Skip to Main Content

The Sawmill Slough Preserve

UNF Sawmill Slough wetland

UNF Sawmill Slough Preserve

A 382 acre natural area on campus was designated as a preserve in May 2006 by UNF President John Delaney. The Sawmill    Slough Preserve includes the original Sawmill Slough, a wetland habitat stretching through the western portion of the campus from Central Parkway to J Turner Butler Boulevard. In addition to the wetland, small areas of drier habitat including some longleaf pine-  turkey oak woodlands may be found in the Preserve.


The stated purpose of the Preserve is to "assure that the Sawmill Slough Preserve will persist in a natural condition." The Preserve will protect the natural water drainage of the slough through campus as well as the native plants and animals associated with this    habitat. The Preserve is a great place for a quiet hike or to view wildlife. Learn more information on the trails and recreational   activities.


The curator of the Sawmill Slough Preserve is responsible for overseeing the maintenance of natural habitats in the Preserve and restoration of natural habitats where required. The Curator coordinates activities in the Preserve and represents the Natural Assets Management Plan in the Preserve. The position reports to the UNF Sustainability Committee. Contact the Curator by sending an e-mail to William Smith at or by telephone at (904) 620-4261.

Prohibited uses of the Preserve are as follows:

  1. Construction or placing of buildings, roads, signs, billboards or other advertising, utilities or other structures on or above the ground.
  2. Dumping or placing soil or other substance or material as landfill or dumping or placing of trash, waste, or unsightly or offensive materials.
  3. Removing, trimming or destroying trees, shrubs or other vegetation.
  4. Excavating, dredging or removing loam, peat, gravel, soil, rock, or other material substances in such a manner as to affect the surface.
  5. Surface use, except for the purposes that permit the land or water area to remain predominantly in its natural condition.
  6. Activities detrimental to drainage, flood control, water conservation, erosion control, soil conservation or fish and wildlife habitat preservation.
  7. Acts or uses detrimental to such retention of land or water areas.
  8. Acts detrimental to the preservation of the structural integrity or physical appearance of sites or properties of historical, architectural, archeological, or cultural significance.
  9. Application of herbicides or pesticides.
UNF Sawmill Slough Preserve Plant

The following are exceptions to the prohibited uses:

UNF Sawmill Slough Preserve walkway
  1. Prescribed burns, controlled burns and other techniques designed to protection vegetation, to improve habitat, and to comply with fire safety requirements of the Florida Division of Forestry.
  2. Non-invasive research.
  3. Control of invasive or exotic plant material by application of herbicides and restoration of the Sawmill Slough Preserve to natural states.
  4. Extension and maintenance of natural trails and directional or interpretative signage.