OSPREY, FL (April 19, 2023) Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast recently received a $20,000 grant from the Jacarlene Foundation in support of their joint project with Sarasota Audubon Society to re-wild the Quad Parcels at the Celery Fields. The two environmental not-for-profits have been working together to transform this community land since late 2020 when the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners gifted Conservation Foundation a conservation easement on the northeast, southeast, and southwest Quad Parcels. Sarasota Audubon Society manages the properties, and together, the two organizations are fundraising to improve this land for people, birds, and other wildlife.
“We are grateful to the Jacarlene Foundation for their investment in our work and the community,” says Christine P. Johnson, president of Conservation Foundation. “In addition to supporting the creation of new habitats for a greater diversity of wildlife, these funds will help create additional opportunities for people to connect with nature and each other.”
The Quad Parcels, located at the intersection of Palmer Blvd and Apex Road, buffer the western edge of the environmentally significant Celery Fields from industrial areas. The Celery Fields is a nationally and internationally recognized birding hotspot and is vital to water quality and flood protection in the region. The re-wilding will increase habitat for birds and other wildlife and, at the same time, expand water storage and filtration to help with flood prevention and improved water quality.
Conservation Foundation and Sarasota Audubon are currently in the permitting phase of their project and look forward to starting the physical transformation of the three protected parcels in the near future. Envisioned improvements include extensive plantings, meadows, woodland areas, additional trails, high and low points of terrain along a meandering stream, shaded picnic areas, ADA-compliant walkways, a bird blind/observation platform, facilities, a discovery area for kids, and more.
To learn more about the re-wilding of the Quad Parcels, visit conservationfoundation.com/quads.
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.