Water-Related News

Hillsborough County purchases 543 acres in Keystone area

The addition to the Brooker Creek Buffer Preserve is part of a plan to link 10,000 acres of environmental land

KEYSTONE — It’s a part of Hillsborough County where pasture land, equestrian lifestyles and “wildlife crossing’’ signs coexist amid winding narrow roads wrapping around neighborhoods filled with lakefront McMansions.

Hillsborough commissioners recently moved to save a little bit more of the rural flavor of the northwest portion of the county by making a little bit less of the open land in the Keystone and Odessa area available for potential development.

With no public comment, county commissioners on April 15 approved contracts to acquire two sites totaling 543 acres for $11.6 million under the Jan K. Platt Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program, known by the acronym ELAPP.

The land is located between Boy Scout and Patterson roads, east of the Brooker Creek Buffer Preserve in an area designated in 2019 as a top priority for acquisition under the land-buying program. The two parcels are part of a desired 928-acre addition to the Booker Creek Buffer Preserve that, if completed, would link 10,000 acres of environmentally sensitive land.