The mission of the division is to promote stewardship of the community’s natural, cultural, and economic resources by responsibly planning, funding, and managing the ECHO grants-in-aid program, UF/IFAS Cooperative Extension Program, and Volusia Forever Program which includes land acquisition and land management.
The Volusia ECHO program, generated by a grass roots initiative, resulted from a citizen approved referendum passed November 7, 2000. Volusia ECHO provides grant funds to finance acquisition, restoration, construction or improvement of facilities to be used for environmental, cultural, historical and outdoor recreational purposes. For 20 years, ECHO helped Volusia County construct important cultural and outdoor recreational facilities, save endangered historic buildings and provide environmental education projects.On November 3, 2020, 72% of Volusia County voters cast their ballot to continue the program for an additional 20 years.
From our Coastal shorelines to rivers, lakes, springs and lagoon, Volusia County is home to unique and diverse habitats where native plants and wildlife find refuge, and where people enjoy the beauty of nature. In 2000, Volusia County voters overwhelmingly approved the Volusia Forever initiative which is now an award-winning program that protects our special places
From energy conservation to raising better tomatoes and helping youngsters develop self-esteem, the University of Florida/ Volusia County Extension offers a wealth of practical information for today’s families.
Through a partnership among Volusia County, the University of Florida and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Extension Service can provide assistance with such community issues as water conservation, environmental protection, family health and nutrition, youth development and economic stability for Volusia's commercial agricultural enterprises.
The Land Management activity is responsible for the management, enhancement and restoration of approximately 38,000 acres in Volusia County. Much of the acreage has been acquired through two Volusia County voter approved acquisition programs. The 1986 Endangered Lands program was involved in the purchase of more than 17,000 acres of important conservation lands.