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County purchases Bonita Springs acreage for preserve

By Staff | Sep 7, 2012

Lee County purchased 43.5 acres adjacent to the 130-acre Conservation 20/20 Pine Lake Preserve last week, funded by the Conservation 20/20 Program.

The parcel is located at 27301-27451 Kent Road in Bonita Springs.

This property makes an important addition to the Pine Lake Preserve. It expands upon the pine flatwoods/cypress habitat and contains a scenic lake which provides important habitat for wading birds and is ideal for fishing. This property, combined with the Pine Lake Preserve, offers an opportunity to restore the natural function of the Jefferson Lane flow way.

Historically, the Jefferson Lane flow way was a natural conveyance path of flows from northeast to southwest to Estero Bay via the Imperial River Basin. The natural conveyance has been altered greatly by urbanization. Restoration would improve water quality, rehydrate the preserve, and help to reduce future flooding.

The owners wanted $814,000 for the property, but the Division of County Lands, the county office which negotiates land purchases for the county, acquired it for $416,273.

The Conservation 20/20 program buys environmentally important lands for preservation. It’s funded by a property tax, which was approved by referendum in 1996. It is 50 cents for every $1,000 of taxable property value.

Since the first purchase in 1997, the County’s Conservation 20/20 program has made 117 land purchases and the land inventory now stands at 24,871 acres.