|County enters agreement with Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast for assistance to acquire 150 additional acres for public use at Robinson
MANATEE COUNTY, FL (Oct. 30, 2012) – Manatee County’s favorite location for bird watching, hiking and photography, Robinson Preserve, may to grow by 150 acres without costing local taxpayers a dime under an agreement unanimously approved by County Commissioners today.
Manatee County Commissioners unanimously entered an agreement with the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast Tuesday that will one day expand Robinson by 150 acres with enhanced educational, recreational and environmental benefits such as additional wetland and upland restoration, construction of an environmental center, trails, boardwalks, pedestrian bridges, a playground and more.
The agreement also allows the Robinson family to retain 50 acres on which they could build up to 50 units under the current zoning and residential density for the property.
The parcel, located at the preserve’s southwest corner, is now owned by Robinson Farms, Inc. The Foundation, a Florida non-profit corporation, will assist in raising funds to purchase the land and will then to convey it to the County for future restoration. The corporation works with landowners, businesses and governments to protect and preserve the beauty and natural integrity of the bays, beaches and barrier islands of the Florida Gulf Coast.
“Two hundred acres of this land is awaiting a future as a residential development with a full service country club and golf course but we’d like to change that future for 150 acres to become an extension of the current Robinson Preserve … and return that land to valuable coastal habitat,” Manatee County Natural Resources Director Charlie Hunsicker told the Board. “We have the opportunity today to acquire land that will have great value for this generation and generations to come.”
Robinson Preserve is a 487-acre natural preserve along the Manatee River and Perico Bayou that attracts more than 300,000 visitors a year. Manatee County purchased the property in 2002 for $10 million, later investing more than $11 million in grants and county funds to establish an award-winning property for habitat conservation and passive recreation.
For more information on Manatee County Government, visit the Natural Resources area under www.mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/manatee.county.fl and on Twitter, @ManateeGov. Also, follow www.facebook.com/manatee.natural.resources