In addition to natural lands preserved through the development process, several land acquisition programs have been sponsored by the county and various municipalities through bond referenda strongly supported by the registered voters.
In 1978 a $73 million bond referendum was approved and acquired many of the larger County parks including those with significant natural resources such as Fern Forest and West Lake Park/Anne Kolb Nature Center. In 1989, the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Bond was approved for $75 million which focused specifically on natural lands and included Miramar Pineland, Woodmont, and Hillsboro Pineland Natural Areas. In 2000, the Safe Parks and Land Preservation Bond Program was approved for $400 million to upgrade the County parks and acquire additional natural lands. The program successfully acquired by the end of 2010 more than 1,000 acres of conservation lands, green spaces and open spaces.
The Protected Natural Lands Inventory has recently been posted on the County website under the Land Stewardship Program. Preservation efforts within the County have resulted in a total of 322 sites, consisting of 16,420 acres (or 25.66 square miles) of natural areas available for wildlife habitat, aquifer recharge and public enjoyment. 6% of urban Broward County’s 410 square miles now consists of protected natural lands.
A format has been chosen that will allow anyone on a computer with internet access to utilize this interactive tool see the site name, owner and management entity, which may be different, the municipality in which it is located, the number of acres of natural lands within the site, and the vegetative community that has been preserved. The County’s natural land preservation efforts are a significant investment in improving the quality of life and enhancing the economic value of adjacent properties and communities.