June 09, 2021

The City Council will vote on the proposed property on June 22

North Florida Land Trust has completed negotiations on a property that could be the first acquisition for the City of Jacksonville for the McCoys Creek Restoration Project and the first property acquired for the Emerald Trail. NFLT is serving as the city’s real estate consultant for the restoration project and reached out to the owner of the property at the corner of Kings St. and McCoys Creek Blvd. NFLT then began the due diligence process and negotiated the contract. The proposed acquisition has passed the Mayor’s Budget Review Committee and will go before the City Council for a vote on June 22.

“This piece of property is a key acquisition for Phase 1 of the McCoys Creek Restoration Project and the Emerald Trail Project,” said Jim McCarthy, president of NFLT. “It is an important piece in the plan to improve the area, restore wildlife habitats and help alleviate major flooding. We look forward to the completion of this acquisition and to continuing to work with the City to acquire properties that could help create a more resilient ecosystem.”

McCoys Creek runs from the mouth of the St. Johns River through several historic urban neighborhoods and regularly floods during normal rainfall. The City has been working to identify properties near the creek for parks and habitat restoration purposes. NFLT is handling the real estate services on behalf of the City.

NFLT contracted with the City of Jacksonville last year to provide the technical and real estate services needed for the acquisition of parcels for the McCoys Creek Restoration Project. The nonprofit works directly with the City’s Public Works Department and Real Estate Division, as well as the Office of General Counsel. They are also coordinating with Groundwork Jacksonville, its nonprofit partner and the leader of the Emerald Trail Project. Other partners include the National Park Service and USA EPA. The Emerald Trail Project will transform Jacksonville’s urban core and will include trails and recreational amenities that link 14 historic neighborhoods to McCoys Creek, Hogans Creek, downtown, and the St. Johns River.

About North Florida Land Trust

North Florida Land Trust is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to protect the natural resources, historic places and working lands (farms and ranches) throughout north Florida. Founded in 1999, NFLT has preserved tens of thousands of acres of land through donation or purchase of land as well as conservation easements.  NFLT is funded largely by private and corporate contributions and works closely with willing landowners and public agencies at all levels of government, not-for-profit partners, and foundations.