What better place to establish a company than in a city openly dedicated to improving the environment for local businesses? Since 2005, Alachua has turned its attention to the future of the county, its layout, and its businesses.
Plum Creek is one of the largest landowners in the nation, as well as the largest private landowner in Alachua County with 65,000 acres. Ten years ago, the Alachua County government approached Plum Creek to ask what their intentions were for the land they held in our county. Their discussions led to the launch of Envision Alachua in June of 2011, an initiative to explore potential opportunities for the land.
Envision Alachua and its initiative boils down to be:
- A holistic approach to sustainable conservation and economic development
- An opportunity for a unique partnership and collaboration between the public and private sectors
- An open dialogue with community leaders representing economic development, business, local government, education, environmental, conservation and residents in Alachua County
With the help of over 2,000 community members, the Task Force, composed of 32 members representing different areas of interest, decided that Envision Alachua will:
- Put jobs before development. There will be 3 new jobs created to every 1 residence built. Jobs, not subdivisions, are the priority.
- Prioritize conservation and preservation of wildlife habitats. 87% of the acreage is slated for permanent conservation.
- Protect our water and wetlands. A new water ethic calls for reduced water usage by 50%.
- Support education. Leaders from UF, Santa Fe, Alachua County public schools, the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, and 21 business leaders launched the Alachua County Education Compact.
Alachua County and Plum Creek’s partnership has produced the Envision Alachua Sector Plan, a 50-year plan for what will happen with Plum Creek’s acreage. Over the next 50 years, the plan will:
- Create 30,000 possible jobs
- Cut water consumption in half
- Conserve more than 52,500 acres