1991: Initial Purchase
Indian River County purchased 298 acres along the Indian River Lagoon – its very first purchase of conservation land — for preservation & public enjoyment. St. Johns River Water Management District provided matching fund, and the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area was “born”.
1998: Volunteer Nature Stewardship Classes Begin
The Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory (FMEL) began to offer volunteer training classes for the adjacent conservation area, the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA), with grant funding from the Florida Advisory Council on Environmental Education. Trained volunteers conduct guided nature walks at ORCA.
2000: 66 More Acres
Indian River County purchased an additional 66 acres on the south side of Oslo Road for conservation with a Florida Communities Trust grant. The FMEL did not hold a class in this year since funding was not available.
2001: ORCA Environmental Education Fund Established
A generous couple who participated in the Winter 1999 class started an endowment, the ORCA Environmental Education Fund under the auspices of the University of Florida Foundation. Annual core volunteer training classes and other activities commence.
2004: 6.6 Acres Added
Indian River County purchased an additional 6.6 acres on the south side of Oslo Road for conservation with a Florida Communities Trust grant.
2005: 72 More Acres
Indian River County purchased an additional 72 acres on the south side of Oslo Road for conservation with a Florida Communities Trust grant.
Future: +440 Acres of ORCA
ORCA consists of more than 440 acres. This website, annual training classes, ongoing educational program for veteran volunteers, guided nature walks for the general public, and invasive plant control efforts will continue to be supported by the ORCA Environmental Education Fund.