. Controlling exotic plants and animals, conducting controlled burns, forestry stewardship, protecting water resources, coordination with government agencies and environmental organization, and other management activities are detailed in the mitigation bank permits and conservation management plans. The mitigation bank permits have specific requirements for the management of the bank acres, and Miami Corporation has managed and will continue to manage these lands in conformity with the permit requirements.
The conservation lands outside of the mitigation bank are managed in accordance with Farmton Conservation Management Plans that were crafted as a cooperative effort with Brevard and Volusia counties and many other stakeholders including Florida Audubon, the State of Florida, and a panel of experts in conservation management. Annual reviews by Volusia County, Brevard County, Florida Audubon and the St. Johns River Water Management District ensure compliance with the management plans.
The Farmton Plan is a model for sustainable forestry with an emphasis on protecting natural areas of regional significance as well as critical wildlife habitat. The Farmton lands are a keystone property for achieving regional wildlife conservation and connectivity. They are habitat for black bears and bobcats and provide nesting areas for bald eagles as well as swallowtail kites.
Farmton Water Resources LLC and the City of Titusville provide water from a portion of the Farmton lands located in Brevard County to the citizens of Titusville through TIFA LLC, a joint venture. TIFA provides 2.75 million gallons a day of raw water from a well field designed for sustainable operations and the protection of the ecosystem. Farmton Services LLC provides irrigation water for agricultural operations through a 2 million gallon a day allocation and has the ability to provide water for surrounding communities up to 4 million gallons a day. The water resources on the property are carefully managed for sustainable operations without impacts to the aquifer, wetlands and upland habitat.
The East Central Regional Rail Trail runs through the property from the Osteen area at SR 415 along Maytown Road to the east, underneath I-95, and then back up to Edgewater, with a southern connection off of Maytown Road down to the Titusville area. Open to the public with various parking areas, the trail is paved and easily accessible, with views ranging from pine flatwoods, open marshes, cypress swamps, pastures and mature canopy forests. As development begins in Deering Park Center and other locations over time, connections to rail trails and bicycle areas within the community will be expanded and emphasized.
For more information about the East Central Regional Rail Trail visit: Volusia County’s website or Rails to Trails Conservancy.
The private Farmton Hunt Club manages all hunting on the property in accordance with an approved wildlife management program. Annual game studies are conducted and strict compliance with safety and other regulations is required. Deering Preserve at Deep Creek provides public access for kayaking and canoeing on a waterway reminiscent of old Florida, with towering cypress and connects to the St. Johns River.