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Pine Island couple donates 5 acres to Calusa Land Trust

By Staff | Dec 30, 2015

Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 22, Michael and Kathy Taylor “officially” donated 5 acres of land to the Calusa Land Trust.

“We just thought it was the right thing to do,” Kathy Taylor said. “Our original intention was to build a house on this property. Then, after owning the land since 2005, and recognizing how beautiful it is, we just weren’t sure what we were going to do with it. We had bought a house since then and thought about leaving the property to the kids, but after some time we decided that this would preserve the beauty of the property forever.”

The 5-acre property is located at the end of Alcorn Avenue. Originally part of a 10-acre tract, the owners of the property decided to sell half to the Taylors. The property has very few invasive species.

“The property is very clean,” Michael Taylor said. “It’s completely natural and beautiful. And the fact that this property borders a 10-acre lot the Calusa Land Trust already owns was another deciding factor. This property gives them access to their 10 acres.”

The Calusa Land Trust was founded 40 years ago with the purpose of protecting the natural diversity and beauty of Pine Island by acquiring, managing and preserving land in perpetuity.

Land trusts protect open space of all kinds – wetlands, wildlife habitat, ranches, shorelines, forests, scenic views, farms, watersheds, historic estates and recreational areas – land of every size and type that has conservation, historic, scenic or other value as open space.

Land trusts are nonprofit, voluntary organizations that work hand-in-hand with landowners. Land trusts use a variety of tools, such as conservation easements that permanently restrict the uses of the land, land donations and purchases and strategic estate planning, to protect America’s open spaces and green places, increasingly threatened by sprawl and development.

“The Calusa Land Trust presently holds title to about 2,100 acres to be preserved and maintained in perpetuity,” CLT President John Kendall said. “In addition, CLT has donated $170,000 to Lee County to stimulate its purchases. 20/20 acquisition formulas give priority to local financial support and, thus, the reason CLT has caused a disproportionate amount of its purchases to be on Pine Island.”

Last year the Calusa Land Trust donated $50,000 to the University of Florida’s Randell Research Center, in order to allow it to purchase the Calusa burial site.

According to the Calusa Land Trust website, “The future of Pine Island is being decided right now. We could become another Sanibel (which is reaching ‘buildout’), or we could become a western extension of Cape Coral. Or ? if we do our job right, Pine Island could continue to be the kind of place both people and wildlife find to be very special.”

“This land donated by the Taylors will be preserved in perpetuity,” Kendall said. “This property also adds to a 10-acre tract right next door. Protecting this land helps retain the quality of life that makes Pine Island special.

“I’d also like to remind everyone to join us for our 40th annual meeting at Fritts Park on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016,” Kendall said. “The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. Beach Daisy Lane, which is directly off Stringfellow Road and just south of Pink Citrus Mobile Home Village, takes you directly into Fritts Park. In case of rain the meeting will be held at Fishers of Men Lutheran Church.”

Contact the Calusa Land Trust & Nature Preserve at P.O. Box 216, Bokeelia, FL 33922. You can also visit CLT at www.calusalandtrust.org