Ansin Riverfront Conservation Area
Water Vliet & County Road 512/Sebastian Blvd, Sebastian, FL
Latitude: 27° 47' 19.4094" Longitude: -80° 30' 10.3284"
Conservation Area Size:
Hours of Operation:
Open to Public:
- Parking Spaces - Parking Available at the Sebastian River Canoe Launch)
- Walking Trails – 1/2 mile (more under development)
Dogs must be on leash,
No Glass Containers,
No Overnight Parking
The Ansin Riverfront Conservation Area is a 28-acre tract that was one small part of a multiple-phase land acquisition project that has been pursued by Indian River County, the Department of Environmental Protection and the St. Johns River Water Management District for many years. The Ansin property shares its eastern boundary with the 95-acre Fischer Tract; this conservation area consists of forested wetlands & hammock bordering the south prong of the St. Sebastian River. Both of these parcels help to buffer the Sebastian River from nearby development.
Purchased by Indian River County in 2005, the acquisition achieved three inter-related goals. The primary conservation goal was to augment the buffer for water quality protection and wildlife corridors in the watershed of the St. Sebastian River and the State Aquatic Preserve. The acquisition also serves to provide a pedestrian connection and greenway between CR 512 and the Trans-Florida Central Railroad grade to the existing County canoe launch park, and the 23,000 acre St. Sebastian Preserve State Park. Conservation of this site also achieved a goal of protecting the South Prong of the St. Sebastian River from runoff from any future development.
There are several native plant communities present on the property. At the eastern end of the railway corridor, a boardwalk traverses a portion of the mixed hardwood swamp present on site. Further to the west along the railway, you will walk through the shade provided by mature live oaks covered in ressurection ferns and bromeliads. The final portion of the paved trail crosses through mesic and scrubby pine flatwoods, where you may encounter a Florida gopher tortoise foraging near the saw palmetto.
Land management activities were intiated by the County in 2010. Initial management included development of trails and roller-chopping portions of the flatwoods to thin the cover by small trees and shrubs (to encourage the growth of herbaceous speces). A prescribed burn is planned for the flatwood areas on site which will further improve conditions by eliminating vegetative debris and opening up the understory. In addition to upland management, the County has initiated a plan for control of exotic species on site including treatment of Brazilian pepper and air potato along the northern boundary of the site. Additional exotics treatment of this area will be on-going, and areas along the eastern and southern boundary of the site will be incorporated into the treatment schedule.
Land management is targeted at increasing the potential habitat value of uplands thereby facilitating use by a greater diversity of species. The land management is intended to provide increased potential habitat for Florida gopher tortoises. The County is planning on using portions of this site for relocation of waif gopher tortoisers. Waif tortoises are gopher tortoise that have been removed from the wild but are not associated with a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) permitted relocation effort.
To improve access on the site, the County is in the process of design and permitting of a boardwalk that will cross the small stream on site. Interpretive signage will guide visitors through the site, and the natural-surface, universally accessible loop trail will connect the County's canoe launch park with the railroad corridor. We encourage the public to enjoy observing wildlife and learning about our conservation efforts, but please remember to leave only footprints on site!