Revitalized wetlands and wildlife habitat
Gainesville Regional Utilities and the Gainesville Public Works Department partnered to develop Sweetwater Wetlands Park. Sweetwater Wetlands Park is not only a place to connect with nature, it's a way to protect our environment.
The park offers a unique and innovative approach to achieving new water quality regulatory standards, while providing additional environmental benefits. The facility filters water from Sweetwater Branch, reduces nutrient loading. It then releases clean water to Paynes Prairie while protecting the Floridan aquifer, enhancing wildlife habitat and providing public recreation.
The 264-acre park is now a thriving habitat filled with vast numbers of plants and animals, including birds, butterflies, alligators and Florida cracker horses. The park also features more than 3.5 miles of crushed gravel trails and boardwalks, lush landscapes, viewing platforms, educational signs and tours.
The Gainesville City Commission approved the project concept in 2007. Construction on the project began in 2012 and was completed in 2014. Support and assistance was provided by cooperating organizations including the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, St. Johns River Water Management District, Alachua County, the Florida Department of Transportation, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.