PELLICER CREEK -- From the porch of the century-old Princess
Place hunting lodge, apanorama of marsh and bay opens up,
passing time as it has for centuries, hushed and unspoiled.
What can't be seen from this place, where royalty and sportsmen
once vacationed, is an unfolding preservation and development
effort to showcase Florida's natural and agricultural heritage,
its pristine beauty and economic maturation.
What began as an effort by Flagler County citizens to save the
lodge has turned into a project to include the state
agricultural museum, an estuarine research preserve, equestrian
trails, historic sites and may even encompass Marineland, the
marine park listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
"We didn't really know where we were going in 1990," said Jim
Darby, chairman of the Flagler County Commission. "We couldn't
tell you that these things were going to happen. We could have
told you that the public showed a keen interest in . . .
retaining the integrity of its open space."
Now, the legacy of a 1988 referendum voters passed to buy
environmentally sensitive lands has the still-rural county
putting together a 6,700-acre destination catering to those who
increasingly say they want environmentally and historically
Private fund raising for the museum kicked off Saturday with a
projected opening of 1999. Aside from that, the timeline for
other aspects of the project is still taking shape. Princess
Place is open between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
Joy Mills, a state Department of Environmental Protection
spokeswoman who also worked in state tourism, said surveys show
as many as 60 percent of international tourists and 43 million
people in the U.S. consider themselves "eco-tourists."
The department has a new office dedicated to eco-tourism, a
term coined to fit a usually upscale, child-free tourist from
baby-boomers here to Europeans and Japanese.
deal to pay up to 33 cents per $1,000 of taxable property values
to finance an acquisition program.
The target was Princess Place on Pellicer Creek, built by New
England sportsman Henry Cutting in 1887.
Since an initial 435-acre deal in 1993 that included funds from
the state Preservation 2000 fund, more money has flowed from the
state Department of Community Affairs, the St. Johns River Water
Management District, and other public and private interests. …