VIERA, Fla. — A popular Brevard County preserve is reopening soon.


What You Need To Know

  • The Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands has been closed to the public since June of last year, but it’s about to reopen
  • It’s been closed for the past seven months for a $2.7 million project to remove vegetative muck and overgrown cattails from four ponds right behind the public works plant
  • The reopening is set for March 4, but work will continue through June to replant vegetation

The Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands has been closed to the public since June of last year, but it’s about to open again, better than before.

Locals know this county nature area as the “Viera Wetlands.”

It’s been closed for the past seven months for a $2.7 million project to remove vegetative muck and overgrown cattails from four ponds right behind the public works plant.

The goal is to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus from the ponds leading into the Four Mile Canal, then reaching into the St. John’s River.

Access to the wetlands will be back open for pedestrians only who stroll or bike around the 200-acre site.

Officials are calling this a “haircut” to improve visibility and water quality.

Brad Thomas is an avid cyclist, who loves to put foot to pedal as often as he can. The Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands was one of his favorite spots to log some bike time before it closed.

“I come out here with my boy. We like to look at the gators and birds,” he said.

Thomas is excited to bring his son to once again enjoy the serene setting.

“We need it. They just keep building and building, so we need to hold on to areas like this,” he said. 

The reopening was originally set for late February, but heavy rainfall over the past two months forced the delay. The area is still considered an active construction site, so no vehicular traffic is allowed.

People who come in cars are asked to park in the marked area without blocking contractor equipment.

The reopening is set for March 4, but work will continue through June to replant vegetation.

It’s being paid for with federal dollars.


Greg Pallone

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