OSPREY, FL (November 5, 2018) Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast announces a new partnership with Venice Area Beautification, Inc. (VABI) to create an Urban Forest along the Intracoastal Waterway in Venice. Conservation Foundation will collaborate to plan, and build resources and public awareness, to create a nearly two-mile forested greenway for birds and wildlife to thrive, and for residents and visitors to enjoy.
Ninety-two years ago, John Nolen envisioned Venice as a planned garden community, emphasizing a principle of “nature leading the way.” Today, the community is following Nolen’s lead to create new greenspaces in Venice. The Urban Forest began several years ago as a grassroots-led vision to reclaim the former CSX railway corridor through the heart of Venice. So far, more than 400 trees of 32 species and understory plants have been planted as part of Phase One. When the project is completed the Urban Forest will stretch from the Venice Train Depot to Center Road and will provide a beautiful woodland trail for pedestrians parallel to the Venetian Waterway Park. All native trees and shrubs are being planted so that the forest provides habitat specifically for migratory songbirds and native wildlife.
Early community partners and in-kind donors include William Jervey, Bill Farnsworth, ArtisTree Landscape, Clark Connections, JT Holland, Shipps Excavating, Simply Trees, H&H Signs, Petra Prion Photography, and Lowes. The multi-year project will be completed in phases and Phase One will open to the public once completed.
“We are pleased to be working with Conservation Foundation. They have the expertise and staff to complement our volunteer efforts and move this to the next level,” notes Greg Vine, Urban Forest project chair. “We have an ambitious vision relying on fundraising, in-kind gifts, and sweat equity. Together we will achieve it.”
“This is another fine example of community conservation, an initiative that is fueled by the community’s passion to create an urban oasis of natural beauty for all to enjoy,” stated Christine Johnson, president of Conservation Foundation. “Conservation Foundation is delighted to partner with the grassroots leadership of VABI.”
About Venice Area Beautification, Inc.
Venice Area Beautification, Inc. (VABI) is dedicated to making Venice, Florida a more beautiful place to live, work and play. An off-shoot of the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce, VABI formed as a non-profit in 1989. Staffed primarily by dedicated volunteers, VABI facilitates community partnerships and provides the leadership, manpower, and resources to complete beautification projects in the Venice area. Over its 29 years, successful collaborations have included the Venetian Waterway Park, the Venice Arboretum at West Blalock, Patriots Park, Volunteer Park, Caspersen Beach Park, and many outdoor murals and public art projects. Learn more at www.vabi.org.
About Conservation Foundation
Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast saves land, forever, protecting those special natural lands that make this region extraordinary. Working with landowners, businesses, and government, Conservation Foundation protects the character and natural integrity of the bays, beaches, barrier islands and their watersheds on Florida’s Gulf Coast and has protected forever more than 11,000 acres in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Collier Counties. Learn more at www.conservationfoundation.com.