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March 20, 2023

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Alachua County believes citizen engagement is fundamental to effective government. As such, Alachua County will be reactivating the Alachua County Citizens Academy multi-week program. Residents are encouraged to sign up for the 2023 Alachua County Citizens Academy. Citizens will get an in-depth and hands-on understanding of how County government and constitutional offices operate and how they can most effectively engage and participate in our County's future.

The free program starts on April 6, 2023, on consecutive Thursday mornings for eight sessions. The registration deadline is March 24.  

To view a complete schedule of classes and to register online, visit the Alachua County Citizens Academy website.

"Informed citizens are the cornerstone of local government," says Alachua County Manager Michele L. Lieberman. "Our Alachua County Citizens Academy was recognized by the National Association of Counties with an Achievement Award. We would like you to be a part of this award-winning, fast-paced, and information-packed program." 

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Fire Station 80 Groundbreaking

Watch a short video of the Fire Station 80 groundbreaking.

When completed, Fire Station 80 will house an Advanced Life Support Engine, which will allow Alachua County Fire Rescue to fill a critical gap and work with neighboring stations to improve service for Alachua County residents.

“The men and women of Alachua County Fire Rescue are excited to be a part of these communities and look forward to enhancing the level of service with quicker response times in this growing area,” said Fire Chief Harold Theus.

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Registration Begins Soon for Summer Camp at Cuscowilla Nature and Retreat Center

The Countdown to summer is on! Registration for summer camp at Cuscowilla Nature and Retreat Center will open on April 1, 2023. This year’s theme is “A Summer of Discovery”.

Go to the Camp Cuscowilla program page. Links to register will be available starting April 1, 2023.

Day Camp will be offered for 8 weeks, from June 5 to July 28, Monday thru Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Children ages 7 to 12 can register for one week or the whole summer. Each week will offer activities like archery, swimming, outdoor skills, arts and crafts, boating, and more. Specialty camps are offered for ages 10 - 14 with themes like Fish Camp and Adventure Camp.

“Camp has a way of introducing youth to the outdoors through fun, hands-on, minds-on activities that create lifelong connections to nature," said Cuscowilla Manager Jamie Bass. "Our camp provides an increasingly rare opportunity for children to unplug and immerse themselves in the natural world right here in Alachua County."

Learn more about Summer Camp at Cuscowilla Nature and Retreat Center.

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4-4-23 Newberry Meat Processing Facility

Special Meeting

The Alachua County Commission will hold a Special Meeting on Tuesday, April 4, 2023, to discuss the proposed Newberry Meat Processing Facility. The meeting begins at 5 p.m. in the Jack Durrance Auditorium on the second floor of the County Administration Building (12 S.E. 1st Street, Gainesville).

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Federal government provided Alachua County funding through the American Rescue Plan. Alachua County has budgeted $2.5 million to construct a USDA-certified meat processing facility/workforce training center.

Learn more about the Meat Processing Facility.

The County Commission approved the preliminary work plan at their December 6, 2022, Special Meeting.

Read more about the Special Meeting.

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O’Leno State Park to Host Springs Celebration and Chili Cookoff

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department, Florida State Parks, and The Friends of O’Leno invite citizens to the O’Leno Ole’ Chili Cookoff (from 9 a.m. to noon) and Springs Celebration (from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.). The event is on Saturday, April 8, 2023, at O’Leno State Park (410 SE O’Leno Park Road, High Springs). Admission to the park is free with the donation of one non-expired canned food item (per person) to benefit a local food bank.

The event includes a chili cookoff, live music from the Weeds of Eden, a guided walk along the River Trail, children’s activities, art vendors, and environmental exhibits. Chili tasting kits will be on sale for $7. All proceeds assist the Friends of O’Leno non-profit organization with its mission of supporting the park.

“The Springs Celebration is a great event for kicking off Water Conservation Month this April,” said Alachua County Environmental Protection Water Resources Program Manager Stacie Greco. “When we over-water our crops and yards, we may be harming the springs of the Santa Fe River by reducing the amount of water available to recharge these important waters. Come to the event to learn how to be part of the springs protection solution.”

Learn more about the Springs Celebration and Chili Cookoff.

Find out how you can compete in the Chili Cookoff.

Community Reuse and Recycle Day

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The Alachua County Solid Waste & Resource Recovery Department, in collaboration with the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo, invites residents to participate in the “Community Reuse & Recycle Day” on Saturday, April, 15th 2023. Residents are encouraged to take advantage of this free spring clean out, donation, and Hazardous Waste Recycling Event.

The event will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Santa Fe College NW Campus, Construction Institute Parking Lot 9 on North Road, across from the gym. Signs and volunteers will be on-site to allow for the safe and efficient offloading of donations and hazardous waste materials.

Read more about the Community Reuse and Recycle Day.

County Temporarily Closes Four Creeks Preserve North and South Trailheads for Road and Trail Maintenance Activities

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The Alachua County Four Creeks Preserve North Trailhead (8400 N.W. 13th Street, Gainesville) and South Trailhead (6845 N.W. 37th Street, Gainesville) will be temporarily closed for road and trail maintenance activities beginning Monday, March 13, 2023. Depending on the weather, the closure is expected to remain in effect through March 22. During this time, maintenance of several areas along the road and trail system will occur in the Preserve. Trucks and other equipment will operate on the roads and trail system throughout the Preserve.

Find out more about the trailhead closures.

Free Skywarn Spotter Course

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Alachua County Emergency Management is hosting an in-person Skywarn Spotter course at the Alachua County Emergency Operations Center (1100 S.E. 27th Street, Gainesville) on Thursday, April 6, 2023, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This course is free and open to anyone with interest. The class size is limited, and pre-registration is required. 

“Are you fascinated by weather patterns? Do you want to help the National Weather Service track significant weather to better keep our community safe and well informed?” asked Alachua County Emergency Management Assistant Director David Peaton. “If so, the US National Weather Service Jacksonville Florida Skywarn program could be for you. The Skywarn spotter program is a nationwide network of volunteers trained by the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) to report significant weather.”

Participants must register online

Visit the Alachua County website
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