The acquisition of lands to form Hickey's Creek Mitigation Park (HCMP) started in 1994. Adding to 10 acres of land already preserved, Lee County's Environmentally Sensitive Lands Program and Florida Communities Trust purchased 770 acres. Three parcels, totaling 82 acres, were acquired through the Conservation 20/20 (The Conservation 20/20 parcels associated with Hickey's Creek Mitigation Park do not have public use amenities, marked hiking trails or parking areas). HCMP was opened to the public on April 20, 2002, making this a natural area for all to enjoy. Today, HCMP encompasses approximately 862 acres of land consisting of pine flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods, freshwater marshes, cypress swamps, hardwood hammocks and oak-palm forests. The Tourist Development Council of Lee County assisted in the funding of waterfront facilities at Hickey's Creek. The creek flows through HCMP for over 1 mile and discharges into the Caloosahatchee River. Hickey's Creek is also part of The Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail (for more information, visit www.calusablueway.com). The terrestrial and aquatic communities within HCMP support a variety of wildlife including gopher tortoises, Florida scrub-jays, Florida panthers, bobcats, eastern indigo snakes, American alligators, river otters and a variety of birds.
Environmental mitigation is an attempt to offset the detrimental impacts of development on a certain species or a type of native plant community. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) implemented the Mitigation Park Program as an alternative to developers mitigating the impacts of their developments on their own lands. Mitigation Parks are an effective way to protect native plant communities and the plants and animals that rely on them. HCMP was originally established by the FWC and Lee County to mitigate for gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) habitat destroyed by development in southwest Florida.
Bird Watching, Canoe/Kayak Launch, Canoeing/Kayaking, Fishing, Hiking (Marked Trails), Nature Study/Photography, Picnic Area
Park amenities include parking, marked hiking trails, restrooms, canoe/kayak landing, fishing deck, picnic areas, two bridges across Hickey's Creek, and two trail shelters. There is an ADA- accessible trail that leads to Hickey's Creek and the amphitheater.