In 1992, the state of Florida purchased the southern portion of the property where Salt Springs is located. The property was leased to the Pasco County Division of Parks and Recreation. In 1994, the county purchased an adjacent parcel to the north, known as Werner-Boyce Preserve. In 2000, Pasco County relinquished its lease on the Salt Springs property and agreed to lease its Werner-Boyce property to the State. The property became known as Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park. A part of the park opened to the public in March 2001.
Prescribed fire is an important part of managing natural areas. Fires occur naturally with lightning during the summer months, but with encroaching development and urbanization, lightning-generated fires are quickly extinguished, leaving our natural areas unburned. Fire is crucial to many Florida habitats, helping to maintain a wide range of plant and animal life. However, while fire is important, wildfire is hard to manage and can be very destructive. Prescribed burning also helps better manage fire. It reduces the potential for wide-spread destruction while still meeting the needs of fire-dependent habitats. Prescribed fire is applied to the undergrowth surrounding the trail in this photo. A snapshot of the trail after the burn is located in the banner images.
Work began in early 2008 to construct the main entrance into the park. This is Phase One for construction of the entrance, located along U.S. Highway 19 in Port Richey, Florida. Phase One also includes half a mile of roadway and utilities such as water and electricity for future facilities. Phase Two will add a roadway leading to the water for a kayak launch, parking and picnic area. For a look at the nearly-complete entrance, check out the banner images.
When the state acquired the park in 2000, a small old portable facility was abandoned on the property. Staff and volunteers, with donations from local businesses, refurbished the facility into what it is today. The facility is used almost daily for training, meetings or interpretive programs. This photo shows the building before it was remodeled. Check out the banner image of the facility for its new look.
In 2005, the Port Richey Rotary Club donated funds for the materials needed to add an outside observation deck to the interpretive building. Volunteers worked to complete the project and today the deck provides an outside meeting place for groups. For a look at the finished deck, see the banner images.