ONP closed for repairs

The Oakland Nature Preserve will remain closed until all the storm damage can be cleaned up and repaired.

One of the floating docks at the nature preserve had to be retrieved after the hurricane.
One of the floating docks at the nature preserve had to be retrieved after the hurricane.
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The Oakland Nature Preserve is closed until further notice because of storm damage.

“The majority (of damage) out here is large trees that have gone down,” ONP director Jennifer Hunt said. “We have some that are in very precarious locations, i.e., over trails. We have half an oak tree hanging over the amphitheater. We had a massive laurel oak take out our storage shed. We had volunteers who were able to empty out as much as they could on Saturday. We’ll have to have that removed and somehow replaced.”

The top part of an oak tree fell onto the animal enclosure, but no animals were in the area.

“All of our mammals go off property during the storms,” Hunt said. “All of our reptiles and amphibians and invertebrates are hunkered down in the classroom for safekeeping.”

ONP will have to replace the roof and a few rafters.

Volunteers also helped clear the trails Saturday.

There was no damage to the boardwalk, and one of the covered pavilions was cracked. A floating dock broke away and was found in the cove just west of the preserve; a board member used his boat to retrieve it.

A majority of the cleanup work has been cutting up the trees that fell onto the boardwalk, Hunt said. The work is taking place this week, so the preserve is closed until that is completed.

Hunt said she hopes to reopen to the community by Oct. 10 but it will depend on the pace of the cleanup efforts.

ONP has a $15,000 matching grant in progress, so all monetary donations made will be doubled.

To donate, visit oaklandnaturepreserve.org or send a check to ONP, P.O. Box 841, Oakland 34760.



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

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