Dozens of supporters of the gardens gathered in Tallahassee to testify in favor of the decision. The move sets the historic tourist attraction up for purchase by a conservation group.
Cypress gardens closed in April and the property was reportedly being shopped around to developers, but the trust for public land Monday announced plans to buy 107 acres of the park, and possibly as many as 40 more acres if it can reach agreement with the owners on a price.
"We’ve worked 20 hours a day 7 days a week when this garden closed on April 13. It's very important not just for us, not just for our children, not even our grandchildren.
But for all of us who come behind us. We are very, very happy."
"The announcement yesterday from the Trust for Public Land, I think is a grand slam home run. It stops the bleed, it allows us to begin maintaining the property again, and it keeps the building from falling into disrepair anymore. So this was a great thing.”
The Florida Cabinet agreed to recommend the entire 170-acre parcel be protected if possible. The trust for public land will take 30 days to appraise the property's value, and it will also appraise an additional 35-40 acres to consider. The plan will take about 3 to 4 months to complete.