In 2007, Osceola County purchased the Lake Runnymede Conservation Area through the Environmental Lands Conservation Program (formerly known as SAVE Osceola). As the name implies, the 43 acre preserve is located along Lake Runnymede and neighbors East Lake Tohopekaliga in St. Cloud. The site was originally part of the community of Wharton that was established along the lakeshore of Lake Runnymede in 1885. Prior to the County purchasing the property, it was used for cattle grazing.
The property consists of natural upland and wetland habitats including upland hardwood forest, upland scrub, freshwater wetlands and lakeshore. This diversity of habitats supports several listed species, such as Sherman’s fox squirrel, bald eagle, gopher tortoise, sandhill crane and wading birds. These habitats can be experienced via two short trails (0.75 and 0.35 mi) that take the hiker through large mature oaks covered with native ferns and air plants, before emerging into a scrubby xeric landscape of white sandy soil, complete with xeric plant species (e.g. prickly pear cactus), followed by a slight decline to a small depressional wetland area.
Please register on our chapter’s Eventbrite page so we know who plans to attend:
Start Time of Field Trip:
The field trip will start at 9 a.m. in the parking lot. There is one composting toilet just inside the gate to the park. There is no drinking water onsite.
End Time of Field Trip:
Contact # Day of Event:
Eleanor Foerste 407-908-4379
Field Trip Leader:
Eleanor Foerste, Education and Outreach Chair, Pine Lily Chapter FNPS
Park Entrance Fee:
FREE (Please register beforehand on our Eventbrite page!)