Volusia Makes Edgewater Conservation Purchase

The Volusia County Council recently approved the purchase of 2,508 acres consisting of three properties for $4.7 million, according to a media release. The land is within the city of Edgewater, east of Interstate 95 and south of Indian River Boulevard. It encompasses important wetlands that are hydrologically connected to and flow into the North Indian River Lagoon.

“This is the first Volusia Forever purchase within the city of Edgewater and the largest acreage purchase since 76% of voters reauthorized the conservation land-buying program in November 2020,” the release stated. “Following the purchase, the state’s land acquisition program, Florida Forever, will reimburse the County $3.21 million for the purchase of the largest 2,047-acre property.”

According to the release, the property was purchased from the Stewart family, who played a significant role in Volusia County’s success and growth.

“Attorney and judge Isaac Stewart set up the first law partnership in DeLand, representing both Henry A. DeLand and John B. Stetson, and was instrumental in creating the county seat in DeLand and served as a member of the County Commission,” the release states.

“We could not be more thrilled with the acquisition of this land,” said Volusia County Land Acquisition Manager Tim Telfer in the release. “Over the years, the Stewart family has left its mark on Volusia County in more ways than one. This purchase will not only allow us to conserve thousands of acres forever but also preserve the Stewart family legacy.”

This acquisition has been a high priority for the Volusia County Council because of the opportunity to preserve the natural floodplain, create public recreation, and protect water quality in the Indian River Lagoon, which acts as a refuge for countless species and as a spawning and nursery ground for many fish found off Florida’s coast, the release states. County officials expect a ribbon cutting for the property to occur before the end of the year.