Old Homosassa Heritage and Working Waterfront Park receives Funding

By Kathy Green Posted on August 12, 2020

More than five years ago, Roger Cullen and Joyce Verce decided that Old Homosassa needed a public park on the Homosassa River where all could sit and enjoy the view.

Cullen approached Rodney MacRae with his idea and the “Access to the River” committee was created from interested members of the Homosassa Civic Club, Save the Homosassa River Alliance, and the Old Homosassa Heritage Council. 

The committee had its ups and downs as they attempted to secure the necessary funding but they never gave up on their mission of having a park for all to enjoy.  

In late 2017, Senator Wilton Simpson advised the committee to complete the application for the Stan Mayfield Working Waterfront Grant that was designed for this type of property.  With his encouragement and direction, the committee went to work.

With the assistance of the outstanding staff from the Florida Communities Trust, Citrus County Commissioners, Randy Oliver, and his staff, the application was submitted in September of 2018 by the newly formed “Old Homosassa Heritage Park and Working Waterfront” committee of the Homosassa Civic Club.

old homosassa cracker house
The 80-year old Cracker house on the Park’s property will eventually become the Old Homosassa Heritage Museum. Image by Kathy Green.

Old Homosassa Heritage and Waterfront Park purchases land July 7

Finally, on July 7, 2020 the Homosassa Civic Club was able to purchase the Locklar Property at 5380 S. Boulevard Drive, Homosassa. The site currently houses Shelly’s Seafood Market, the Wild Sassa food trailer, and several boat slips, which will all remain. 

Consistent with the Stan Mayfield Working Waterfront grant, the new park is “dedicated in perpetuity to the use of the general public for conservation, protection, and enhancement of working waterfronts and related activities.”

The Homosassa Heritage park is dedicated to the preservation of Working Waterfronts

Please note, there will be no swimming from this park; there will be no public boat ramp; and there will be no vehicle with trailer parking. It is simply designed to allow the public to enjoy the waterfront.

homosassa civic club
The Homosassa Civic Club has already held a community clean-up day for the property. Image by Kathy Green.

Members of the “Old Homosassa Heritage Park and Working Waterfront” committee include chairperson, Rodney MacRae, Roger Cullen, Joyce Verce, Priscilla Watkins, Terry and Kathy Green, Steve and Cyndi Minguy, Bill and Iris Rose, Connie Wright, Tim Gatto, Christine Stuckie, Barb Fletcher, Kathy Beck, and Joe and Donna Fara. 

Short term, the Homosassa Civic Club held a community clean up day for the property.  They had the clean-up Thursday, August 6.  They cleared everything out of an old shed on the property and the cracker house. 

Members are also working on getting electricity and water added to the boat slips along with more parking. 

Long term, the 80-year-old Cracker house on the property will be the “Old Homosassa Heritage Museum” as grants and donations are attained.

As a Working Waterfront Park, the boat slips, seafood market and seafood restaurant on-site will be kept as part of the Old Homosassa Heritage and Working Waterfront Park. Image by Kathy Green.

Old Homosassa Heritage and Working Waterfront Park receives Funding

The first major project will be taking the property off of three septic tanks and onto the new sewage system currently being installed in Old Homosassa.  Again, grants and donations will be needed to reach this goal but this is vital to protect the Homosassa River, which is designated as an outstanding Florida waterway.

Save the Homosassa River Alliance
The Homosassa River is a designated Florida Outstanding Waterway. Image by Diane Bedard.

Over the past five years, we have witnessed many upgrades in Old Homosassa. It is now a legal golf cart community. The water tower is back to being a proud symbol of the heritage of Old Homosassa. Beautiful wide sidewalks were added on Yulee Drive all the way to US 19.  The Homosassa River Restoration project is getting close to starting water operations, and we finally have the “Old Homosassa Heritage Park and Working Waterfront”. 

Old Homosassa Water Tower
The Old Homosassa Water Tower was restored and repainted. Images by Kathy Green.

If you would like to contribute to this project, please visit the website http://homosassacivicclubinc.org and make a donation. What a beautiful sight it will be to have a waterfront park right along the Homosassa River in Old Homosassa!



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