OSPREY, FL (December 19, 2022) Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast announces the permanent protection of eight acres in Charlotte County, adjacent to Don Pedro Island State Park. The purchase of this land was completed using a combination of Conservation Foundation resources, including their dedicated Land Fund, multiple liquid assets, and a short-term loan. The $2,695,000 purchase was completed on December 15.
“We are grateful to those who have contributed to our Land Fund, as well as the landowner who worked with us for three years to enable a conservation partnership,” says Christine P. Johnson, president of Conservation Foundation. “It is our hope to now resell the property to the State of Florida as an addition to Don Pedro Island State Park, protecting the park’s natural beauty and enhancing recreation opportunities for all to enjoy.”
Don Pedro Island State Park, comprised of a mainland section and an island section, is part of a barrier island system protecting the Lemon Bay Aquatic Preserve, which flows into Charlotte Harbor, one of Florida’s most productive estuaries. The newly conserved eight acres are located on the south boundary of the mainland section. This land could have been developed with over 80 condominium units, but instead, now buffers the park from residential development and improves park officials’ ability to manage the adjoining uplands with essential prescribed fire.
Conserving this land also supports the preservation of rare, intact barrier island habitat and integral mainland shoreline habitat for many imperiled species, including gopher tortoise, indigo snake, snowy plover, and roseate tern. The property is primarily uplands with a small wetland. Improved management of the property will eliminate a host of invasive species and prevent their spread into Don Pedro Island State Park. Additionally, the property contains eight boast slips on a protected canal, which, if purchased by the state, will enhance the park’s recreation amenities, including kayaking access to the secluded island portion of the park.
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.