Panama City Beach, FL., October 25, 2011 – In an effort to rehydrate thousands of acres of protected wetlands and provide for beneficial use of the community’s retreated water, Panama City Beach officials – along with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Corp of Engineers and the Florida Department of Fish & Wildlife – developed an innovative system that led to the creation of the newly opened 2,900 -acre Conservation Park.
“This Conservation Park is an eco-tourist’s dream,” states Dan Rowe, president and CEO of Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Just this morning while walking on one of the trails, I saw an alligator, Osprey and a baby Whitetail Deer. We look forward to sharing the park with our visitors year round.”
Due to decades of extensive tree farming, the natural water balance of the wetlands in the 2,900-acre West Bay Ecosystem had been altered. Eleven years ago, Panama City Beach leaders were charged with devising a plan to rehydrate the land with the city’s reclaimed water. Today, the city’s wastewater treatment facility has the capacity to pump up to 14 million gallons of water daily through an elaborate piping system in the wetlands. With minor additions, the system will be able to handle 18 million gallons per day to handle future growth. The result is a protected Conservation Park that offers a recreational area for visitors and restores the habitat of native species. Panama City Beach one of a few select municipalities that offers this type of system and serves as a model for other destinations.
can enjoy the Conservation Park’s boardwalks and 24 miles of dirt trails, 10 of
which are color coded for varying lengths and aptly named “Gayle’s Trails,”
honoring the city’s Mayor Gayle Oberst, who was one of the visionaries of the
project. Similar paths already exist
across Panama City Beach and the plan is to link them together into a congruent
system that will stretch from the Walton County line to the north, to St.
Andrews State Park, located at the southern tip of Bay County.
Public restrooms, picnic areas and a pavilion are located near the main parking lot for use by park guests. An outdoor classroom provides a venue for educational and enrichment opportunities. Eight boardwalks totaling over one mile in length are scattered throughout the park and provide excellent viewing of natural wetland areas for visitors.
The Panama City Beach Conservation Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset. A designated parking lot is located off of Conservation Drive.
Media Contact: Susan Estler / Panama City Beach CVB / 850-233-5070 / email@example.com
About Panama City Beach:
Panama City Beach is situated on 27 miles of sugar-white sand beaches bordering clear, emerald-green waters where the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrew Bay converge. With more than 300 days of sunshine annually and attractions such as St. Andrews State Park and Pier Park, the region has long been favored by travelers seeking an affordable beach vacation with year-round offerings for families, couples, groups and adventure-seekers. These include championship golf courses, spas, sporting events, award-winning dining and diverse recreational activities. Panama City Beach recently opened the new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, offering non-stop flights on Delta Airlines and Southwest Airlines. For more information, call 1-800-PCBEACH (850-233-6503) or visit the official Web site of the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, http://www.visitpanamacitybeach.com. You can now follow us on Twitter @PCBeach to receive up the minute news and details on special offers and deals.
can also visit www.louhammond.com for latest press
releases and images. Follow on Twitter @LouHammondPR or find us on Facebook.
# # #
Panama City Beach CVB
Gina Stouffer / Heidi Barfels
Lou Hammond & Associates
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com