White Oak files to expand golf course (Aug 14)

August 14, 2015 – White Oak, the more than 10,000-acre wildlife conservation center in far north Florida, wants to expand its golf course.
White Oak Conservation Holdings LLC applied to the St. Johns River Water Management District on July 30 to expand an existing golf course by 18 holes.

Its current nine-hole course, with 54 different teeing grounds, creates 27 distinct holes. White Oak, at, says at 368 yards, its signature hole features three waterfalls.

White Oak says it offers a full-length driving range, a 10,000-square-foot putting green and resident PGA professional. The course is open to the public by reservation of a tee-time and is also available for groups and corporate outings.

It can be reserved for exclusive use by private groups, organizations and companies.

Dunn & Associates Inc. is the engineering consultant and Environmental Services Inc. is the environmental consultant.

In addition to wildlife conservation, White Oak offers conference and meeting facilities along with tours and visits.

White Oak is 30 miles north of Jacksonville on the banks of the St. Marys River in Nassau County. The Gilman family bought the property in 1938 and in 1982 established a program that has grown into one of the world’s leading wildlife conservation facilities.

In March 2013, Mark and Kimbra Walter bought the property. They established White Oak Conservation Holdings to manage the operations and facilities.

Mark Walter owns the Los Angeles Dodgers and is CEO of Guggenheim Capital.

White Oak representatives have not returned four calls or three emails for comment.

Riverside dog park plans filed

Site plans were filed for the Riverside Dog Park at 831 College St. in Riverside Park.

EnVision Engineering is the civil engineer. Plans show 0.9 acre for the large breed area and 0.65 acre for the small-breed area.

Former Jacksonville Jaguars owners Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver, who own The John Gorrie a condominium, partnered with Riverside Avondale Preservation to match $50,000 for the park, which will be known as The John Gorrie Dog Park at Riverside Park

Riverside Avondale Preservation Executive Director Carmen Godwin said Hager Construction Co. was chosen as the contractor after the RFP process.

Godwin said the project is completely funded for construction after a final $30,000 donation from the Elizabeth Brown Foundation in July.

The Dog Days of Summer, through donations and paver sales, raised $15,000. Pet Paradise donated $10,000 at the same time, so he event raised $25,000.

“We will be making one last push to allow people to purchase custom bricks in August,” she said.

Godwin said the next step is City Council legislation that allows construction of the park. She hopes to complete the project by year-end.

Funding for the just over $300,000 project is shared 50-50 between the city, from bond funds, and private sources. “When all is said and done we will definitely contribute more in private funds toward the project,” she said.

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