|SARASOTA COUNTY – Sarasota County, the Sarasota Audubon Society and the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast announced today the protection of the 33-acre Quads parcels, which buffer the environmentally sensitive Celery Fields|
The Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) approved this unique public-private partnership, which provided the conservation easements on the northeast, southeast and southwest parcels to the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, and contracted with the Sarasota Audubon Society to manage the sites. The BCC agreed to place the parcels under a conservation easement last year.
“As our community continues to grow, open space become more and more important for the environment, our water quality and our way of life. This is a unique partnership, one that offers the opportunity to do something truly special. We appreciate the work of the Sarasota Audubon Society and the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, and we’re excited to preserve this area for many years to come,” said County Commission Chairman Michael Moran.
The 440-acre Celery Fields is a nationally recognized destination and a key piece of Sarasota County’s stormwater management system. The site also offers numerous recreational opportunities including walking, running, hiking and other health and fitness activities.
“Sarasota Audubon is thrilled as this safeguards the existing wildlife habitat of the remarkable Celery Fields,” noted Jeanne Dubi, president of Sarasota Audubon Society. “And, we can create additional vegetation and foraging areas, as well as provide more public access for walking and hiking.”
Christine Johnson, president of Conservation Foundation, added, “We are excited to continue working with Sarasota Audubon Society on the next phase, improving these acres for nature and people. Once we have the plan we will fundraise to make it happen. We are very grateful to the county commission and to county staff for ensuring these 33 acres are protected forever. It’s a win for the county, for people, and for nature.”
More information about the Sarasota Audubon Society, and the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, can be found by visiting their websites.
In addition, the Sarasota County Contact Center can be reached by calling (941) 861-5000, and information can also be found by visiting scgov.net.
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