Howell Branch Preserve Project

In 2017, the City of Winter Park acquired 43.4 acres of wetlands and floodplain lands contiguous to existing city properties and portions of Howell Branch Creek. The floodplain is regionally significant as the Howell Branch system is an important tributary to Lake Jesup within the middle St. Johns River Basin. The creek and interconnected lakes are part of the Basin Management Action Plan to improve water quality within Lake Jesup and ultimately the St. Johns River.

The city currently maintains over 50 acres of wetlands adjacent to the newly acquired parcels that the city was able to obtain with grant funding in 2017. These wetlands in Winter Park were and continue to be heavily impacted by multiple species of exotic, invasive vines which are compromising several aspects of flood plain function. Coverage is approximately 60-80% over the wetland parcels, with the vines contributing to loss of beneficial vegetation and inaccessibility for recreation and maintenance.

Conceptual plan & rendering

Meetings & Timeline


City seeks public input for grant-funded improvements to Howell Branch Preserve Public Input Meeting [06/21/22]

Parks & Recreation Advisory Board [06/15/22 and 07/20/22]

Public Input Meeting Postcard [05/03/22]

Stakeholder Focus Group [04/27/22 and 07/14/22]




  • October » Pending City Commission approval, improvements begin.
  • August » Presentation to City Commission.
  • June through August » Input from all meetings analyzed to create concepts.


Grant Funding

Additional grant funding was allocated to treat and maintain the invasive vines on the purchased parcels, increase recreational activities such as bird watching and fishing, installing small canoe and kayak launch, and installing trails.

City met all requirements and officially signed FDEP grant agreement.

$2 million in FDEP funding was approved and the city acquired the 43.4 acres of land.

City requested funding from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to purchase 43.4 acres of wetlands and floodplain contiguous to the existing city-owned 50 acres of wetlands.

Access Howell Branch Preserve Project Grant Agreement


Dix-Hite Landscape Architects

Site Photos

Our Vision

Winter Park is the city of arts and culture, cherishing its traditional scale and charm while building a healthy and sustainable future for all generations.