Sarasota County Votes to Purchase Conservation Foundation’s Recently Protected Land

Government

The Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners approved the purchase 228 acres in Old Miakka, acreage that was recently acquired by Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast in-order-to act quickly in this hot real estate market. This land is a critical link between Sarasota County’s Old Miakka Preserve and Conservation Foundation’s Tatum Sawgrass Scrub Preserve, further connecting to over 120,000 acres of conserved land protecting the Myakka River. Sarasota County voted to purchase the property from Conservation Foundation with funds from the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program (ESLPP), a voter-approved and taxpayer-funded program designed to acquire and protect natural lands and parklands. The additional 228 acres will more than double the size of the existing Old Miakka Preserve, which is open to the public daily for hiking, picnicking, birdwatching and wildlife viewing. The property’s former owner, MAG Properties, Inc., received multiple offers and Conservation Foundation recognized that if this key land was to be saved, time was of the essence. Conservation Foundation worked quickly to purchase the property to ensure its permanent protection. The purchase was completed using Conservation Foundation’s dedicated land fund and $3.9 million in short-term loans.

The benefits of protecting this strategically located land extend well beyond its boundaries. It impacts our region’s water quality, water quantity, and timing of water flows and levels. Wetlands located within the property store and filter water that flows into both the Tatum Sawgrass Marsh and the Myakka River. The property also provides rich and diverse habitat for a variety of iconic Florida wildlife. The County purchase is expected to close by the end of the calendar year.

To learn more about the Conservation Foundation, click here

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