“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cross Creek in Alachua County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Kate Barnes Boat Ramp

Within Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park

Kate Barnes Boat Ramp Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, November 1, 2021
1. Kate Barnes Boat Ramp Marker
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings described the nature and people of Cross Creek in vivid terms that have inspired artists and nature-lovers to cherish this place. One of Cross Creek's resident artists, Kate Barnes, attended a small neighborhood gathering in Rawlings' house in 1982 where she heard of plans that would forever change Cross Creek and Lochloosa and Orange Lakes.

Much of the land surrounding Cross Creek has historically been owned by a succession of timber companies — in the early 1980s, this was the Owens-Illinois Corporation. The company drew up plans to develop "Lochloosa New Town", a city of up to 200,000 people. Included in the proposal were golf courses, marinas on both lakes, hotel and restaurant complexes, a regional shopping center, a utility company and landfill, and tens of thousands of houses and apartments.

The Friends of Cross Creek, a citizens group, formed to oppose this development and to propose how Cross Creek could maintain its natural and cultural resources. In the mid-1980s, they engaged as citizen planners with Alachua County staff and officials, and created the Cross Creek Special Area Study. Adopted
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unanimously by the County Commission, it became the basis for the protections built into our comprehensive plan, and the state-wide model for how to balance development interests with the protection of sensitive environmental and historical features.

In Cross Creek and beyond, this concept was not without controversy and animosity that split families and neighbors. In 1984, the "Wilderness Village of Cross Creek" and other development proposals for the creek and lakefronts were also submitted. Increased tourism after the 1983 release of the film "Cross Creek" may have encouraged this period of land speculation. In May 1988, a trial where 18 property owners sued Alachua County over the provisions of the Cross Creek Special Area Study culminated with a verdict from Circuit Judge Chester Chance who upheld the County's plan.

The Friends of Cross Creek prepared an extensive application to the Florida Conservation and Recreation Lands program with assistance from University of Florida faculty and Alachua Conservation Trust, Inc. On the strength of the application, the St. Johns River Water Management District purchased 10,593 acres of lakefront property, and protected another 16,610 acres of forest, in cooperation with the Georgia Pacific Corporation, in the state's largest conservation easement to date. Additional lands in the watershed continue to be conserved, and
Kate Barnes Boat Ramp Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, November 1, 2021
2. Kate Barnes Boat Ramp Marker
(looking west from boat ramp parking lot • Orange Lake in background)
today Cross Creek retains much of its historic landscape and character as a result of the efforts of the Friends of Cross Creek.

Kate Barnes was elected to the Alachua County Commission in 1988 and served two terms. She continues to draw and paint scenes of Cross Creek.

"Kate Barnes Boat Ramp," operated by Alachua County, was dedicated on November 16, 2020 with the hope that this story will continue to inspire every person to recognize that they can make a difference in protecting the special places that they love.

Alachua County commissioners from 1982-1988
Kate Barnes (88-96), Leveda Brown (82-98), Thomas Coward (74-92), George Dekle (88-92), Jack Durrance (54-82), Walter Lee (80-82), Jim Notestein (84-88), John Schroepfer (80-84), Ed Turlington (68-84), Jane Walker (82-86), Penny Wheat (86-94, 96-04)

Alachua County Commissioners in November, 2020
Mike Byerly, Charles "Chuck" Chestnut IV, Ken Cornell, Robert "Hutch" Hutchinson, Marihelen Wheeler

Friends of Cross Creek
Kate Barnes, President
Bruce Delaney, Vice President
John Jurnigan, Treasurer
Charlie Ross, Secretary
Iris Burke, Legal Counsel
and many members
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EnvironmentParks & Recreational AreasWaterways & VesselsWomen. A significant historical date for this entry is November 16, 2020.
Kate Barnes Boat Ramp Entrance image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, November 1, 2021
3. Kate Barnes Boat Ramp Entrance
(looking west • parking lot & boat ramp in background)
29° 28.815′ N, 82° 9.667′ W. Marker is in Cross Creek, Florida, in Alachua County. Marker can be reached from Southeast 190th Place just west of County Road 325, on the right when traveling west. Marker is located on the west side of the boat ramp parking area, overlooking Orange Lake. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 18800 South County Road 325, Hawthorne FL 32640, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Cross Creek (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings House and Farmyard (about 500 feet away); Dr. Austin Cary (approx. 2.8 miles away); Evinston Community Store and Post Office / History of Evinston, Florida (approx. 3.9 miles away); Second Seminole War (approx. 6.7 miles away); Seminole Heritage in Micanopy (approx. 6.7 miles away); Battle of Micanopy (approx. 6.7 miles away); Stagecoach Stop (approx. 7.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cross Creek.
Also see . . .  Dedication of Boat Ramp to Former Alachua County Commissioner Kate Barnes.
Recently, Alachua County recognized the work of former County Commissioner and artist extraordinaire Kate Barnes by naming the boat ramp at the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park in Cross Creek in her honor. Kate Barnes has been a champion of
Kate Barnes Boat Ramp image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, November 1, 2021
4. Kate Barnes Boat Ramp
(looking west • Orange Lake in background)
protecting and preserving the Cross Creek area. To learn more about Kate and this event watch the video below.
(Submitted on December 6, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 6, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 596 times since then and 99 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 6, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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May. 28, 2024