During the Second Seminole War (1835-1842), Lt. Colonel Benjamin Pierce first used the term 'savannah' to describe a series of ponds and marshes found here. In 1879, Captain Thomas Richards planted the first pineapples, grown from cuttings he transported from Key West. The plants thrived in the sandy, well-drained soils and dozens of plantations appeared along the Atlantic Ridge. From 1895 to 1920, Jensen Beach was known as the 'Pineapple Capital of the World.' The park encompasses more than 6,000 acres and joined the Florida Park Service in 1977.
Savannas Preserve is home to several pairs of American bald eagles. Visitors have the opportunity to observe these majestic birds as they hunt the waterways. Their nests and young are located in isolated areas of the preserve.
Savannas Preserve participates in prescribed burning to help maintain habitat and aid in the prevention of wildfire. Each fire is conducted under specified conditions to ensure participants' safety and achieve desired resource management results.
Savannas Preserve is one of the few known natural habitats in the United States for the endangered prickly apple cactus. It grows along the Atlantic Ridge in scrub areas. The fruit is considered to be inedible.
Volunteer participation is vital to Savannas Preserve. Their activities include, but are not limited to, educational programs, guided kayak/canoe trips, resource management, outreach programs and park work projects. It couldn't be done without them!