St. Johns County Land Conservation Program Gets BIG Funding Increase

The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners recently voted to increase funding for their Land Acquisition and Management Program (LAMP) to $2,000,000 for the upcoming fiscal year. The purpose of LAMP is to identify, evaluate, and recommend lands to be acquired in the unincorporated areas of the County that enhance or promote ecological communities, green space, water resources, outdoor passive recreation, as well as historic, educational, and scientific activities. 


Through the early 2000s, St. Johns County maintained the LAMP which focused on acquiring and preserving environmentally sensitive land. Community landmarks such as Alpine Groves River Park, Vilano Beach Oceanfront Park, and the Southeast Intracoastal Waterway Park were acquired and preserved through LAMP. Unfortunately, LAMP was put on hold in 2008 due to funding limitations and never reinitiated once state conservation funding was available again. In June of 2021, Matanzas Riverkeeper, along with partners in the conservation community, worked diligently to get the LAMP program restarted. 

Since LAMP was reinstated, there has been much discussion about the level of funding this program should receive. With a booming local real estate market and LAMP receiving an annual appropriation of just $500,000, the need for additional funding was clear. Within the first year of the program, six projects were nominated totaling over 500 acres at an estimated cost of over $17,000,000. Furthermore, the state’s main land acquisition program, Florida Forever, has been chronically underfunded for the past several years, underscoring the importance of local land conservation programs.

On August 1, 2023 the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved a non-recurring increase of funding to $2 million dollars. The final budget will be approved this fall. This increase in funding will raise the capacity for the county to purchase new lands, as well as increase the county's ability to leverage state and federal funding for a financial match. "Conserving land is one of the best ways to protect our water" said Matanzas Riverkeeper, Jen Lomberk. "This funding increase is a huge win for St. Johns County's natural resources."

If you have a property that you are interested in selling to the County for conservation through LAMP, visit the LAMP page on the St. Johns County's website and fill out a Land Acquisition Application

Help us say 'thank you' for this funding increase to our Board of County Commissioners by sending them an email: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]