The Large Land Area of Pineland Prairie
“Just how big is Pineland Prairie, compared with other places I know in Martin County?” That’s a question I’m being asked a lot.
Well, at almost 3,400 acres, Pineland Prairie is a great expanse of open land:
- Its land area is almost as big as Hobe Sound.
- It’s bigger than Martin Downs and Old Palm City combined, and bigger than Port Salerno.
- It’s almost twice the size of Martin County’s portion of Jupiter Island, and more than four times the land area of skinny Sewall’s Point.
It’s so big that it can easily accommodate a lovely new mixed-use town on about 1,100 of those acres, while 2,300 acres (two-thirds of the site) are left in open space…pinewoods, pasture for horses and cattle, farmland and groves, wetlands, playing fields and trails.
That open space—protected by easements from residential and commercial development forever—will be the third-largest expanse of parkland in Martin County east of I-95.
- It will be half the size of Atlantic Ridge State Park and almost as big as Martin’s portion of Savannahs State Park in Jensen Beach.
- It will be bigger than the two parks on Jupiter Island (federal and state) combined, and four times the size of our biggest county park, Halpatiokee Regional Park in Palm City.
Land Area of Martin County’s “Census Designated Places”
Take a look at the table below, which ranks places in Martin County by their land area in square miles, with 640 acres in each square mile. Most of these locales are called “Census Designated Places” by the U.S. Census Bureau, whether or not they are incorporated.
I’ve placed Pineland Prairie in its appropriate ranking. At 5.3 square miles, if it were a perfect rectangle, it would stretch about three and a half miles along the long side and a mile and a half along the other.
- Jensen Beach: 7.2 square miles
- City of Stuart: 6.7 square miles
- Indiantown: 6.0 square miles
- Hobe Sound: 5.5 square miles
- PINELAND PRAIRIE: 5.3 square miles
- Martin Downs and Old Palm City: 4.0 square miles
- Port Salerno: 3.6 square miles
- Jupiter Island: 2.7 square miles
- Stuart West/Cobblestone: 2.3 square miles
- North River Shores: 1.3 square miles
- Sewall’s Point: 1.2 square miles
Ranking Natural Lands in Martin County
Now let’s compare the size of the proposed open space at Pineland Prairie with our county’s beautiful parkland located east of I-95, whether owned by the federal government (a national refuge), the State of Florida (a state park) or Martin County itself (a county or regional park).
- Atlantic Ridge State Park: 5,800 acres
- Savannahs State Park (portion in Martin County): 2,300 acres
- PINELAND PRAIRIE’s open space: 2,278 acres
- Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge (in Martin Co., on Jupiter Island): 1,035 acres
- St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park (in Martin Co., on Jupiter Island): 928 acres
- Halpatiokee Regional Park (Martin County park in Palm City): 500 acres