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Florida Communities Trust Highlights

Press Releases

Florida Communities Trust, City of Destin Partner to Acquire the
Captain Royal Melvin Heritage Park and Plaza

~ Acquisition will enhance public access to Destin Harbor and the Harbor Boardwalk trail ~

June 2, 2010

TALLAHASSEE - The Department of Community Affairs announced that Florida Communities Trust (FCT), the state's premier program for helping local communities preserve open space and recreational areas, today partnered with the City of Destin to acquire the Captain Royal Melvin Heritage Park and Plaza. Acquisition of this property will enhance public access to the adjacent Destin Harbor and the City's Harbor Boardwalk recreational trail.

"Florida's harbor fronts are critical to the ways of life for many coastal communities, and I congratulate the City of Destin for partnering with Florida Communities Trust to preserve the Captain Royal Melvin Heritage Park and Plaza," said DCA Secretary Tom Pelham. "The acquisition of this coastal gem insures that residents and visitors can continue to enjoy public waterfront access for years to come."

Captain Royal Melvin Heritage Park and Plaza is located along U.S. Highway 98 and the Gulf of Mexico. The property will connect to the City's Harborwalk and be a park destination along the developing boardwalk and for canoers and kayakers on the Emerald Coast segment of the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail.

The City will build a permanent location for the Destin Fishing Museum on the site, as well as provide a picnic pavilion, playground, and observation platforms for public recreation and enjoyment. The Trust awarded more than $2 million in Florida Forever funds for the acquisition and the City contributed an excess of $2.6 million in local matching funds.

"One of the strategic goals and visions we have set for our city is preserving our heritage and environment" said Destin Mayor Sam Seevers. "I cannot think of a better way to bring our goals to fruition than to build a park on this historical site and name it after Capt. Royal Melvin, who was such an inspirational leader in Destin.


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