â€œThis is a big day for us,â€ said County Administrator Craig Coffey. â€œWe began working conceptually on this project four years ago with our partners – GTMNERR (Guana Tolomato Matanzas National
November 19, 2018 – Today Flagler County is hosting a ribbon-cutting and open house of its Eco Cottages at Princess Place Preserve at 10 a.m. November 19.
“This is a big day for us,” said County Administrator Craig Coffey. “We began working conceptually on this project four years ago with our partners – GTMNERR (Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve).”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) through a contractual agreement with the Florida Coastal Office of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on September 1, 2014 authorized $330,000 for the cottages, and another $16,000 for research mesocosms – outdoor experimental areas. Flagler County contributed $120,000 in-kind value through labor, cash, equipment and construction oversight, as well as an estimated $100,000 land value for the property on which they sit.
Friends of the GTM Reserve contributed an additional $60,000 for furnishings and energy-efficient appliances and equipment for the cottages.
The result is three equally appointed 1,000 square foot cottages – one that is ADA accessible.
“These cottages will attract scientists, students, and educators to explore and study the Princess Place Preserve and the surrounding natural systems,” said Michael Shirley, Director of the GTM National Estuarine Research Reserve. “This important work will guide management decisions to maintain or restore water quality, oyster reefs, fish habitat and salt marshes to benefit present and future generations.”
The cottages are climate controlled with heat and air conditioning. They each have two bedrooms with queen size beds, two full bathrooms, a fold-out couch that sleeps two, a fully-equipped kitchen (no dishwasher), Wi-Fi, a furnished screened porch, an outdoor fire pit, and picnic table.
“These cottages are really wonderful,” said Commission Chair Greg Hansen. “All you will need to bring is yourself, your clothes, and things to fill the fridge. They are really going to provide a wonderful experience for a whole new group of visitors at the crown jewel of our parks.”
Flagler County’s General Services Department will begin taking reservations for December 1.
A two-night minimum stay is required. The rate per night is $125 Monday through Thursday, and $150 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. A $200 security deposit is required before check-in.
Weekend rates apply to holidays – including the day before, the day of, and the day after – and during special events periods, such as NASCAR Speed Week, Native American Festival, Bike Week, and Creekside Festival, among others. A three-night stay is required for holidays and special events.
The general reservation process is as follows:
- Submit an online reservation request form, or call 386-313-4020.
- Complete the “reservation response” sent by Flagler County within 72 hours.
- Staff will email back a reservation confirmation that will be required at check-in.