OSPREY, FL (September 1, 2022) Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast and Crowley Museum & Nature Center announce the permanent protection of 191 acres in Old Miakka. Located on the Myakka River in northeastern Sarasota County, Crowley Museum has served as a natural and cultural museum for over 40 years. Now, thanks to a collaboration between museum leadership, Conservation Foundation, and Sarasota County, the museum’s 191 acres of Old Florida are forever protected, ensuring Jasper Crowley’s legacy for generations to come. The conservation agreement was finalized on August 31.
“The preservation of this unique natural and cultural history resource is critical in a rapidly developing Florida,” says Dixie Resnick, CEO of Crowley Museum. “We are grateful to Sarasota County and Conservation Foundation for ensuring that Crowley exists for the education and enjoyment of the community forever.”
Crowley Museum is located on a portion of a farmstead established in 1878. Visitors are invited to discover the history of early Florida settlers as they explore the museum and authentic pioneer buildings. The property is a birding hotspot and a portion of the land is part of the largest floodplain marsh in the Myakka River basin, Tatum Sawgrass Marsh. A discovery path offers hands-on learning opportunities for children and a half-mile boardwalk takes visitors through five Florida habitats including Maple Swamp. The boardwalk ends with a two-story observation tower overlooking the Myakka River and Tatum Sawgrass Marsh. The property connects to over 120,000 acres of protected land known as the Myakka Island Conservation Corridor.
“The Myakka Island Conservation Corridor is a top priority for Conservation Foundation,” says Christine P. Johnson, president of Conservation Foundation. “We are very grateful to both Crowley Museum and Sarasota County for protecting our pioneer history and these 191 acres that are so important to the health of the Myakka River and this wildlife corridor.”
To date, Conservation Foundation has protected over 19,000 acres of which over 16,300 acres are in the Myakka Island Conservation Corridor. They are currently pursuing projects in Manatee and Sarasota Counties totaling over 2,000 acres that will further protect the river and connect other conserved lands.
Conservation Foundation and Crowley thank Sarasota County Environmentally Sensitive Land Protection Program for purchasing the conservation easement to protect this land in perpetuity.
Crowley Museum & Nature Center is open the public Thursday through Sunday. Learn more at crowleyfl.org.
About Conservation Foundation
Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast protects land and water in Southwest Florida for the benefit of people and nature. Working with landowners, businesses, and government, Conservation Foundation saves land forever, protecting those special places that make this region extraordinary. A nationally accredited land trust, Conservation Foundation purchases natural areas, holds voluntary land protection agreements, and educates for responsible land and water stewardship in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Collier Counties. Learn more and join in their mission at conservationfoundation.com.