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Jupiter Ridge Natural Area


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How could a golf course design and acquisition create a sensational State/County  Natural Preserve/Park?  This is an out of the ordinary story with a great ending that involves some real characters.

George Fazio was a golf professional who was originally from Philadelphia, who had a successful touring pro career (won the Canadian Open, the Bing Crosby Pro-Am, and lost in a playoff in the 1950 U.S. Open played at Merion won by Ben Hogan). Earlier he had been head pro at the Hillcrest Golf Club in Los Angeles, where he became good friends with many Hollywood stars, including Bob Hope.

In 1968, Fazio and longtime friend, Bill Ford (Ford Motors) were teamed together in the Bing Crosby Pro-Am. Fazio had won the tournament in 1947 but this year it was cold and rainy and  Fazio discussed a long time idea that he had to build a world class golf course that would rival Seminole Golf Club somewhere in South Florida. Ford was all ears.

it would not be long until the fruition of the concept came together. The family of locally famous Trapper Nelson (Tarzan of the Loxahatchee) inherited 1200 acres in the environmentally sensitive Loxahatchee River and Jupiter Ridge area. The State wanted to buy the land but they were held back because of financial constraints. Fazio heard about this opportunity and immediately went to work. He optioned the property and then turned to Ford, Hope and a few others to finance the deal for the land. The 1200 acres was acquired. in 1968. Four hundred (400) acres was reserved for the golf course and eight hundred (800) acres was given to the State of Florida, which added the crown jewel habitat that had eluded Jonathan Dickinson State Park.

The original Jupiter Hills Golf Club designed by George Fazio was completed and ready for play in late 1969. The original Jonathan Dickinson State Park opened in 1950 but was not fully consummated until the completion of the purchase of the Trapper Nelson property in 1968.

This donation included incredibly environmentally sensitive land on the upper reaches of the Loxahatachee River together with Hobe Mountain (68 feet above sea level with tower that elevates you to 124 feet).  This incredible land is extremely close to the ocean and the ocean is readily observable from Hobe Mountain. The 1968 gift to the State created the culmination of a State park with staggeringly beautiful habitats. The habitat that I find most appealing is the dry scrub area, where the pine trees make you feel like you are somewhere on the Serengeti:



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What you look for is what is looking

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These are all shots from the lowland scrub but the Pinus clausa emotes that wild Serengeti foliage/ Umbrella pine on the Algarve look that is not typical when a discussion of common “Sand Pines” arises!

What you look for is what is looking

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