The Southwest Nature park will be open to the public in 2026

Project Information

Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) and its partners, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), Suwannee River Water Management (SRWMD) and Alachua County, are creating a Nature Park. The home of the 75 acre future park is located on the west side of Parker Road immediately north the Diamond Sports Park.

Artistic rendering of the future Southwest Nature Park

The project will help replenish, or recharge, the Floridan aquifer, which will benefit the Santa Fe River, its springs and our community.

Shallow areas planted with wetland plants

The park will have a series of shallow areas planted with wetland plants that are hydrated with high-quality reclaimed water. Reclaimed water is sometimes also called reuse water, irrigation water or “purple pipe” water. Natural processes in the constructed wetlands will filter the water and reduce nutrients to low levels before percolating the water into the soil and replenishing the groundwater below. The groundwater recharge will boost aquifer levels and help support flows at the Santa Fe River and surrounding springs.

Surrounded by paths that can be used for recreation

The shallow wetlands will be surrounded by paths that can be used for passive recreation like 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 enhanced parking. The park will be open to the public in 2026.

Project Interviews

Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) – Using water resources and enhancing the community.

Project News

GRU to collect water samples from wells

Alachua County asked GRU to collect water samples from wells on properties within 500-feet of the park property boundary during the design phase of the project to get a baseline characterization of water quality prior to the park construction. GRU is offering additional sampling outside of this 500-feet area for interested property owners…Read More