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SCCF launches new land acquisition campaign

By SCCF - | Mar 10, 2021

SCCF

For more than two decades, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation members have seen yellow ropes go up along property borders to signal that a new land acquisition campaign is launching.

The SCCF’s 2021 acquisition target? A 12-plus acre parcel featuring wetland habitat extending 1,800 feet back from Periwinkle Way to the freshwater river known locally as the Sanibel Slough, officials reported. Look for the bright yellow rope on the south side of Periwinkle between Purdy Drive and Martha’s Lane.

The property, dubbed Periwinkle Wetlands during the fundraising campaign, is home to more than 40 different animal species, countless invertebrates and hundreds of different native plants. Alligators, river otters and bobcats are among the wildlife that has been observed in the interior acreage.

When preserved, the property will be the last piece in the SCCF’s 5.7-mile wildlife corridor running from The Bob Wigley Preserve to the West Sanibel River Preserve, including an unbroken 1.6 miles of contiguous river frontage. In an alternate future, at least 13 houses could be built on the property if the land is not preserved.

“Our trustees and major donors have already been very generous in starting this $2.4 million campaign,” Chief Executive Officer Ryan Orgera said. “Now we hope our island neighbors can help us fund the restoration of this habitat for wildlife, as well as the creation of new community space off the 525 feet of Periwinkle frontage.”

Beyond removing the exotic vegetation and other strategies to make the habitat more hospitable for wildlife, the SCCF’s plans include creating a two-acre community space featuring a 1,000-foot walking-biking trail, welcome plaza, pollinator garden, demonstration marsh and sculpture garden.

“It will be a great place to ‘just be’ with the surrounding nature,” Orgera said.

To make a tax-deductible donation, contact Cheryl Giattini at cgiattini@sccf.org or 239-395-2768.