Southwest Nature Park
GRU and its partners, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), Suwannee River Water Management (SRWMD) and Alachua County, are collaborating on a multipurpose park called the Southwest Nature Park. The future 75-acre park will be located on the west side of Parker Road, immediately north of Diamond Sports Park.
When the park opens in 2026, visitors can anticipate hiking trails meandering through a constructed wetland system. The wetland system will be a series of shallow basins with native wetland flora hydrated by high-quality reclaimed water.
Water in the constructed wetland will be naturally filtered to reduce nutrients to low levels before percolating into the soil and replenishing the groundwater below. This groundwater recharge process will boost aquifer levels and help support flows at the Santa Fe River and surrounding springs.
The hiking trails can be used for passive recreation such as walking, jogging, wildlife viewing, photography, environmental education and more. The FDEP and SRWMD are funding partners for the design and construction of the wetland system. Alachua County plans to partner with GRU to manage public access and, at a future date, plans to fund and construct amenities such as restrooms, a playground and improved parking. To learn more about wetland systems, please view our fact sheet.
For more information about the Southwest Nature Park, please visit our website.