Four Incredible Co-Chairs Announce 2022 Campaign!


                                  Wild Spaces Public Places Campaign Kickoff

Who:  Four Co-chairs for the 2022 Wild Spaces - Public Places campaign will provide brief comments, and then be available for one-on-one interviews.  They are:
   -  Becky Burleigh, former UF Soccer Coach
   -  Joy Glanzer, former City Commissioner – Newberry
   -  Eric Godet, CEO – Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce
   -  Tom Kay, Executive Director – Alachua Conservation Trust, Inc.

Current and former elected officials and people representing various interests will also attend and be available for interviews. 

What:  "Wild Spaces – Public Places" is a referendum on the November 8th ballot in Alachua County.  It would raise funds for protecting water by conserving land, improving parks and recreation facilities, re-paving existing roads countywide, building or renovating public facilities such as fire stations, and funding affordable housing projects. 

When:  The press conference begins at 10am on Monday, September 19, 2022.  Both outdoor and indoor locations are available.

Where:  Hogtown Creek Headwaters Nature Park; 1500 NW 45th Avenue; Gainesville

Why:  The format of this press event is to provide substantial background for coverage of the referendum campaign over the next six weeks. It is anticipated that numerous stories can be generated from the interviews and written information provided at the event. A quiet room is available for radio interviews, and there are visually appropriate backgrounds for photo and video.

How much:  The existing Wild Spaces – Public Places program was passed for the second time in 2016, and is a  ½ cent sales surtax.  If this referendum passes, it will be replaced by a 1 cent sales surtax that will run for ten years, and could raise $490 million to be split by all the cities and the county for the next decade.

Read more

Thanks to all of our voters, supporters, volunteers!

Friends, thank you for voting to improve quality of life in Alachua County, Alachua, Archer, Gainesville, Hawthorne, High Springs, Newberry, LaCrosse Micanopy, and Waldo!   We are thrilled that Wild Spaces & Public Places passed with the support of 60.4% of voters.   It is a testament to the wonderful recreation and land conservation programs that have been run by these local governments that our citizens were willing to reauthorize this funding source in such a resounding way.     

It was a very busy election day, and we are going to rest up for a few days, but some of our partners will be organizing celebrations and a roundtable to learn and share about the upcoming projects that will be funded as a result of this success.   We will share details as soon as we have them.

Alachua Conservation Trust, which was the home base for our campaign, will hold its annual Holiday Mingle at Prairie Creek Lodge on Friday, December 16 at 6 PM and you are all welcome to attend to share some cheer and thank ACT's staff and board for all their hard work and dedication.

Regardless of what happens in the rest of the state, the nation or the world, our first obligation is to do our best to protect and improve our home.   The quality of our water matters.  Having nice places to play, be in nature, exercise our bodies, protect wildlife habitat and experience the arts, regardless of income, is important.   Being a competitive locale to attract and retain workers and employers requires a high quality of life.  

On a personal note I want to thank our campaign chair and treasurer, Tom Kay, who dedicated himself to this task despite having three daughters under the age of three at home!   Lesa Holder spent countless hours managing our financial reports and accounting, setting up events, reviewing materials, and otherwise being a port in the storm.  My colleagues at the Trust for Public Land, Will Abberger, Ray Christman, Doug Hattaway, Wendy Muzzy, Peggy Chiu, and Hannah Kohut were all in for this measure from the beginning, and brought incredible expertise to the table.   We have a talented team we work with all over the nation, including Merv Wampold, Lori Weigel, and Mark Langgin, who helped enormously.

Robert Hutchinson, our County Commission Chair, designed several mailers, and even ran them to the post office, as did Kristen Young. Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos assisted with the website launch, and Adam Carr helped us with mapping.  Commissioner Craig Carter encouraged support and spoke at events on our behalf.  Susan Bottcher, Elisabeth Manley, Charlie Pederson, David Barth, Elena McNiece, Chip Deutsch, Paul Lyrene and others helped with tabling and events, and Terry Fleming, Jeanna Mastrodicasa, Ivor Kincaide, Iqra Ahmed, Chris Burney and others pitched in wherever needed.   Tremendous photographers including Kim Davidson, M.D., and the iconic John Moran, provided their beautiful work for our use free of charge, as did many moms and dads and people of all types. Scott Camil managed our sign distribution like a boss.  Latecia Nicole Richards produced a lovely video.   The Gainesville Sun, the Sierra Club, Florida Conservation Voters, the Iguana, the Alligator and tons of individuals and local governments endorsed (go see our endorsement list!) I know I am forgetting key folks, please excuse my post election fog!

And special thanks to the staff and elected officials of Gainesville, Alachua County and the smaller cities who endorsed, advised, encouraged and otherwise shaped the public policy to improve our parks and save our water and land.

But most of all, thanks to you, the voters, donors, supporters and volunteers.   Well done!

Pegeen Hanrahan
Campaign Manager

P.S.  Obviously if I didn't have Tony, an amazing husband father to our three kids, Evy, Quinn and Tess, I wouldn't be much use.  Evy and Quinn were big helpers in yard sign management, too, and Tess keeps our spirits bright!

Read more

Endorsements are Rolling In!



The following Alachua County Business and Civic leaders wish to encourage voters in Alachua County to vote FOR Wild Spaces & Public Places on November 8 to protect water, wildlife habitat, and restore parks, recreational and cultural facilities in every city and the county:

Bob Ackerman, Attorney and Owner, Brasington’s Trail Shop

Mary Alford, Owner, The Sustainable Design Group

Richard Allen, Managing Partner, Synogen

Lars Andersen, Owner, Adventure Outpost

Dorothy Benson, SWAG Resource Center 

Alison Blakeslee, Blakeslee and Fisher and Media Edge Communications LLC

Bill Bryson, Owner, Crane Ramen and President, No. 9 Productions, Inc.

Lauren Caldwell, Artistic Director, Hippodrome

Jean Chalmers, Realtor, Former Gainesville Mayor-Commissioner

David Coffey, P.A., Land Use Attorney, Former Gainesville Mayor-Commissioner

Creed Greer, Owner, Little Village

DJ Hellrung

Charlie Houder, Sales Associate, Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate, Inc.

Jessica Hurov, Managing Director, Hippodrome

Barry and Elaine Jacobsen, Owners, Solar Impact

Clay Kallman, Circa Properties

Ken and Linda McGurn, Mc Gurn Investments

Rick and Jane Nesbit, Alta Printing

J. Parrish, Realtor

Michael Pellett, Architect

Brian Scarborough, Co-Owner, Scarborough Insurance

Erick Smith, Kestrel Ecological Services, LLC

John Spence, Managing Partner, John Spence LLC

Clay Sweger, AICP, Urban Planner

Sandra Sullivan, Retired, Girl Scouts of Gateway Council

Kinnon Thomas, Owner, Via Media and Marketing

Ewen Thompson, Consultant, Marine Lighting Protection

Marilyn Tubb, Co-Founder, Friends of Glen Springs (FROG)

Terry VanNortwick, Owner, ProInk, Retired

Harvey Ward, Executive Director, Holy Trinity Foundation  

Read more

First Blog Post

Hello Alachua County Residents!   Welcome to the support page for Wild Spaces & Public Places!   On November 8, Alachua County Voters will have the opportunity to vote FOR clean water, wildlife habitat, and new and improved parks throughout our community. Our area is full of hidden gems, places we can go to reflect, to exercise, to fish or hunt, or even just enjoy the view.   WSPP is building on the successful Alachua County Forever Program and is extending the prior Wild Spaces & Public Places that was in place for just two years in 2009 and 2010.   

If you go to the "About" tab and look over the lists of projects from Alachua County and all nine cities, I think you'll agree that these can make our community an even better places to live, work and play!

Over the next few days we will continue to add content and make improvements to this site.  We hope you will join us at our upcoming events, and add your donation to communicate with voters.   Our campaign has NO public funding or support for passage, so we need your help.

Please feel free to connect with me at [email protected], or call me at Alachua Conservation Trust, 352-373-1078.   Thanks for your support!

Saving Alachua,

Tom Kay, Campaign Treasurer

Read more