The wetlands operation started in 1979 consolidating several wastewater treatment facilities and to expand the available sewer capacity in the area. By the mid-1980’s the area needed a more efficient system and in July 1987 the World’s first large scale man-made wetland treatment system was completed. The area was once a natural swamp that was drained for pasture many years ago. The city bulldozed channels for the flow of wastewater on the land and planted thousands of aquatic plants that absorb traces of pollutants left over in treated sewage to become the Orlando Wetlands Park.
The Orlando Wetlands Park comprises 1,650 acres of woodland trails, marshes, hardwood hammocks and scenic lakes. Opportunities for bird watching, nature photography, jogging and bicycling abound.