Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast honored Charles E. Richards, Jr. as 2012 Conservation Partner of the Year at its annual members’ reception on November 18. Charley Richards, a lifelong conservationist and former Sarasota County commissioner, donated land to Conservation Foundation, forming the basis for its 29th conservation project, named Myakka River Preserve at Tarpon Point. More than 90 conservation-minded guests attended the reception at Bay Preserve at Osprey. Kudos was also given to both the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation and Medallion Homes for the most recent phase of Conservation Foundation’s outdoor education facility. Selby provided a $100,000 grant for the building and Medallion Homes was project contractor.
The completed Tarpon Point project will enhance recreation and education on the Lower Myakka River. Conservation Foundation will restore and beautify the land by replacing invasive plants, adding a kayak landing and creating other educational and recreational amenities. The site is known as a great fishing spot for tarpon and snook and is on the Wild and Scenic Myakka River which is a special State designation. Richards noted that he hoped his gift would shed light on the value of land preservation for the entire community, with other landowners choosing to follow suit.
“We are fortunate to have generous and forward-thinking supporters like Charley Richards in our community,” notes Christine P. Johnson, president of Conservation Foundation. “His gift of land was the catalyst for this project which will ultimately re-connect people to the land – people who love nature, enjoy the outdoors, and care about wildlife protection.”
About Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast
Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast is a private, nonprofit land trust working with landowners and regional government to protect and preserve the bays, beaches and barrier islands that define the character and ecology of our region. The Foundation strives to protect the environment, character, and biodiversity of bays, beaches and barrier islands for future generations by holding conservation easements and owning nature preserves, educating for responsible land stewardship, and collaborating with individuals, organizations and communities. Learn more at www.conservationfoundation.com