Communication Builds Our Community

Several Polk Environmental Lands Sites Reopen to the Public

Many Sites Retaining Flood Waters, Reducing Impacts of Hurricane

Several Polk County Environmental Lands sites have reopened to the public following Hurricane Ian, including Crooked Lake Prairie, Crooked Lake Sandhill, Gator Creek Reserve, Hickory Lake Scrub, Lakeland Highlands Scrub, Sherwood L. Stokes Preserve and SUMICA.

While these sites are open, visitors are advised to use caution and follow the posted trail closures. Sections of trails may be under water and portions of trails may be closed, due to excessive downed trees and debris.

While the environmental lands were acquired to protect the water, wildlife and wilderness of Polk County, people often visit environmental lands to see nature and enjoy the outdoors. These lands provide many benefits to the community including flood protection as they store flood waters and help to prevent additional damage to private property and critical assets in the watershed.

Some preserves will remain closed, including Circle B Bar Reserve, Marshall Hampton Reserve, North Walk-in-Water Creek and Peace River Hammock. Staff and volunteers will start work to clear trails once the water recedes.

For a location map and additional information on Polk County Environmental Land sites, check the county's website at


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