Volunteers lovingly restoring PEAR Park

LEESBURG — For decades, the property was home to state-sponsored research into watermelon and grapes research. Now, 268 acres of the popular 318-acre PEAR Park is being restored into its original condition — one acre at a time.

For years, volunteers have been working in an undeveloped section of the Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve — better known as PEAR Park — to restore it to its native condition. That meant pulling out thousands of exotic plants, removing exotic animal species and reintegrating native plants at the park south of Leesburg.