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Orange County Won Regional Diamond Award for Land Conservation

Orange County Government received the Executive Award of Regional Significance from the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council (ECFRPC) for its commitment to land conservation.

Acquiring and preserving environmentally sensitive land is the aim of the County’s Green PLACE (Park Land Acquisition for Conservation and Environmental Protection) Program. Established in the 1990s, Orange County has acquired nearly 24,000 acres of land in partnership, often in partnership with other agencies. Fourteen of the properties are currently open to the public for activities such as hiking, picnicking, fishing, kayaking and birdwatching.

In 2021, the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) approved $100 million to expand the Green PLACE Program to protect key natural resources and provide the county’s rapidly expanding population with new opportunities for nature-based recreation. Between 2021 and 2023, the County approved 22 new purchase contracts, established a seven-member Green PLACE Advisory Board, and amended administrative regulations for improved oversight.

“We are honored to be recognized by ECFRPC for our land conservation achievements. It’s truly a privilege to offer our residents enhanced options to experience and enjoy nature in Central Florida,” said Beth Jackson, Environmental Programs Administrator for Water and Land Resources Management at the County’s Environmental Protection Division.

Orange County was one of seven organizations recognized at the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council’s annual Diamond Awards ceremony for “exceptional projects that exemplify unique and noteworthy approaches to addressing regional challenges and help to realize the development of a healthy, sustainable, thriving, and resilient East Central Florida.”

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