Grassy Waters Preserve is a 23 square mile wetlands ecosystem that serves as the freshwater supply for the City of West Palm Beach and the towns of South Palm Beach and Palm Beach Island. Historically, Grassy Waters was both a key component of the Greater Everglades watershed and the headwaters of the Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River.
Although human needs have lead to severe alterations to the flow of water through South Florida, Grassy Waters Preserve remains a pristine remnant of the once great Everglades system. A mosaic of wetlands, tree islands, and forested hammocks, Grassy Waters Preserve is home to a variety of native wildlife. Commonly sighted species including the everglades snail kite, wood stork, white ibis, great blue heron, white tailed deer, otter, bobcat, and alligator.
In addition to meeting local demands for freshwater, Grassy Waters Preserve also provides hands-on educational experiences for learners of all ages. Access to this historic wetland reconnects visitors with the natural heritage of West Palm Beach. Trails of varying lengths and difficulties are accessible to the public free of charge. Experienced naturalists also provide guided canoe and hiking programs for the public, merit badge programs for scouts, and free field trips for local schools.
The continued pristine beauty of Grassy Waters Preserve is thanks to the Department of Public Utilities Watershed Management Division. The Watershed Management Division is dedicated to protect, preserve and restore the ecological integrity of Grassy Waters Preserve by preventing the proliferation of invasive species, promoting best management practices in water quality and conservation, and educating the public about he importance of this ecosystem.
Do your part to protect this wetland resource by adopting responsible water use practices. Remember you are depended upon the Preserve for water and the Preserve is dependent upon you for protection. Please help to ensure that Grassy Waters Preserve continues to meet both human and ecological freshwater needs for generations to come.
For more information, download our visitor guide: