GPS Coordinates: Lat: 28o 04' 38.50" N Long: 82o 07' 26.50" W
The +/- 363 acre McIntosh Tract was purchased in 1998 for $1.1 million by the Florida Communities Trust and the Hillsborough County Environmental Land Acquisition and Protection Program (ELAPP). The eastern 100 acres of the tract, a former grassy meadow used as pasture land, was converted into a prairie wetland at a cost of $2.5 million, mostly with grant money in a cooperative effort between local, county, state and federal agencies to acquire land for preservation.
The prairie wetland area is capable of removing up to 50% of the pollutants going into the Hillsborough River from northeast Hillsborough County. The East side Canal, which flows into river tributaries known as Itchepackesassa Creek and Blackwater Creek will flow through this wetlands area before arriving at the Hillsborough River at Two Rivers Ranch. The Eastside Canal drains 6,300 acres of urban and rural land in and around Plant City, including about two million gallons of treated waste water.
Future plans for the remaining 260+ acres is a passive park area featuring low-intensity uses such as horseback riding, hiking and biking trails and pavilions. The prairie wetland will be also provide suitable habitat for wood storks, sandhill cranes and just about any type of wading bird imaginable.